Portsmouth military charity All Call Signs welcomes £10m boost to veterans mental health by chancellor

PLANS to pump an extra £10m into supporting mental health services for traumatised war heroes have been welcomed by the head of a military charity.

Wednesday, 3rd March 2021, 5:06 pm
Stephen James, left, co-founder of All Call Signs, with fellow co-founder of the charity, Dan Arnold, outside their base in Albert Road, Southsea.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the measure in his Budget speech to parliament, which saw him outlining his multi-billion pound spending plan for the next year.

The revelation has been championed by Stephen James, founder of Southsea-based forces charity All Call Signs – which has been at the forefront of a campaign to improve mental health services for veterans.

Retired soldier Mr James told The News: ‘We were pleased to hear the government’s pledge of £10m more funding to tackle mental health in the veteran community.

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‘This is a significant investment and its placement into the ‘One is Too Many’ Covenant Fund will ensure it is distributed into effective projects by organisations, big and small, working to reduce veteran suicide and self-harm.’

Mr James added the cash boost was desperately needed as more and more veterans in crisis had turned to organisations like his during the pandemic.

‘While covid restrictions may be lessening, the increase in veterans reaching out for support that this pandemic has seen, is showing no signs of decreasing,’ he warned, adding: ‘This funding has to come alongside tangible improvements in access to social housing and employment support for veterans.’