Portsmouth veterans celebrate new support service’s first anniversary 

Chris Purcell, of Fratton, who is one of those that has been supported by Veterans' Gateway
Chris Purcell, of Fratton, who is one of those that has been supported by Veterans' Gateway
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A SERVICE helping veterans cope with problems in civilian life, that has been championed in Portsmouth, has marked its first anniversary.

Veterans Gateway, a one-stop shop where retired service personnel can access advice on a range of areas, from housing to health, has helped 10,000 people so far.

The 24-hour support scheme brought a plethora of charities and services together all under one roof to make help easier to access.

Among those to both back the project and be supported by it was Royal Navy veteran Chris Purcell, of Adames Road, Fratton.

The 57-year-old retired Petty Officer has been battling post traumatic stress disorder since surviving the sinking of HMS Sheffield in the Falklands War, in 1982.

He said: ‘I have found it very helpful. When I first started I didn’t know where to turn. I turned to the Royal British Legion which helped me a lot. But now the Veterans Gateway.’

Defence secretary Gavin Williamson welcomed the news and said the government was ‘committed to delivering’ for the UK’s veterans.

He said: ‘This £2m project has helped 10,000 ex-service men and women in its first year, making the transition between service and civilian life as smooth as possible.

‘Every day our troops and veterans inspire our nation and it is right we deliver for them in return for the sacrifices they have made.’

For more on the service, see veteransgateway.org.uk