Rowans Hospice launches new service to help seriously ill veterans

VETERANS with life-limiting conditions will be able to access a new drop-in service.

Wednesday, 19th September 2018, 9:16 am
Updated Wednesday, 19th September 2018, 10:18 am
RAF veteran Derrick Grubb and Michael Jennings, who served in the Royal Navy, at the launch of the veterans drop-in service at The Rowans Hospice Living Well Centre.

The Living Well Centre, at the Rowans Hospice, has launched the project for servicemen and women.

The self-referral programme is for any veteran with a serious condition or life-threatening illness.

It will give them access to the centre's complementary therapies, carers support and group sessions.

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The veterans can also be referred to specialist psychology and bereavement support if they would find it helpful.

Tina Millard, veterans project lead, said the launch had been a great success.

'˜The whole ethos of both Rowans and this new veterans service is to support those in our community who are dealing with the challenges of a serious illness,' she said.

'˜Our veterans have done so much for us and we now want to show we are here to support them.

'˜The launch has been a fantastic way to show off our facilities and service and to engage with the veteran community.'

As well as offering support, the new scheme provides community engagement for veterans who could be isolated through the veterans companion service.

Launched earlier this year, it works in close partnership with other charities such as the Royal Naval Association and their Project Semaphore.

Tina added: '˜Project Semaphore supplies veterans, who have been deemed digitally isolated, with iPads in a bid to reconnect them with the wider world by opening up the online world.

'˜The RNA's Captain Paul Quinn (retired) and Lieutenant Sarah Clewes (retired), both of whom run Project Semaphore, were at the launch.'

Veteran Molly Morgan took the opportunity to celebrate her 96th birthday at the launch, and a 1942 military Jeep, maintained by Project 71, was parked outside the Living Well Centre to celebrate the occasion.

The drop-in service is every Monday between 10am and 2pm.

The Rowans Hospice veterans project launch comes just weeks after a new support network was set up for soldiers feeling suicidal or struggling with civilian life.

Friends Daniel Arnold and Stephen James founded All Call Signs last month and have been blown away at the response from the community.

The former soldiers, who both had post traumatic stress disorder, said the support has been overwhelming.

All Calls Signs uses messaging service WhatsApp to connect people with a team of volunteers who can offer support and guidance to armed forces personnel who need it.