New ‘gateway’ service to help veterans

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A new 24-hour phone, text and online chat service has been launched to help point British military veterans in the right direction to get help from the various armed forces charities.

Known as the ‘Veterans’ Gateway’, it has been launched in response to a review of the transition from military to civilian life faced by veterans.

Carried out by Lord Ashcroft, the Veterans’ Transition Review had called for measures to make the way veterans access help easier to navigate.

The new service is being funded by the Ministry of Defence’s Covenant Fund and will be delivered by a consortium of military charities.

Charles Byrne, director general of The Royal British Legion, said: “Every charity only exists to help, but Lord Ashcroft revealed the uncomfortable truth that a proliferation of providers in our sector can cause confusion about where to turn.

“The consortium’s research found that the Armed Forces community – overwhelmingly – supports the Veterans’ Gateway, with 83% welcoming the creation of a first point of contact.

“Veterans’ Gateway will make it easier for them to get the support they need, from whoever is best able to provide it.

“No matter how complex their needs, working together we can do more.”

Lord Ashcroft KCMG PC said: “I am delighted to see the launch of the Veterans Gateway which I hope will become well known.”

The service is available to British military veterans living in Northern Ireland in addition to those living in the UK mainland.