Shadow Armed Forces Minister Luke Pollard MP joined one of Help for Heroes’ coffee mornings in his Plymouth constituency, for personal and in-depth discussions with veterans who told him of some of the issues they face.
The coffee morning – part of the Charity’s regular recovery event programme for veterans – was hosted at Wolseley Business Park. Representatives from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and Age UK were also in attendance to advise veterans on their financial wellbeing and to signpost other local services providing support during the cost-of-living crisis to those who have served our country.
Mr Pollard spent longer than two hours holding one-on-one discussions with more than 30 local veterans. He heard concerns about access to specialist veteran-specific healthcare within Plymouth; the medical discharge procedure; and how the increasing cost of living is affecting ex-service people on the ground.
Afterwards he said: “It was a privilege to share a cuppa with our veterans at this coffee morning with Help for Heroes. Most servicepeople live happy and successful lives after leaving the forces, but the government must do more to support those who need it. We must fulfil the important promises we make to those who serve our country. This is a stellar service for our veterans and I'll keep banging the drum for it."
Help for Heroes CEO James Needham added: “We were grateful to Mr Pollard for generously spending a considerable amount of time talking to veterans and representatives from the Charity.
“It was a very constructive and cordial meeting and covered several issues important to veterans, including our call for a review of the medical discharge process, to exempt all Armed Forces compensation for injury as income from means tested benefits, and what more can be done to support Afghan translators and interpreters who have resettled in the UK following the Taliban takeover.