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Organisations join forces for online directory
Tuesday 26th November, 2013

A new online directory of organisations committed to supporting Wigan Borough’s armed forces community has now launched.

The directory has been created to help former servicemen and women access the range of support available from organisations in the borough more easily. These include: Wigan Council; Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust; Job Centre Plus; Wigan Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG); Wigan and Leigh Housing; Greater Manchester Police; Greater Manchester Probation Service; the charitable and voluntary sector.

The parties involved are offering the armed forces community additional support focused on their specific needs when they return to civilian life, in areas such as education, health and well-being, housing, employment and skills.

The creation of the directory follows the commitment made to the armed forces community with the signing of Wigan’s Armed Forces Community Covenant which took place in June. Brigadier Nick Fitzgerald MBE, the North West’s highest ranking military officer, joined both the Leader and chief executive of Wigan Council to sign the borough’s Community Covenant on Armed Forces Day.

Leader of Wigan Council, Lord Peter Smith, said: “The creation of the directory provides a central information point, highlighting services available and how to access them. It’s one way in which we’re implementing the pledge we made in the Covenant; that those who serve in the Armed Forces, whether regular or reserve, and those who have served in the past and their families, should face no disadvantage compared with other residents in accessing public and commercial services. In fact, special consideration should be given in some cases, especially for those who have given most, such as the injured and the bereaved.

“The role of the Community Covenant will develop as our communities do, so the working group involved will continue to meet regularly, discuss existing pledges, achievements and issues as well as opportunities for development, revising this important agreement when necessary.”

The Community Covenant is intended to be a two-way arrangement, with members of the armed forces community being encouraged to do as much as they can to support their community and promote activity which integrates the service community into civilian life.

Other organisations supporting the work being done under the Community Covenant include: Wigan Forward Board; Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA); Royal British Legion; Veterans Council; Health and Well-being Board. The directory is hosted by Wigan Council and can be found at www.wigan.gov.uk/armedforces

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