Support for past members of the armed forces

Ex-Forces Support North Yorkshire was a project which delivered a range of help and support to former members of HM Armed Forces aged 65 and over living in North Yorkshire.

Between April 2017 and March 2020, Community First Yorkshire managed the Ex-Forces Support North Yorkshire project, which offered a range of services designed to raise awareness of the issues faced by older and ex-members of the UK Armed Forces, and support them in leading full and healthy lives. Covering North Yorkshire, the service was funded by the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust using LIBOR funds.

How did the project work?

Ex-Forces Support North Yorkshire was a consortium led by Community First Yorkshire, and made up of the following organisations: Age UK & District, Carers Resource, Citizens Advice, Groundwork, Just the Job Environmental Enterprise, North Yorkshire Sport, North Yorkshire Youth, Richmond Community Voluntary Action (RCVA), Richmondshire District Council, Rural Arts, Saint Michael’s Hospice, Scarborough Borough Council, Yorkshire Energy Doctor and Yorkshire Housing. We also worked closely with North Yorkshire County Council’s Living Well team, as well as military charities including SSAFA and Royal British Legion.

Working as a partnership, coming together at quarterly intervals, we delivered services that contributed to, and widened, existing support available for older veterans across North Yorkshire. We did this by providing person-centred, practical, financial and holistic support, including:

  • Opportunities to take part in new activities or to revisit old hobbies.
  • Advice and practical support to keep warm, safe and well at home.
  • Befriending services and opportunities to meet new people and connect to the local community.
  • Volunteering opportunities.
  • Basic home and garden maintenance.
  • Specialist advice and advocacy.
  • Support for carers.
  • Emergency grants.

For a round up of the project and the support that we offered, please read our Impact Report.

North Yorkshire’s Unsung Heroes: Their Stories is a book created through the project sharing the experiences of ex-members of the Armed Forces. You can download it here.

Activities beyond the project

Through the project, a number of groups were set up to provide a regular opportunity for older ex-forces men and women to come together. These groups continue to run across North Yorkshire and are listed below:

Malton: The Wentworth Arms
Old Malton, YO17 7HD
Lunch every second Wednesday of the month 12 noon–2pm
Contact: Shaun Brosnan on 07855 796354

Easingwold: George Hotel
Market Place, Easingwold York YO61 3AD
Coffee and speaker every first Thursday of the month 10am–12 noon
Contact: John Walker on 07778 806548

Harrogate: Starbeck Men’s Shed @ Claro Enterprises, Starbeck
Every Wednesday, 2pm–4.30pm
Come along for a chat, laughter and sawdust. An opportunity to get together in a workshop and do ‘stuff’. Projects are group led so it is up to you!
Please contact Claro Enterprises on 01423 885879 to find out more.

Scarborough: Veterans’ Garden @ Gallows Close Centre, Scarborough
Woodworking day out
Every Tuesday 10am–1pm
Contact Kimmie at Gallows Close Centre to find out more. Tel: 01723 378102

Scarborough: Veterans’ Woodcarving and Willowcraft @ Gallows Close Centre, Scarborough
Every Friday 10am–1pm
Contact Kimmie at Gallows Close Centre to find out more. Tel: 01723 378102

Whitby: Victoria Farm Garden Centre
Guisborough Road, Whitby YO21 1TL
Lunch every first Tuesday 12 noon–2pm
Contact: Steve Bond: 01947 601159 or 07551 190309; Harry Baker: 01947 600263 or 07716 698008; Barry Sutcliffe: 01947 841 336

What next?

The funding arrangement for Ex-Forces Support North Yorkshire was for a three-year period only and ended on 31 March 2020. As such, the project is now closed and no new activities will be set up. However, we continue to seek alternative funding and some of the support is still available through other funding streams. These, along with other sources of help and advice, are detailed in the area-specific directories below:

Please also visit North Yorkshire Connect, an online directory listing a variety of services available in North Yorkshire.

If you are a former veteran (of any age) and would like to use your experience and skills in your local community, why not volunteer? Take a look at the volunteering roles we have on our Volunteering in North Yorkshire website.