Fenland council signs up to support Armed Forces community
Wisbech St Mary Parish Council has become one of the first in the area to sign up to ensure members of the Armed Forces are fully supported.
Chairman David Wheeler signed the Armed Forces Covenant at their monthly meeting alongside local resident Steve Wellon OBE has agreed to be Champion for the Covenant on behalf of the parish council.
The aim of the covenant is to highlight the important role parish councils and other authorities can make to members or former members of the Armed Forces in the local community.
The main objectives for Parish Councils to sign the Armed Forces Covenant are:
* To be aware that there is sometimes a hidden community that can be supported through small changes in policy or practice.
* To demonstrate a commitment to the Armed Forces Community by understanding the principles of Armed Forces Covenant, signing it and making public pledges of support.
* To be aware of and support the work that is happening at District/City and County levels.
Tommy Kelly the Armed Forces Covenant Officer at Cambridgeshire County Council, said in a statement: “The Armed Forces community are usually more visible around Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday although can become less conspicuous throughout the rest of the year.
"Disadvantage due to service, issues around mental or physical health and difficulty with reintegrating back into civilian life can remain and it is essential for parish councils to be aware so that they can support this, sometimes, hidden community.
"Knowing where to signpost the individual or family is also very important as there are a high number of Armed Forces community support organisations.
"I have been very lucky in Fenland as I have had fantastic support from FDC Cllr Bob Wicks and FDC Officer Ashley Godfrey to help spread the word about why the Armed Forces Covenant is important to support the Armed Forces Community“
Wisbech St. Mary Parish Council were approached by FDC Councillor Bob Wicks regarding the Armed Forces Covenant and the support needed between civilian and military communities.
Wisbech St Mary councillors recognised the importance of such support and officially signed up to the Armed Forces Covenant and local resident Steve Wellon has agreed to be Champion for the Covenant on behalf of the parish council.
Councillor Bob Wicks added: "I would first like to give a big thank you to my colleague on Fenland District Council, Councillor Sarah Bligh and all the members of Wisbech St Mary Parish council for recognising the importance of signing the military covenant.
"It is a recognition of the service all of us who have accepted the monarch's shilling not only to serve our monarch, preserve the security of our country and ensure the freedoms and liberties everyone enjoys are maintained. It also recognised the hardships and dangers we have accepted and the disruptions endured by our families during our service.”