The Community trade union has launched a fundraiser for FirstLight Trust, an organisation that works on the ground and in local communities with veterans. The FirstLight Trust helps support veterans into employment, make the transition from military to civilian life and gives them support to get into safe housing.
Over 70 members of Community staff, representatives, members and Members of Parliament will be taking part in a run, walk, cycle challenge fundraiser for veterans where between them they will travel over 1000 miles as part of their campaign to end veteran homelessness.
Melantha Chittenden, ending veteran homelessness project lead at Community, said:
“While the coronavirus continues to dominate our lives, it’s important that we remember those who are most severely affected. One of those groups of people is the homeless, who have less access to sanitation, and who are much less likely to have somewhere safe and comfortable to see through the lockdown or to be able to self-isolate when sick. Furthermore, many in the homeless population have health conditions that would make them extremely vulnerable to the serious impacts of the virus, and in great need of a safe haven.”
“Many local authorities are doing all they can to support this population through this crisis by providing hotel accommodation and access to sanitation. However, as the lockdown is gradually released local authorities will stop offering that support, and we need to make sure that the local charities that do this work on a day to day basis have the funds to be able to continue.”
“We’re pleased to be able to join together and do our bit to help a charity that is doing excellent work on the ground to support homeless veterans throughout this crisis and beyond.”
The Shadow Defence Team will also be joining the fundraising efforts. John Healey MP, Shadow Defence Secretary, said:
“I’m proud Labour’s Shadow Defence Ministers are doing our bit to back Britain’s homeless veterans. We owe our armed forces so much. They keep us safe, so it’s right we do all we can to support them when they leave the forces.
“Too many ex-military men and women are being let down by government, and mainstream services often fail our veterans when they need them most. Specialist charities like FirstLight Trust are a lifeline in helping veterans through this Covid crisis and beyond, so Labour’s defence team are delighted to be part of this great fundraising initiative by the Community union.”