A project has been launched to support armed forces veterans.

Age UK Cheshire East, which is based in Macclesfield, wants to increase the amount of support available for elderly men and women who have given so much of their time in the defence of their country.

The three-year project is funded by the Aged Veterans Fund.

The team, led by Mike Askew, will work with other veterans’ charities across Cheshire East to identify and work with the estimated 5,000 veterans who may be experiencing difficulties which prevent them from leading more active and fulfilling lives.

Mike said: “This is a really exciting new challenge, working alongside older veterans to improve their wellbeing and help them overcome some of the unique challenges veterans can face.

“We estimate there to be approximately 5,000 aged veterans across the borough so this project is much needed at a time when many public services are being withdrawn.”

Mike and the team have now begun the work of understanding the services that are already out there supporting veterans. Referrals will commence in the autumn.

Mike added: “This is an important project, but it is also vitally important that we do not duplicate the great work that other charities, such as The Royal British Legion, are already doing.

“The next few months will give me time to build relationships with partners to make sure that what we at Age UK Cheshire East are offering is targeted at the right people and best complements the support that is already out there.”

Meanwhile, a group of veterans have launched a club to combat loneliness.

The Veterans Breakfast Club is an opportunity for veterans from all Forces including the Army, Navy and RAF, to get together over breakfast to socialise, share stories and make friends.

It met for the second time at Pack Horse Bowling and Social Club on Abbey Road on July 16. They meet every third Saturday of the month from 9am to 12pm.

For more details visit the Macclesfield Veterans Breakfast Club Facebook page or call 01625 614706.

The group was set up after more than 300 people attended the funeral of Royal Marine veteran Harry Wheeler, 96, to pay their respects after it emerged that he had no known family and it was feared no-one would attend.

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