VETERANS are set to be given specialist expert help from psychiatrists after securing a grant from the National Lottery.

Almost £10,000 has been handed over to Veterans In Communities (VIC) from Awards For All, to assist up to 22 former servicemen.

Structured group therapy will be offered by VIC at the REAL offices, in St James Square, Bacup, possibly from March.

Bob Elliott, VIC manager, said: “Two of our members have already benefitted from a similar programme last year, and this funding means that many more will have the same opportunity.

“This lottery money is going to help us to continue the good work that is already going on in the valley.”

The organisation already has links with the Military Veterans’ Service and Combat Stress, for assistance with post-traum- atic stress disorder.

Pat Smith, REAL community development worker, added: “Returning to civilian life is sometimes a difficult time for members of the armed forces, many of whom have complex life problems.

“Men and women who have served in various conflicts return home different than when they left, some may have returned years ago, but are still experiencing difficulties in their day-to-day living.

“It will enable veterans to manage their disorders, support each other and make positive contr-ibutions to their communities, with an opportunity to train as support workers and use their skills to help others.”

Supporters of VIC have recently widened their remit to include all members of the uniformed services, including former police officers, paramedics, and firefighters.