When news happens, text LT and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.
Burnley army vets set up club for former servicemen
6:00pm Monday 24th September 2012 in News
TWO Army veterans have joined forces to create a new social club for ex-soldiers.
The Burnley & District Ex-Services Club will also welcome former members of the emergency services.
One of the founders, Keith Shepherd, said no other groups in the area were committed to providing social activities for retired personnel.
He pointed to Colne Legion Club’s decision in May this year to separate from The Royal British Legion as symptomatic of the problem facing veterans in and around Burnley.
Keith completed two tours of Northern Ireland with the Royal Corps of Transport before spending more than 20 years in the Territorial Army’s Royal Engineers unit.
Co-founder John Wilson, 53, spent ten years in the Royal Artillery before a 24-year policing career.
Keith, who lives in Rosehill with his wife Eileen, said: “We have talked to other veterans and ex-services personnel. We surveyed 81 people in three weeks, and there has been a very positive response about what the social club has to offer.
“We will be a charity but really we will be focusing on the social side of things — it can often be difficult for service people to integrate back into everyday society.
“We have the best interests of the veterans at heart. We’re very passionate about helping people and pointing them in the right direction. The social club will be run as a voluntary organisation, letting all members have a say in how it is run.”
The group has been granted permission to use Burnley Miners’ Social Club in Plumbe Street for its initial meetings.
It hopes to find its own premises in the long run, where it will host quizzes, cookery classes and luncheon clubs.
Its first meeting will be a quiz at the Plumbe Street club on October 3 from 7.30pm.