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Workload soars at Burnley veterans' charity
AN urgent appeal for help has been issued by a veterans’ charity which has been inundated with pleas for assistance.
Burnley-based Veterans’ Association UK has helped to rehouse more than a dozen ex-servicemen, and their families, since moving to their new home in Springfield Road earlier this year.
And VAUK has also managed to secure referrals for 17 ex-troopers for treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder since relocating to Burnley from their initial base in Sough.
But chief executive Tony Hayes says extra helping hands are needed to deal with the sheer number of queries, and cases, coming through the door.
Six of the rehousing cases dealt with since the start of 2013 have been for ex-soldiers from Burnley and surrounding areas.
Mr Hayes said: “Our small band working out of the VAUK Centre are very busy and need volunteers to work with us.
“I currently have two excellent case workers and I would like to build two teams to work with them.
“And I would like a volunteer office manageress who can give us time on a daily basis to run our newly-refurbished offices and lecture room.”
Almost 150 veterans have been given assistance to obtain badges, medals and replacement medals, as well as assisting another 21 with war pension and other benefits issues. The charity has chiefly been involved with setting up a distance learning centre and has entered into a partnership with the Unite union and University of Huddersfield.
Mr Hayes also wants to launch a series of com munity courses at the centre, which formerly housed Burnley College workshops.
Further afield, VAUK has helped to secure a military funeral for a former REME soldier from Chester, and worked with seafaring organisations to ensure a former merchant seaman was able to die at home, surrounded by his family, instead of a hospice.
People able to help are asked to call Mr Hayes on 0771 332 9903.
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