The community received a very warm welcome as a veteran’s support charity opened their doors to the public.

Thanks to a grant from the Asda Foundation, the charity opened the doors of the Veterans in Community centre on Bury Road, Haslingden, invite local people to look around.

Many veterans, trustees and supporters of the charity were on hand to chat to the visitors.

Chief Executive Amanda Walton presented volunteers and staff with personal thank you certificates for their work during the pandemic and she was given a bouquet as a thank you for her tireless work.

She said: “I am quite humbled by just how many people turned up, it has been fantastic to see so many people in the centre and so many that we have never seen before.

“I really hope the community realise how much this is their centre and how many different things go on here. Our doors are always open if people want to call in and get involved and join a group, or just for a brew and a chat and that is the community as well as veterans.”

VIC was established in 2012 originally in Bacup and moved to its current premises in 2014.

At the open event, members of the Chatty Crafters gave a demonstration, a mini-Bob Ross art class was held, the VIC Choir was rehearsing, display boards explained the work of the charity and a running buffet was provided.

Also among the guests was the Mayor Jackie Oakes and Mayoress Christine Lamb of Rossendale Councillor.

Councillor Oakes said: “Having been to the annual general meeting I knew a bit about what goes on but visiting the open day gave me a real insight into the very many groups that meet there and the difference the organisation makes in our community.

“The painting classes and art groups produce some amazing pieces of work and I was amazed that the artists were all amateurs.”