Afternoon tea for veterans spreads the word
The Joining Forces programme has now ended
Joining Forces was an Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust supported programme in partnership with SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity. It was delivered by 12 local projects across England by local Age UKs and SSAFA branches. After 3 successful years, the programme has now ended. Many of the pages in this section will still be useful for information and advice. Alternatively, you can look at the relevant sections of the Age UK website.
Everyone loves a tea party. As well as providing a welcome chance for veterans to enjoy a cuppa and a slice of cake, Age UK Lancashire used their recent get together as an opportunity to raise awareness of their Joining Forces project in the local area.
Anyone for tea?
On 13 March, more than 60 Lancashire veterans convened at Age UK Lancashire’s Wellbeing Centre in Ormskirk, for a special get-together in conjunction with Blind Veterans UK. And while entertainment was provided by ‘Wild Bill’, who encouraged line dancing and singalongs on the day, the focus was very much on the food and drink element of this afternoon tea.
“We went with the afternoon tea theme because if an event involves food and tea, and when you add in a raffle, it gets a great response,” explains Christine Mottley, Lancashire Older Veterans Team Leader.
The sense of community was also bolstered by local supermarkets, which both provided prizes for the afternoon’s raffle, as well as cakes and scones.
Christine continues: “Our priority is to create social activities that encourage older veterans to socialise and stay connected with people in their local area, whether they’re fellow veterans or not. The most important thing is that we help them to combat loneliness and isolation.”
Guests on the day included the Mayor of West Lancashire, Councillor Noel Delaney, which helped ensure the event received publicity on social media and in the local press, promoting the work of the Joining Forces project.
“Before and after the event, there were lots of adult children of veterans and carers who saw the adverts, which is really helpful” says Christine. “It helps veterans, plus their families and carers, see there are events available to help veterans get out and about.”
And there's more to come...
Christine reveals there are more events to come this year, to mark important anniversaries in the military calendar, and bring local veterans together in the name of Joining Forces. "We've got out monthly Lunch Club, of course, which is also in partership with Blind Veterans UK. We've also got another afternoon tea in June, which will be in recognition of the 75th anniversary of the D-Day Landings.
Joining Forces Lancashire
Providing tailored support for older veterans, including information and advice, practical support at home and access to social events to encourage more active later lives.