A FORMER soldier is helping fellow veterans facing hardship in South Warwickshire.
Ed Collis, who works with support charity Veterans Contact Point (VCP), along with his wife and children, has been putting together food parcels – some of which have been donated by local Morrisons branches.
The ex-fusilier, who under normal circumstances runs an Armed Forces and Veterans Breakfast Club, reached out to the supermarkets for items such as canned goods, tea, and cereal, to be provided to local veterans in need.
Ed said his volunteering role had also boosted his own mental health over the pandemic.
He commented: “It is so rewarding as a veteran myself to hear the positive comments from other veterans and see their faces light up as I give out each of the food parcels.
“Delivering each food donation has created a positive impact on my own mental health as well, as I remember my own personal struggles and the support I received from VCP. They helped me greatly with peer support which I in return am now delivering as a volunteer in South Warwickshire, and I want other veterans to know there is help out there.
“The simple act of giving out food parcels not only provides veterans with the opportunity to receive support in the form of food provisions, but also a person to talk to and feel connected.”
The VCP team is working with local authorities to secure a base in South Warwickshire to help Ed with a place to operate from and for a meeting point to bring together other veterans.
Warwickshire County Council’s chief executive Monica Fogarty said: “Like many people each period of lockdown has not been easy for veterans who can easily feel forgotten, isolated or embarrassed by not wanting to ask for help.
“Veterans Contact Point are now working closely with Warwickshire County Council and the local district councils with the intention to set-up a VCP Veterans Centre in South Warwickshire. Having this space for veterans to meet each other, communicate and receive support is important to increase veteran’s mental health and wellbeing, and we are looking forward to this happening to support the power of our local communities.”
Visit veteranscontactpoint.org.uk for more information.