Preston's Wings Centre closed but help still available says RAF Association

The Wings Centre on Fishergate in Preston may have closed, but there is still support in the city for veterans says the RAF.

By Fiona Finch
Saturday, 1st January 2022, 3:18 pm

The centre, a local landmark near Preston Railway Station closed its doors in 2020 during the early stages of the pandemic.

It has never re-opened. Rory O’Connor, the Royal Air Forces Association Director of Welfare and Policy, said this was due to both welfare and financial concerns. He said: “Many charities are still facing significant challenges and the RAF Association is no exception. As well as the financial impact of the pandemic, we had to immediately consider the safety of our employees, volunteers and beneficiaries. These factors led to the difficult, but necessary, decision to close the Preston Wings Centre in summer 2020."

Rory stressed that a wellbeing services had continued and that the regional welfare team had relocated to city university UCLan.

Rory O’Connor, Director of Welfare and Policy for the Royal Air Forces Association

He said: “We have ensured those that attended the Wings Centre have been supported through our other welfare and wellbeing services. Our Connections for Life service provides weekly friendship calls to 2,000 individuals nationally and we have also connected local beneficiaries to networks in their communities to help tackle isolation."

He continued: "Our Regional Welfare Team continues to engage with and support the veteran community. We are working with the university to encourage military service leavers to undertake learning courses and to gain a better understanding of the challenges service leavers and veterans face.”

The Welfare Team was previously based upstairs at the Wings Centre and serves the north of England up to the Scottish borders. The downstairs room acted as a drop-in centre welcoming veterans and it was also the venue for a model making drop-in session for veterans. The club recently found a new home in Broughton.

For more about the Wings Centre see here* The Lancashire Post is more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription to support our journalism. For unlimited access to Lancashire news and information online, you can subscribe here.

The WingsCentre in Preston was officially opened by city mayor Coun Brian Rollo, pictured here with Ian Barber, in June 2017