New base for city veterans’ organisation

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A group that helps veterans adjust to civilian life is to move to a new city base.

Preston’s Armed Forces Group, which was facing closure earlier this year, is now “optimistic” for the future, and is relocating to Cotton Court in Church Street.

The organisation had been based at the Council for Voluntary Service (CVS) in Preston’s Guild Hall arcade, but the CVS is now understood to be closing from today after failing to attract funding.

Tony Richards, acting liaison officer for the Armed Forces Group, said: “We are still solvent and I can see us going for at least eight months, but with no paid staff it’s all volunteers.

“So what we are concentrating on is getting more volunteers, and we are also asking people who are prepared to give time at weekends and with fundraising events.

“We are optimistic that in the future we are going to become more self sufficient and that’s the way we are going.”

Paid staff at the group had been funded by the Poppy Factory, part of the Royal British Legion, but funding ran out earlier this year.

Tony said: “At the time we didn’t think we were going to survive, but we’ve pulled through and when we’ve looked at the finances it’s not as bad as we first thought. But for the future we need more volunteers.

“The move is positive for us – it’s on a hot desk basis and runs for a month at a time on a rolling basis, and we’ve got four desks.”

The organisation is a signposting service, and will continue to offer the same services.

The CVS is understood to be closing due to lack of funds, but declined to comment.