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Keeping Our Veterans Connected

Written by on 23rd August 2021

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council is continuing to build upon its on-going relationship with the Armed Forces community, past and present, by making mobile tablets available to veterans to allow them to access vital services and keep in touch with each other.

The Council’s ‘Veterans Connected’ project further cements the local authority’s commitment to supporting the Armed Forces community having been one of the first in Wales to sign up to the Armed Forces Covenant in 2012, a commitment that was reaffirmed in 2018.

In recent years, the Council has also granted the Freedom of the County Borough to The Welsh Guards and to MOD St Athan, and all local service personnel of the Royal Air Force, past and present.

As part of the funding, a number of mobile tablets were officially presented at the Valley Veterans group, which meets every Thursday at Ton and Gelli Community Centre, by Councillor Maureen Webber, Deputy Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, also the Council’s Armed Forces Champion.

The donation of 80 tablets, on behalf of the Council, in conjunction with Vale of Glamorgan Council, has been made possible, following a successful bid for funding from the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust: Forces For Change programme. The tablets have been supplied by Centerprise International.

Councillor Maureen Webber, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council Deputy Leader and Armed Forces Champion, said: “The Veterans Connected project will allow our veterans to stay in touch with their family and friends, maintaining social connections through digital technology with the aim of improving their well-being by reducing social isolation.

“We owe our veterans so much and will never forget they service they have given to their country. I would like to thank Centerprise International for their donation of tablets, which will make a huge difference to the lives of so many.”

The Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust supports the Armed Forces Covenant by delivering funding programmes that create real change to Armed Forces communities across the UK.

The mobile tablets will help Armed Forces veterans stay in touch with family and friends and also enable them to access online support services. Members of local veteran groups, including Valley Veterans, Ton Pentre and Taff Ely, Rhydyfelin, and Cynon Valley, can hire the tablets at any time, free-of-charge, through the Council’s Armed Forces Veterans Service.

The Service also offers a wide range of assistance on subjects such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Housing, Adult Social Care, Benefits, Finances and Employment.

Providing FREE, impartial and dedicated information, advice and support, former members of the Armed Forces, Past and Present, can speak to dedicated officers in strict confidence. The Council’s Veterans Advice Officer Jamie Ireland also attends Valley Veterans meetings at regular intervals.

Armed Forces Community, Past and Present: Support Available

For 30 years, Centerprise International has been dedicated to meeting the needs and expectations of its customers. Established in 1983, the company, which has offices in South Wales, has a strong reputation as one of the UK’s most respected IT providers with a strong presence within the UK Public Sector and an ever-growing footprint within the private sector.  Additionally, Centerprise International has been a trusted supplier to the MOD for more than three decades.

A spokesperson for Centerprise International said: “We are grateful for the partnership we have forged with Rhondda Cynon Taf Council over the past few years, and with numerous ex-service personnel in employment within our company, including our CEO, Jeremy Nash, we are proud work with the local authority in the support of the RCT veterans.”

Veterans can hire the mobile tablets free of charge at any time by contacting the Council’s Armed Forces Team on 07747 485 619 or by email: VeteranService@rctcbc.gov.uk