Supporting Our Armed Forces Veterans
Written by Gavin on 26th August 2021
Rhondda Cynon Taf Council continues to support its Armed Forces veterans, of all ages, especially following recent events in Afghanistan.
Many of our veterans still suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder following their times serving in war zones around the world, often reliving traumatic events through nightmares and flashbacks. Some also suffer from isolation, insomnia and have difficulty concentrating for long periods.
The Council’s Armed Forces Veterans Service is here to offer FREE confidential help, support and guidance for those who need it. We are just a phone call or an email away Armed Forces Veterans Service
Matthew Williams, who lives in the Rhondda, a former Royal Marines Commando, is among those who the Armed Forces Veterans Service is helping.
Having served in Iraq and Afghanistan, the former Corporal knows first-hand the effects of war can have on individuals and is now a member of the Valley Veterans group.
Armed Forces veteran Matthew Williams, said: “I completed 17 years in service and saw so much happening, both in Iraq and Afghanistan. Things that will stay with me for the rest of my life.
“I witnessed overhead missile attacks, mortar attacks, saw Comrades either killed or severely injured, some even losing limbs. I find that talking to others who have been through the same experiences as myself really helps – they get it.
“The Council’s Armed Forces Veterans Service and Valley Veterans provide that network. I can talk openly to them. I lost many friends in Afghanistan and have a few who survived but are triple amputees.
“I cannot imagine what they must be thinking watching recent events out there. I still suffer with PTSD myself, but it is something that I have to live with. I am so grateful that the Armed Forces Veterans Service and Valley Veterans is there for people like me.”
Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, just like all local authorities in Wales, has pledged to play its part in providing accommodation and sanctuary to those who are able to leave Afghanistan.
Rhondda Cynon Taf Council Deputy Leader and Armed Forces Champion, Councillor Maureen Webber, said: “The scenes we are seeing in Afghanistan are heart-breaking. People, who a few weeks ago were living their lives, are now refugees.
“We must do everything we can to help them. Many of our local veterans have served in Afghanistan. If you have been affected by these events, please know that you are not alone.
“We have a dedicated Armed Forces Veterans Service in our area, which is there for advice and support. There are also amazing groups like Valley Veterans, who run weekly cafes and provide a space to chat with others who may feel the same
“There’s also the Taff Ely Veterans Group in Rhydyfelin and Cynon Valley Veterans Association in Mountain Ash, along with national groups which provide support.”
Combat Stress – 0800 138 1619
Help For Heroes – 0300 303 9888
SSAFA – 0800 260 6767
Rhondda Cynon Taf Council was one of the first local authorities in Wales to sign up to the Armed Forces Covenant in 2012, a commitment that was reaffirmed in 2018.
The Council’s Armed Forces Veterans Service 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, members of the Armed Forces, past and present, can speak to dedicated officers in strict confidence. Call 07747 485 619 or by email: VeteranService@rctcbc.gov.uk