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Defence in the media

Defence in the media: Monday 21 January 2019

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Today’s defence related news includes coverage of a new outreach service by the Veterans Gateway.

Veterans' Gateway proactive outreach service

The Telegraph, Daily Express and The Sun all note the start of a new trial by Veterans' Gateway, a service funded by the Ministry of Defence, to help vulnerable ex-servicemen and women. Veterans' Gateway is trialling an outreach service to phone ex-service personnel who have previously contacted its helpline. The scheme, paid for with £108,000 funding from the MOD, is based on the US Marine Corps veterans service, which makes six proactive calls for everyone it receives. The Telegraph article carries a comment from Mark Collins, assistant director of Veterans' Gateway, who said: "We will be monitoring the outcome to see how this trial impacts our users but hopefully it'll mean those most vulnerable will be able to access help from Veterans' Gateway supporting organisations, on their journey to getting the right help."

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said:

The Veterans’ Gateway already makes a huge difference to the ex-forces community, helping thousands of people across the country access the support they need.

I’m delighted we are now able to enhance this service, boosting the support we offer veterans and making sure that no one who has served this country suffers in silence.

Minister for Defence People and Veterans Tobias Ellwood said:

We are committed to making sure everyone who has served knows where to turn in times of hardship, and this new trial will allow us to go one step further.

By maintaining regular contact with any veteran who needs help, we can offer them the support they deserve, as and when they need it.

Op Banner

The Sun reports on the RBL’s plans to mark 50 years since operations in Northern Ireland began.

An MOD spokesperson said:

We do not traditionally commemorate the beginning of an operation, rather its conclusion or a significant turning point in a conflict, as with D-Day.

However, we do grant funding to the Royal British Legion to deliver National Commemoration Events, including the anniversary of Op Banner, and we are currently considering what further support could be provided.

Q Fever

BBC News Online and BBC Today Programme report that a former soldier is suing the MOD after contracting Q fever in Afghanistan.

An MOD spokesperson said:

As legal proceedings are ongoing it would be inappropriate to comment.

Image of the day

The Vice Chief of the Defence Staff at the D-Day Story Museum
Image of the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir Gordon Messenger, seen here at the D-Day Story Museum in Portsmouth on Wednesday last week.

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