Two new hubs are being established in Redruth and Bodmin to support veterans and their families living in Cornwall. 

Ex-armed forces and veterans support services are working together on the initiative to provide support with issues such as debt, mental ill-health, housing, substance misuse, unemployment and loneliness. 

The hubs will be held at Redruth Civic Centre, starting Tuesday, October 31 and will be held on every last Tuesday of the month from 10am to 2pm, and at Bodmin Town Council starting Tuesday, November 14 and run every second Tuesday of the month. 

There are approximately 38,000 military veterans living in Cornwall, this number constitutes approximately 10 per cent of the population when their families are included. 

Support services are working together to address their problems by joining with a not-for-profit project ‘Veterans Regroup’ which is managed by Smart Savings, CIC and funded by the Veterans’ Foundation, The National Lottery Community Fund, ABF The Soldiers’ Charity and the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust. Simon Judge, one of the organisers who served for 17 years in the Royal Navy, said: “Transition from a life in the armed forces to a life as a civilian can be difficult for many veterans and their families. Therefore the aim of the monthly hub in Redruth and Bodmin is to provide a one-stop-shop to support anyone who has served in the military, and their families, to come along, enjoy a brew, banter and to find out what services are available for them, both locally and nationally.”   

Jane Jiwa, the projects director of Smart Savings CIC, added: “It has become apparent that the cost-of-living crisis is having a multi-dimensional impact on veterans and their families.  

“Although a veteran may approach or be referred to us with one issue, we often find that this is linked to another underlying situation including rural isolation, housing/homelessness, unemployment, debt, substance misuse, relationship breakdowns and health issues. 

“The Veterans Regroup hubs will be somewhere that veterans and their immediate families can come for information on the best way forward for their needs, and ultimately take control of their own futures.”   

More than 20 organisations have been invited to attend the hubs including; Battling-on, Op Kernow, Walking With The Wounded, We Are With You, Active Plus, Noon Cregg CIC Veterans Retreat, Nine S.H.I.P.S, Help for Heroes, SSAFA Cornwall, Op Courage (NHS), Department for Work and Pensions, Veterans UK, Turn to Starboard, Enable Accessibility, Natures Way Eden Project, BLESMA, Royal British Legion Cornwall, Royal Marines Charity, Veterans Employment Charity, Vets UK, EPIC Gigability, Veterans Outdoors and Veterans with dogs.   

Smart Savings CIC have supported the armed forces community since 2012 and are a signatory of the Armed Forces Covenant, a member of ASDIC and Cobseo and a Veterans’ Gateway partner.  

Smart Savings CIC is also regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office.