Veterans hail information event held in Chesterfield

Veterans have praised an information event held in Chesterfield – hailing it as ‘incredibly useful’.

Monday, 2nd August 2021, 3:51 pm

The event, which took place at Chesterfield Town Hall on Friday, included information and support on a number of things such as health and well-being, housing and re-employment.

Army veteran Robert Turaga said: “It was a fantastic event and very beneficial.

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Veterans Lee Blunt and Alex Dixon with Elizabeth Gaunt at the event. Pictures by Brian Eyre.

“I got talking to people from a wonderful charity called Project Nova and they will be helping me to cope with my post traumatic stress disorder – I’ve served in places like Iraq and have seen a lot over the years.”

He added: “A lot of veterans keep quiet about things and don’t seek help – but there is so much support for them out there.”

Fellow Army veteran Matthew Smart said the event was a ‘massive thing’ for him as it helped him ‘to be heard’.

“I was able to get 10 years of hurt off my chest because previously I’ve felt unable to talk to anyone,” he added.

Wayne Fisher and Chris Carlisle, from Walking With The Wounded, which helps veterans with employment.

Another veteran described the event as ‘incredibly useful'.

Elizabeth Gaunt, district armed forces champion for Derbyshire and Staffordshire with the Department for Work and Pensions, organised the event.

She said: “Some 40 organisations and recruiters attended and there was lots of networking between them and the veterans – everyone said they were kept busy.

“I was pleased with the turnout – it’s not easy to walk into a room full of people and ask for help.

Rob Nash, of the Chesterfield branch of the Royal Engineers Association, Mark Rowe, from 106 Field Squadron Royal Engineers, and Martin Thacker, chairman of North East Derbyshire District Council, at the event.

“Most of the veterans said they didn’t realise everything that is on offer to them.

“They all asked when the next event will be held so we must have done something right.”

She added: “I’ve been doing this for seven years now and it’s just got bigger and bigger.

“It’s usually held every four months but due to Covid-19 and restrictions this is the first one since January 2020.”

Elizabeth thanked everyone who was involved in the event and all those who attended.

“The town hall staff deserve a mention because they put in so much work into helping me organise it,” she added.

For more information about future information events, email [email protected]

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