Ex-servicemen take Veterans Bread to the Houses of Parliament
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Two former soldiers have taken their bread to a “Westminster Tea Party” organised by housing association Riverside ECHG at the Palace of Westminster.
Mike Perkins, left, and Charlie Campbell, who now work at the Veterans’ Artisan Bakery at Catterick, which is at a Riverside ECHG facility called The Beacon, delivered bread to Veterans Minister Andrew Robathan for the tea party.
The tea party was a lobbying event designed to encourage the Government to explain its plans for future housing solutions and general support for veterans, many of whom have emotional issues following service in Afghanistan and Iraq.
MPs from all three major parties attended the event together with several members of the House of Lords and the Veterans minister. And the bread proved popular with the politicians.
The bakery at The Beacon provides vocational training in bread-making and offers the therapeutic benefits that come from baking as ex-service personnel seek to assimilate back into “Civvy Street”.
Trevor Morris, MOD Area Manager for Riverside ECHG, said: “We are all aware of some of the horrendous physical injuries that have been sustained by our service personnel in Afghanistan and beyond. But the mental scars are less obvious and there are thousands of veterans out there who have emotional issues which they need help with.
“This event was all about those people and what the Government intends to do to help them in terms of treatment for their conditions and practical things like where they will live.
“Many ex-servicemen and women with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder end up on the streets or living rough. We wanted to ask the Government what its plans were for where these people are going to live whilst they get their lives back into some kind of order,” he said.
The Veterans’ Artisan Bakery has been in operation since January and has received the backing of celebrity chefs Marco Pierre White and Rosemary Shrager.
The Beacon, which houses the bakery, was officially opened in March by Foreign Secretary William Hague.