Armed Forces Veterans create Leigh Veterans Hub.

My name is Val Hogan and the founder of Verve Community CIC. I live near Leigh, Greater Manchester and support my Armed Forces community. Every year I am humbled as the children of Leigh once again lead the parade throughout the town. As a community, Leigh has suffered because of austerity and the cost of living crisis bit us hard. But the one thing that never changes is the spirit of the community and it's Armed Forces Veterans.
I have supported many Armed Forces groups and hubs as they set up. I wanted Leigh to have its own Veterans Hub. After all, the Armed Forces Veterans, families and the community have always led the way. However, last years parade was more poignant than ever before.
I could see, for the first time, the scale of hardship that Leigh had suffered. It frustrated me. I knew how much support the Veterans community had. Thankfully, Jo Platt, MP and manager of the Spinners Mill, Leigh, saw it too. She listened as I asked, why hasn't Leigh got its own Veterans Hub? If they are doing so much without support, can you imagine what could be achieved if they had? She made it possible, and thanks to Jo, Leigh now has its Veterans Hub, Leigh at the Spinners Mill, Leigh, Greater Manchester.

On behalf of the Royal British Legion Leigh Branch.

The presence of a hub for veterans in Leigh is of paramount importance to the welfare of those who have served from within our community. These men and women gave their loyalty and dedication to their unit; with our help, they can show that commitment and give back to the community that supports them.

The hub would provide a place for veterans to visit, have a brew, and talk to other veterans to get support if they need it. The Veterans hub, Leigh gives them access to networks and organisations to get them back on their feet when needed. Also it helps to exploit the positive energy, drive and skills learned whilst serving. Our veterans have so much to give back to their community and a Veterans hub is the stepping stone they need to achieve this.

Armed Forces Veterans mentor young people in schools or alternative classroom environments within the Spinners Mill and local community. These skills, learned and shared with young people in our community, enables them to learn important core values from men and women who are Armed Forces Veterans.

We are great believers in the statement ‘ Our veterans of the past generations dug the well that we now drink from.’ The Veterans’ hub in Leigh would give all members of our community access to that well. Jonathon Simpkin - Royal British legion , Leigh, Greater Manchester.

The Veterans Hub, Leigh is based at the Spinners Mill, Leigh, Greater Manchester. It is a much loved hub within the Leigh community. It was restored to preserve its history and heritage within the local community. This wonderful Mill, a vital part of our heritage, and is now a community of over 70, CIC’s and charities in residence. It is where the Veterans Hub, Leigh, belongs.

Asking for support is hard for many Veterans. The minefield of endless calls and paperwork grinds until they give up. The Veterans Hub will remove this worry as we work together, because reaching out locally is important to those who are vulnerable. It creates a sense of belonging and no matter how we help; be it financial support, helping with mental health or employment, housing or simply listening to what is said, and what is not? We have empathy and collectively create positive change.

Empathy for others is why I write blogs and campaigns on my website. Home - ( .

My blogs brought together communities who care for women and created positive social impact from a little ball of wool. We know that when you blend compassion, kindness, empathy and an inherent desire for change, we achieve great things.

Our Veterans community has empathy and like-minded charities and community groups who listened as we spoke, heard too. The huge army of support offered within the Armed Forces, local business and our community created a strong desire for positive change. It created the Veterans Hub, Leigh.

The well we drink from, in Leigh Veterans hub, is gifted by those who gave their all. We respect the sacrifice they made. It is in their memory we will create a Veterans’ hub to reflect the legacy left behind.

Every penny will help the build of the Veterans Hub. As you can see, it is a work in progress, but we have big plans.

The hub will reflect and honour the heritage of our Armed Forces community and reflect on the hardships of the women left behind. These women, working in the Spinners Mill as they weaved wool and bringing up their children as their brave men fought a war in which many did not return.

These women had a community who cared. They had empathy to create a need for change and rebuilt shattered lives together.

The Veterans Hub seeks to foster a lasting support system for Veterans, families, and children. And when needed, we work together. After all, our children are our future and from whom, with your support, and our Armed Forces Community, will drink from a well that never runs dry. Thank you.

The funds will be used to restore the flooring of the mill back to it's original beauty and support veterans in local businesses as they renovate the Veterans Hub, Leigh into a welcoming environment for Veterans, families and local children.


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Val Hogan

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