Surrey Fire and Rescue Service staff joined the Veterans to celebrate Fordbridge Veterans Hub’s one-year anniversary, enjoying refreshments, reminiscing and listening to speeches from invited guests including the Mayor of Spelthorne.
The Fordbridge Hub was formed by the North Surrey Armed Forces Partnership and was the second of its kind to be hosted by the Service, following Guildford. Since opening its doors in June 2021, the group have continued to meet at 11am on every 4th Tuesday of the month.
The hub was made possible thanks to funding from Spelthorne Borough Council, Surrey County Council and Forces Connect.
Veterans Hubs offer a relaxed place for veterans to drop in and share a cup of tea and enjoy the company of others who have served. They also provide a way to gain advice, support and services under one roof. This means a minimum of two services or charities available at least once a month. Those using the Fordbridge hub range from their late 20s and upwards, with the eldest attendee having been 102 before he sadly passed away in May of this year.
The two further hubs supported by Surrey Fire and Rescue Service take place at Guildford Fire Station on the last Thursday of every month from 10:30am and Woking Fire Station on every third Wednesday of the month from 10:30am.
The Mayor of Spelthorne, Cllr Susan Doran, said, “It was an honour to be asked to speak at the Fordbridge Veterans’ Hub anniversary event. The Hub provides excellent support and friendship for veterans and their families, offering advice on a wide range of issues including employment, housing and health and wellbeing. I know it has already helped so many people in its first year of operation and will continue to be a fantastic source of help for the veteran community.”
Damian Watts, Area Commander, SPT Community & Resilience, Surrey Fire and Rescue Service commented, “It has been a real pleasure to see our Fordbridge Veterans Hub develop over the past twelve months. It is so important that we as a service continue to show our gratitude and support to those who have served in the forces and to former fire and rescue service colleagues. The success at both Fordbridge and Guildford hubs has helped us to set up a further hub at Woking Fire Station. I would also like to extend my gratitude to the SFRS staff and enthusiastic volunteers, whose hard work ensure that these events can take place regularly, creating a valuable community space to share advice and socialise.”
Cllr Robin Sider BEM, Spelthorne Council’s Armed Forces Champion, said, “Fordbridge Veterans’ Hub is a wonderful example of collaborative working that was born out of the North Surrey Armed Forces Partnership with the backing of Spelthorne Borough Council, Surrey Fire and Rescue Service and Forces Connect South East. The success of the initiative is testament to the dedication of the volunteers and service charities that support this initiative each month. It‘s great to see the broad age range that the hub attracts and it was a pleasure to meet the members and to hear how the hub is making a difference in our community.”
To find your nearest hub and details on when events take place, please click here or search ‘Surrey Veterans Hubs’.
The Forces Connect app is also available to download for free from Google Play and Apple Store. The app signposts members of the armed forces community to support, guidance and advice on a range of different topics. Search ‘Forces Connect’ to download it today.
About Surrey Fire and Rescue Service
Surrey Fire and Rescue Service provide fire and rescue services to over a million Surrey residents in addition to the county’s many visitors.
We employ 673 members of staff including firefighters, 999 call operators, trainers, mechanics, business support and supply colleagues. Our staff work from 25 fire stations and our Headquarters site in Reigate.
Our firefighters respond to 999 calls including fires, road traffic collisions, water rescues, flooding and situations that may involve hazardous materials. We also educate people and businesses about how to prevent emergencies happening in the first place and about what to do if they do happen.
Our work in the community includes safe and well visits for vulnerable people, school visits, open days and working with our partners to help reduce crime and suffering.