Suffolk/Essex: RAF vet and legion volunteers supports Shoulder to Shoulder
PUBLISHED: 10:50 07 January 2014 | UPDATED: 10:50 07 January 2014
A Royal British Legion caseworker and former member of the Royal Air Force has praised the EADT’s Shoulder to Shoulder campaign supporting the men and women who have served our country.
David Primmer was involved with the RAF for 24 years from the age of 16 and now volunteers with the RBL supporting veterans and current serving members of all Britain’s armed forces.
Mr Primmer, now 68 and living in Creeting St Mary, helps out with the Needham Market branch of the Legion where he visits people looking for the group’s support.
He assesses their situation and fills in the paperwork to get them the assistance they need.
Mr Primmer says the help the RBL can offer is incredibly wide-ranging.
“When people request help we go out and arrange to see them and fill in the paperwork and assess their needs,” Mr Primmer said.
“I’ve assisted and done the paperwork for people to get stairlifts or electric powered vehicles. It can be for anything at all.”
Sometimes though it’s not material things some former service personnel are after but simply someone to talk to or the chance to re-enter education.
“It can be people wanting to go off to further or higher education. Sometimes it’s just a bit of companionship,” added Mr Primmer.
“I’m never overwhelmed with cases but sometimes it’s like buses – several come along at once.
“It could be anyone from a Second World War veteran to someone from Afghanistan or Iraq. It tends to be older people but I have dealt with some younger ones.”
Sometimes people seeking help from the RBL also raise concerns about friends who may be too proud or scared to seek support themselves.
Mr Primmer said: “We get cases where someone might know someone and they ask us to help. I know of people locally who have needed assistance but didn’t want to ask.”
But Mr Primmer has said projects like the EADT’s Shoulder to Shoulder campaign help to raise the profile of the RBL and its work not only amongst the public but with service personnel too.
“I think it’s excellent really. One of the problems we come across is the number of service personnel who don’t know what the legion can do.
“It will increase the profile (of the RBL) because there’s a need for many, many years to come.”
“I sense the main thing (for the Legion) for many years has been Remembrance Day which brings in a lot of money but apart from that it wasn’t that well known about.
“Shoulder to Shoulder is an excellent campaign. It will help to keep all the service organisations in the public eye.”