Suffolk: Historic pledge to back armed forces

SUFFOLK’S commitment to supporting the armed forces who live and work in the county is to be cemented during a historic service tomorrow.

The county has a long tradition of backing military personnel based in the county as well as veterans and their families.

This enduring relationship is to be confirmed with the signing of the landmark Suffolk Armed Forces Community Covenant agreement tomorrow.

Community covenants have already been established in Colchester, Oxfordshire, Hampshire, North Yorkshire and Doncaster to declare “mutual support and practical help” for forces personnel and their families.

The signing ceremony will be an important moment in Suffolk’s long history of supporting the armed forces, county council leader Mark Bee said.

“We owe a great debt to the armed forces men and women who sacrifice so much for us,” he added. “It’s therefore our duty as local authority and community leaders to ensure we provide the services and help they, and their families, need.

“Thursday is going to be an important day in Suffolk’s long history of support for the armed forces. I hope it will serve as reminder of what they give to this country and a poignant symbol of our sincere gratitude in return.”

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The covenants are part of a �30million national scheme launched by the Ministry of Defence to strengthen the bonds between the military and civilian communities.

The funding will be used to back projects across the UK, such as support to veterans, raising GP awareness of combat stress and raising public awareness of service family life and deployments overseas.

The next step will be to appoint a Suffolk Armed Forces Commissioner to lead the work across the county.

After the covenant signing at Suffolk County Council’s Endeavour House HQ, the Wattisham Military Wives Choir will perform two songs.