Britannia Veterans Centre in Norwich is example for country to learn from, says MP
- Credit: Archant
A pioneering support centre for veterans should be replicated around the country, a Norwich MP has said.
Britannia Veterans Centre, in the former Britannia Barracks in Norwich, has brought together a wealth of charities and services under one roof to make them easy to access.
It has gone from strength to strength since opening two months ago, and bosses hope to move from five-day-per-week opening to seven in the near future, once more people have received training.
Clive Lewis, MP for Norwich South, visited the hub yesterday and described what had been achieved as 'breathtaking'.
'I think if you've been in the Armed Forces, the camaraderie you can sense here and the genuine feeling of optimism to help people out is great,' he said. 'I don't know if there's anything else like this in the country.'
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He added he hoped people around the country would learn from the centre.
David Vaughan-Jones, 34, of Norwich, was medically discharged from the Royal Navy in 2003 suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
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He battled with drug addiction and alcohol misuse and ended up in prison.
Upon his release he helped set up the veterans centre, and said it was already helping people.
'I know at least two veterans who have been able to stay out of prison because of this place.'
He has also founded his own company, Didg Vet Ware, which makes gym clothing with positive messages on it to raise awareness of mental health issues.
Will Styles, governor of Norwich Prison, said he was '100pc behind' the initiative to give a lifeline to people who 'gave their country everything in Adghanistan or Iraq'.