Joint Royal British Legion and North Norfolk Railway scheme on track to provide opportunities for ex-service personnel

Royal British Legion at the Tracks and Trenches event at Holt Station. Picture : ANTONY KELLY

Royal British Legion at the Tracks and Trenches event at Holt Station. Picture : ANTONY KELLY - Credit: copyright ARCHANT 2017

A training and volunteering scheme aimed at giving ex-service personnel a chance to gain new skills and widen their social horizons was launched on the North Norfolk Railway at the weekend.

The project, which is a collaboration between the railway and the Royal British Legion (RBL), will see recent service leavers and veterans referred to the RBL East Anglia and Essex welfare team.

The team, which is part of the RLB Poppy Support services offering help to serving and ex-service personnel ranging from financial aid and careers advice, to support with budgeting and pensions, will work in partnership with the North Norfolk Railway to find suitable volunteer roles.

RBL area manager Kate Green said the scheme would not only encourage people to learn new skills ranging from engineering and gardening, to catering and carpentry, but also give them a chance to meet like-minded people.

'We are very proud to be working with the North Norfolk Railway,' she added. 'It is an iconic and important part of the area and to be able to refer ex-service personnel into volunteer roles is a great opportunity for all involved.


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'Not only will it encourage them to develop and learn, but it will also be a great way to meet new people, provide new focus and offer each person a chance to help sustain such wonderful heritage and be part of history.'

The project, which was launched during the Poppy Line's two-day Tracks and Trenches WW1 event, aims to provide roles that could offer a route in to a new area for those referred, Ms Green said, with all skill sets and ages welcome.

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Those signing up would join the Poppy Line's 400-strong army of volunteers, who come from as far afield as Leicester and Northampton and spend between a day a month and five days a week helping keep the railway running.

Poppy Line managing director Hugh Harkett said: The North Norfolk Railway is delighted to support the British Legion in this excellent way, and I would echo Kate's comments on the Legion's behalf that this is a splendid way for us to co-operate together and encourage ex-service personnel into our railway.'

For more information on Royal British Legion projects, visit www.britishlegion.org.uk

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