King’s Lynn-based heroes charity hoping for famous Norfolk patron

A charity which offers support to servicemen and women and veterans wants a well-known Norfolk resident to become its patron.

The Bridge for Heroes has operated as a charity since September last year but was officially launched along with its Lynn headquarters, in South Clough Lane, yesterday.

In a low-key affair, charity founder Mike Taylor opened the charity's first dedicated town centre facility to offer emotional support for those suffering from post-traumatic stress.

The army veteran said: 'Now that we are officially open and have our vision set out, it would be great to have someone well-known from Norfolk like Stephen Fry or General Lord Richard Dannatt [former head of the British Army] as our patron.'

Lord Dannatt has already welcomed the opening of the centre and said it will be 'very valuable' to those looking for emotional and practical support as a consequence of military operations and service.

The charity is hoping to open centres in Hunstanton and Cromer as well as hotels in the two coastal towns to give serving and former troops and their families a free holiday by 2014.

The centres will all also operate as a charity shop but the Lynn centre also boasts a small museum of British military history.

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Mr Taylor, who served in the Gulf, Northern Ireland and Bosnia, added he also wants to open a base in Lynn by 2014 which will take end-of-line stock from national chain stores and sell them in the charity's centres.

It is hoped that the vision for helping soldiers, veterans and their families in Norfolk could be replicated across the rest of the country.

? The centre is open from 10am until 3pm from Monday to Saturday.

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