Chelsea Pensioners Veteran Outreach Hits the Road

10th April 2024

Chelsea Pensioner in scarlet uniform sat with two Veterans talking and smiling
Last week, the Royal Hospital’s Chelsea Pensioners Veteran Outreach programme embarked on a nationwide roadshow to connect with Veterans in Northeast England. 

Our Veteran Outreach programme aims to connect Service Veterans who may be feeling lonely or isolated. It recognises their service and fosters a sense of community and support by bringing Veterans from all three Armed Forces together.

A group of Chelsea Pensioners visited Northeast England last week as a pilot to extend the programme nationwide. The area was selected for the first such event due to the high proportion of Service Veterans in the region.

A Day of Comradeship and Celebration

On 3rd April, in partnership with East Durham Veterans Trust in Seaham, Veterans were invited to join a group of Chelsea Pensioners at Seaham Community Centre. They enjoyed a buffet lunch and singalong session featuring some favourite classics. Mayor of Seaham and local MP, Graham Morris, also attended the event. 

Following the event, the Chelsea Pensioners gathered at Seaham Seafront for photographs alongside the striking steel ‘Tommy’ sculpture, crafted by Durham artist Ray Lonsdale. 

The day continued with visits to several local care homes, where residents were treated to a few songs from the Chelsea Pensioner singers.

A small group also visited the Charles Dickens care home in Barnard Castle where they met with 99-year-old Arthur Walker, a World War II Lancaster Bomber rear gunner. 

Group of Chelsea Pensioners in scarlet uniform stood on a small stage singing
A Journey to Newcastle

The ‘Roadshow’ continued Thursday 4th April, making its way to Newcastle Labour Club. Partnering with the Fusiliers Association Northeast and the Light Dragoons Association for another day of singing and socialising. The event was well attended with over 60 Veterans and their partners joining in the day. 

Find out more about the Chelsea Pensioners Veteran Outreach programme here.

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