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PM backs regional daily’s campaign on military veterans

A campaign by a regional daily demanding for more support for military veterans has won the support of Prime Minister David Cameron.

The Teesside Evening Gazette launched its Fighting For Our Heroes campaign last month calling for ex-servicemen and women to be given the care and support they need.

The paper wants to see more specialist counselling for those who leave the forces, improved access to social housing and support from local businesses and politicians to create jobs and training.

Mr Cameron has said he backs the campaign and the Government is taking action to improve support for veterans.

He said: “It is so important to give our military veterans the support they need to build successful lives when they leave the armed forces. I know that making that transition can sometimes be difficult.

“The Government has already taken action to improve the support on offer. For example it has invested £7m in specialist mental health services, prioritised veterans in urgent need of social housing and provided early access to tailored jobseeking support through the work programme.

“I am on the side of our veterans, which is why I believe that campaigns like Fighting For Our Heroes are so important.”

The paper’s campaign has also won support from Falklands War veteran Simon Weston, who was severely injured during the conflict, along with a number of local MPs.

Gazette editor Chris Styles said:  “The stories of how people who had served their country with distinction to then struggle to cope after leaving the military were incredibly moving. It is wrong that there is nowhere near sufficient support to help them come to terms with what they have experienced and to help them gain a foothold back in society.

“The reaction we have had so far has been overwhelmingly positive from politicians, organisations, the general public and our former servicemen and women. We will continue to campaign to make a real difference to their lives.”