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Big kick off for new support group

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By Abbey Morton
Annan and Eskdale
Big kick off for new support group
BREAKFAST AT GALABANK . . . left to right: Annan branch vice-chairman, John Rogerson, Sgt Claire Hawke-Williams, Annan Athletic chairman Philip Jones, secretary and welfare officer Archie Dryburgh

A NEW support group is being set up for serving and veteran members of the armed forces in the Annan area.

Annan Athletic Football Club is working in partnership with RBLS Annan Branch and an RAF serving sergeant to set up a new club that will support veterans and serving personnel when they come home on leave.

Sgt Claire Hawke-Williams, who is serving with the RAF and is working from home in Annan, advised that whilst some individuals leave the military and are quite happy to leave it behind, there’s a significantly large proportion who miss aspects of military life and can often feel lost or isolated out in the civilian world.

She said: “In light of Covid-19 we also have a lot more service personnel working from home, or even coming home more often during periods of leave and stand down, for some of these it can feel quite isolating too being away from their military lives for prolonged periods of time.

“We want to provide them all with a space where they can be themselves around likeminded individuals; where you can catch up with a cuppa, enjoy the military banter, talk about their time in the armed forces (or anything in general) and take part in a few events and activities, which will be about having fun and creating new friendships along the way.”

Secretary and welfare officer of Annan Branch Legion Scotland

Archie Dryburgh explained he has been talking to Annan Athletic Football Club chairman Phil Jones about doing something at the club sometime.

He said: “So, when Claire asked to meet and come up with this idea, the branch fully supported it.

“It’s now down to getting on with the planning of this joint working to see what we can do. We are already looking at some walks and other events that can be organised to bring some fun to this group.”

The first meeting will be on Saturday November 20 at 11 am and all serving and ex-service personel are welcome for tea/coffee and a breakfast roll.

A discussion will then take part with those attending to plan future events, then those attending can watch the game that day as a thank you for their service by Annan Athletic Football Club.

Anyone wishing to attend the first event can email Archie or phone on [email protected] or 07825633187

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