Community group recognised for work with Forces veterans
WEST Lancs Ark CIC, which is based in Skelmersdale, has been voted one of the top three organisations in Lancashire by Greater Manchester and Lancashire Royal British Legion and nominated for the Support to the Armed Forces Community Organisation (Third Sector) Award.
Centre West Lancs Ark works with a wide variety of clients. They have an open door policy and aim to see anyone one who wants assistance.
A spokesperson for the Ark said: “The Ark has worked tirelessly with our veterans this year and has been successful in helping with rehoming, training, voluntary work employment and placing in further education.
“All of this would not have been possible without the help of our volunteers and the support of our local councillors who also provided funding to help us with this work.
“Any veterans in need of support please contact us at the Ecumenical Centre for any further information - we offer help and support to veterans of any age.”
Lee, who has served in the Royal Green Jackets for 12 years, has used Ark’s services.
He said: “Upon discharge I found it difficult to adjust to civilian life and was unable to hold down a job and my marriage broke down.
“This resulted in me becoming homeless and I was also suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
“I found it difficult to access mental health services and I was not a priority for housing. Hwever, another vet told me about West Lancs Ark and since engaging with them they have helped me access mental health services and put me in touch with the Legion who have helped me furnish a home that the Ark helped me find.
“They continue to assist me and I am grateful for their support, they do a fantastic job and I cannot praise them enough.
“ I would encourage any vet or friend of a vet who needs help to get in touch.”
Meanwhile the group has recently won the Best Community Support Initiative – Lancashire Award from the 2018 North West Enterprise Awards hosted by SME-News.
A spokesperson for West Lancs Ark CIC said: “We are very proud of this achievement for our work with the local community.
“The Ark offer support and help for homelessness, unemployment, ex-offenders, those recovering from substance misuse and veterans.
“Successes involve re-homing, training, volunteering and career opportunities, as well as placing in further education. We rely on grants, donations of money and essential items, volunteers and support from the local community. If you think you or your organisation could help us, please get in touch with us at the Ecumenical Centre.”