In a collaboration between the Ministry of Defence, RAFA, 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust, NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group and Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, we are making the final arrangements in preparation for the Armed Forces Day Picnic in the Park on Sunday 30th June
The event will take place on Sunday 30th June from 12pm – 4pm at Sandford Park, College Road, Cheltenham.
With representation and activities from local military organisations and charities, as well as our local fire service, the event promises to be a fun afternoon for all the family with fairground rides and lots of stalls. Importantly, the event is an opportunity to celebrate the recent Veteran Aware accreditation achieved by Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
Event organiser and Operational Lead for the Armed Forces, Quality Improvement & Project Nurse at Gloucestershire Hospitals, Natalie Bynorth said: “We are so excited about the event and would like to encourage the local community to join in the celebrations and bring their families along to what is set to be an entertaining day.
“We couldn’t have organised this event without the generous support of the Ministry of Defence, 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust and NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group. As well as having lots of fun on the fairground, stalls and face painting alongside entertainment from the Innsworth Military Wives Choir and the Salvation Army Band, it gives us an opportunity to highlight the support that is available for members of our armed forces, veterans and their families across our county.
Deborah Lee, Chief Executive of Gloucestershire Royal Hospital said “I am incredibly proud that our hospitals have been awarded Veteran Aware status. Currently, we have 15 Armed Forces Champions who work in both clinical and non-clinical areas; our champions are volunteers but are proving to be a valuable resource in visiting our veteran patients and raising awareness throughout our workforce of the unique issues facing armed forces personnel and their families. We have also forged relationships with Imjin Barracks and local representatives from SSAFA, RAFA, Combat Stress, Royal British Legion and other military charities and organisations and are immensely grateful for their support”.
Jonathan Thomas, Community Services Manager with 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are delighted that we have been able to jointly sponsor this event to celebrate the commitment that our armed forces have given to this country. By joining together as the NHS across Gloucestershire, we want to demonstrate our support and commitment to the health needs of veterans – both their physical and mental health and wellbeing. Within 2gether NHS Foundation Trust and Gloucestershire Care Services, we are developing further understanding of the support required for veterans, educating staff on the needs and desires of the armed services and strengthening connections with other supporting parties to provide effective signposting. There are so many fantastic initiatives in Gloucestershire to support veterans and we want to help promote this where-ever we can. Over the last year we have strengthened our commitment to the Military Covenant and aim to design services and support to meet the need. To help us with this we are working in partnership with veterans to design our approach which is effective and meaningful.”
Mary Hutton, Accountable Officer at NHS Gloucestershire CCG said: “We are delighted to be able to support this event. Our NHS Information Bus will be there on the day to help with enquiries about local health and wellbeing services and listen to feedback from local veterans and families about NHS services in the county”.