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Legion launches Pop-in centre in Plymouth

28 March 2014

Armed Forces Community in Devon and Cornwall to benefit from new improved services

Devon & Cornwall Area Plan - May 2013 to September 2014 - Click Here

Military personnel, civic dignitaries and local beneficiaries gathered in Plymouth today for the launch of The Royal British Legion's new public 'Pop in' Advice and Information Centre in the heart of the city centre.

Plymouth Area Office2

Based on Armada Way, it is the second of 16 brand new centres that the Legion will open in major cities across the UK, as part of its biggest ever transformation to bring its work closer to the Armed Forces community. Each centre will offer a welcoming space for Service personnel and veterans to get practical help and advice, and for members of the public to find out more about the wide range of services and community activities provided by the Legion. The Legion has also made office space available to partner charities Combat Stress and Regular Forces Employment Association. Through this collaborative approach the aim is to provide a more seamless beneficiary service.

The Legion has also announced a new national Freephone helpline number, 0808 802 8080, which will allow people to get help and support from a trained adviser over the phone, as well as the launch of a new online information service via its website.

The centre in Plymouth was officially opened by Her Majesty's Lord Lieutenant of Devon and Cornwall, Sir Eric Dancer KCVO CBE JP and Colonel Edward Bolitho OBE, who were invited to cut the ribbon by the Legion's National Vice Chairman Terry Whittles. Following the opening, guests were invited to explore the new Advice and Information Centre and meet with current and former Service personnel, Legion beneficiaries, members and volunteers.

Sir Eric Dancer, Lord Lieutenant of Devon said "Devon and Cornwall boast a strong Service tradition and with a large veteran community there is a clear demand for the Legion's services.

"The local team are already making a real impact on the lives of Armed Forces families in this area, providing support to nearly 1000 beneficiaries in the last year alone. The new 'Pop in' centre in Plymouth will make the Legion yet more accessible to the Service community and allow the charity to reach out to more members of the Armed Forces, past and present, in need.

"The range of practical advice and support available through this new facility is extremely impressive and will make a real difference to the local community."

Dymphna Knowles, the Legion’s Area Manager for Devon and Cornwall, added: "Both nationally and locally, the Legion recognises that the profile of our beneficiaries is constantly changing and that we must continue to improve our services to reflect that need. 

"Being able to pick up a phone to a trained adviser via our new national Freephone number, looking online for information or coming along to an office like this where they can talk face to face represents major progress.

"My team is totally committed to providing the best possible service for members of the Service community, and their families, in Devon and Cornwall.  From today it will be easier than ever before for people to find the help and support they need so if you want to know more, please do 'pop in'."

Notes to Editors:

  • As the nation’s leading Armed Forces charity, The Royal British Legion spends £1.6 million a week, or £84 million a year, on vital welfare work, providing social, emotional and financial care and support to serving and ex-Service people and their families.
     
  • The Legion is also the national Custodian of Remembrance and safeguards the Military Covenant between the nation and its Armed Forces. It is best known for the annual Poppy Appeal and its emblem, the red poppy. 
     
  • The Legion’s new 'Pop in' Advice and Information Centre to serve the Devon and Cornwall area and is based at 174 Armada Way, Plymouth PL1 1LB. Its normal hours of opening will be Monday to Friday from 10am to 4 pm, commencing on Monday 31 March 2014.
     
  • Two 'Pop in' Advice and Information Centres are currently open in Liverpool and Plymouth. A further 14 centres will open during 2014.  The location of these will be as follows:
  • Aylesbury Belfast Birmingham
    Bristol Brighton Cardiff
    Colchester Derby Leeds
    London Manchester Newcastle
    Southampton  Swindon  

    (Further details and timings to follow)
     
  • The Legion’s national Contact Centre is open from 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week.  Call us on 0808 802 8080 (calls are free from UK landlines and main mobile networks.)
  • The Legion'’s online information service can be accessed at support.britishlegion.org.uk
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