Unique plan to put message on bins across Sheffield to help locate military veterans who have fallen off the radar

Members of the armed forces covenant – an organisation which looks out for the interests of ex-services personnel – have held their first meeting in Sheffield since the end of Covid-19 restrictions.

By Errol Edwards
Thursday, 28th July 2022, 12:59 pm

Held at the Town Hall, one of the items discussed was how to connect together the many ex-servicemen and women living in Sheffield.

Tony Cooper, principle trustee of the charity, said: “The purpose of the scheme is to let the veterans know they’re not forgotten, but also to offer them friendship and support, wherever needed.

WW2 ,and Blitz survivors Veterans L-R Cyril Elliott Roy Ashton. WW2

“One of the methods to be used to reach veterans, with the help of Sheffield City Council, is to get a simple question out on the dustbins asking for veterans who are not involved in ex-service associations and the like, to contact the number on the flyer just to register basic contact details.

"When we have the data, we will start to offer free trips to the National Arboretum in Staffordshire to reassure them that they are not 'forgotten' “

Home Mess, based in Farm Road, close to the city centre, offers a range of services to veterans, and their wives/partners.

From all manner of advice to providing gardening services to eligible members.

1980s Armed forces equipment

One of the things Home Mess wants to achieve is to make certain that ex-servicemen or women who leave Sheffield to serve their country are able to remain on the social housing list while they’re living away from the city.

Tony said: “If a bloke, or young lady is born, and brought up in Sheffield, and signs for the service.

“Can they at the same time sign for social housing, and can they have a system where their social application can be tagged.”

At the next covenant meeting, members want to confirm whether new recruits have been given the information, and are signing up for social housing when they sign up for the armed forces.

Phil Thicket Falklands Veteran

Tony said: ”So in October we’re getting the housing, and service side of things to see if they can answer that side of the question, as to how many have actually signed up, and been told they can put in an application for social housing which will count as their waiting time when they come out of the mob.

“That’s where it all starts, that is the actual birthplace of the idea, so they can actually get on the waiting list and come out 15,22 years with 22 years waiting time.

“That’s one thing we were pushing, but it all stopped for Covid so we’ll have to refresh that.”

Home Mess will also be holding a ‘top table sale’ at Crystal Peaks Shopping Centre, on September 9 and 10, to raise funds to help them achieve their goals.

Home Mess Badge

Crystal Peaks Shopping Centre have given the charity free use of an unused shop unit to hold a two day sale.

After the sale The Mess hope to donate unsold items to the local charity shops in the shopping centre.

“We have all sorts, books, jigsaws,DVDs,pictures,bric-a-bac, you name it.”

For further information about the charity go to the Home Mess Facebook page.

Members of the Home Mess
Home Mess members