Celebration event held to mark ten years of charity that supports veterans

Steve Davis with Burnley volunteer winner Phil Chamberlain
Steve Davis with Burnley volunteer winner Phil Chamberlain

A celebration evening to mark 10 years of a veterans’ charity was enjoyed by 100 guests.

Veterans in Communities hosted the dinner at Turf Moor in Burnley to celebrate their anniversary after being founded in Bacup in 2012.

The charity relocated to Haslingden when the former Mary Hindle Centre in Bury Road was gifted to the charity.

Staff and volunteers work across East Lancashire and Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale, running outreach and support cafes in many areas and a drop-in shop in Accrington.

Trustee Bob Smethurst and his wife Chris

It was supported by business sponsors: Stonegate IT and Filter Fabrications in Haslingden, Action Together from Rochdale, Rossendale Borough Council and Vision Commercial Kitchens, Heywood.

Chief executive Amanda Walton said: “I would like to give special thanks to Amy Thompson, my right-hand woman, for all her help. I would also like to thank everyone who came and enjoyed the evening.

“It was just a perfect way to celebrate 10 years of VIC being here to support veterans.”

After-dinner speaker former World Champion Snooker Player Steve Davis was a delight with his witty talk covering everything from tales from the snooker table to receiving his MBE and OBE from the late Queen Elizabeth II.

Special guest speaker Steve Davis with Rossendale volunteer winner Darren Horsnell

Special ‘Excellence in Volunteering’ awards were handed out and recipients were: Burnley and Pendle - Phil Chamberlain; Ribble Valley - Rob Flowers, Hyndburn - Pat McEvoy; Rochdale - Debbie Johnson-Brown; Heywood - Ian Rosales; Rossendale - Darren Horsnell.

Two special awards were handed out: Special Thanks and Gratitude – Carol Duckworth and Commitment – Operations Manager Bob Elliott.

Mayor of Rossendale Councillor Anne Cheetham recounted, as a girl, seeing the Pathé news at the cinema of veterans in Malaya and Korea during the Second World War, and she had never forgotten those photographs.