From his three years as adviser to then Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon, James knows how important it is to look after all who serve, have served, and their families.
In one of his first parliamentary questions, James asked the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence to support efforts to do more to tackle the disadvantage bereaved services children can face in the education system. He was also very proud to join the Armed Forces All Party Parliamentary Group in January 2020, which exists to promote better understanding of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in Parliament and he is also a member of the All Party Group for Veterans.
King's Lynn is home to two military charities who do vital work in our communities - Scotty's Little Soldiers and The Bridge for Heroes.
Scotty’s Little Soldiers
Scotty’s Little Soldiers is a charity dedicated to supporting children & young people who have lost a parent whilst serving in the our Armed Forces.
James was delighted to visit Scotty's Little Soldiers for the first time shortly after his election in January 2020. James met the team at the King's Lynn HQ including Head of Families Stuart Dark and was briefed on the challenges facing bereaved service children and how Scotty's Little Soldiers goes about supporting them. He continues to support their efforts to support bereaved service families.
This is a fantastic local charity doing brilliant things for children from military families.
Bridge for Heroes
The Bridge for Heroes was set up by Mike Taylor just over 10 years ago, to provide help and support to those in the veteran community most in need, many of whom were finding the adjustment from service life to the civilian community difficult to manage. Since it started it has supported well over 1,000 veterans in a multitude of ways, from dealing with housing and benefit issues, to supporting those struggling mental health problems.
In June 2020, the charity's team of volunteers received the prestitigious Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.
With the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, the charity has quickly responded by reconfiguring their usual ‘drop-in’ approach to an ‘out-reach’ service. Volunteers have managed to provide an even wider range of support ranging from the delivery of essential provisions and prescriptions, to offering person to person advice and well-being support for those suffering the most from self-isolation. The charity has also invested in a new online chat and webinar services enabling veterans to maintain contact with their friends at the charity and their peer group.
James will continue to work in Parliament to ensure that the Armed Forces Covenant is honoured and that no one who serves, has served, or their families faces no disadvantage compared to other citizens as a result of their service.