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Fighting with Pride announces CEO of SSAFA as patron
Lt General Sir Andrew Gregory, CEO of SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity has been appointed as patron of Fighting with Pride (FWP).
FWP supports the health and well-being of LGBT+ veterans, Service personnel and their families, particularly those who were affected by the ban on the open service of LGBT+ personnel in the Armed Forces prior to the lifting of the ban on 12 January 2000. It aims to do this through social prescribing, community building and capacity building in Service charities and all organisations that support the Armed Forces Covenant.
Many of these veterans were left unsupported and fell on hard times. Disassociated from the military, they became isolated and often discarded by family. For many individuals, the circumstances, methods and consequences of dismissal precipitated debilitating mental health issues.
Says Lt General Sir Andrew Gregory, newly announced patron of Fighting with Pride and CEO of SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity: ’A great deal has changed for the better in the British Armed Forces since I joined the Army in the early 1980s. A key milestone occurred on 12 January 2000 when the ban on homosexuals being military personnel was removed. While there will always be more to do, the progress over the past 20 years across the Armed Forces to make them more inclusive and to value all people for the skills they bring to the organisation is to be greatly celebrated.
‘However, many of those discharged before 12 January 2000 still suffer from the consequences of that discrimination. Fighting with Pride seeks to ensure that everybody can serve in the military while being true to themselves and free from discrimination, as well as championing the case of those previously discharged. I am therefore most honoured to have been asked to be a patron of Fighting with Pride; in commending this cause to you, I hope that, collectively, we can address some of the wrongs that have previously been done.’
Caroline Paige and Craig Jones MBE, Joint Chief Executives of Fighting with Pride add: ‘Since the beginning of our journey in support of LGBT+ veterans we have been humbled by the commitment and support of the Service charities including SSAFA. As we develop these relationships we are delighted to welcome Sir Andrew to Fighting with Pride as our first patron.’
Founding supporters of FWP include Stonewall, SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity and NHS England. FWP is a member of NHS England’s Armed Forces Expert Patient Participation Group, and is developing heartfelt relationships with NHS MH trusts and a wide range of military charities, including The Royal British Legion, also as a founding partner. FWP also has strong connections with the Services through its LGBT+ networks and is cultivating positive relationships with the government and Whitehall, to enable rapid progress with a fast-moving agenda.
FWP will launch its website later this year. For more information about the work of SSAFA, click here.
About SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity
SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity has been providing lifelong support to our Forces and their families since 1885. Last year our teams of volunteers and employees helped more than 85,000 people in need, from Second World War veterans to young men and women who have served in more recent conflicts, and their families. SSAFA understands that behind every uniform is a person. We are here for that person – any time they need us, in any way they need us, for as long as they need.
About Fighting with Pride
Fighting with Pride supports the health and well-being of LGBT+ veterans, Service personnel and their families, particularly those who were affected by the ban on the open service of LGBT+ personnel in the Armed Forces prior to the lifting of the ban on 12 January 2000.
FWP’s aim is to drive forward the support, health and well-being of LGBT+ veterans, through social prescribing, community building and capacity building in Service charities and all organisations that support the Armed Forces Covenant.
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