Soldiers’ spectral silhouettes appear across the north-east
Ghostly figures, representing fallen soldiers whose names are found on war memorials in England’s north-east, have started appearing across the region. Popping up in workplaces, places of worship and at events, the figures are part of a national campaign by the charity Remembered, in the run-up to Armistice Day.
County Durham-based charity Finchale Group is behind the appearances, which are designed to bring members of the Armed Forces and civilians closer together.Finchale Group is using the ‘There But Not There’ campaign – funded by the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust – to raise awareness of the skills and knowledge that Armed Forces people can add to the community, and to honour the fallen.
Lt Col (Retired) Mel Pears MBE, chief executive of Finchale Group, explains: ‘Finchale Group has supported the Armed Forces community for a long time, so we know the wealth of skills these people have and the huge value they bring to public life.All too often the wider community is unaware of this, and of the work done to support the Armed Forces.
‘The silhouettes not only serve to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice in service, but also those members and Veterans of the Armed Forces who continue to play a vital role in the community today.’
The silhouettes have already appeared at some of Finchale Group’s partner organisations across the north-east – including Johnnie Johnson retirement homes, the North East Veterans Network, and the Brownies and Cadets.
Altogether, ten silhouettes will tour nine partner organisations – all of which work with Finchale Group to provide a diverse range of services to Veterans and members of the Armed Forces.
A range of events in the lead-up to Armistice Day, including coffee mornings, talks and drop-in events will help Finchale Group to reach the wider community.
Mel adds: ‘Finchale Group works to support people who need help to manage money problems, confidence and mental health issues, address drug and alcohol misuse, and resolve issues with housing.We also provide vocational training courses.Our team is made up of Armed Forces people and we help many Veterans with the challenges they face in civilian life. That is why this campaign is so important.’
Finchale Group will host a display of photographs of the silhouettes in its new headquarters, which are due to open soon.
The ‘There But Not There’ campaign is inspired by the original installation of silhouettes at Penshurst Church in Kent during the remembrance period of 2016.Marking the centenary of the end of the First World War, the campaign has three key purposes: to commemorate, educate and heal.
ABOUT FINCHALE GROUP
Finchale Group is an independent charity, and leading provider of specialist employment programmes and holistic services that support individuals and their families in specialist and disadvantaged groups to achieve their full potential.It supports people to make positive and lasting changes to form a brighter future for themselves, their families and their communities.
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