As a veteran, and a member of the veteran community in Wrexham, I know that more can be done to help those that have served our country. I am pleased that this Government wants to make the United Kingdom the best place in the world to be a veteran and is already doing much to make improvements.
Here in Wrexham, I have visited the Veterans’ Wing at HMP Berwyn to better understand what life is like for veterans who unfortunately fall into cycles of offending. I have been working with the Minister for Prisons and the Royal British Legion to secure additional funding for charities that support the Veterans’ Wing at HMP Berwyn, as well as veterans that have recently been released from prison.
I have also been campaigning for the establishment of a Veterans Commissioner in Wales, given our Wales' status as the only nation in the UK not to have one. I am pleased that the UK Government have agreed to fund a Commissioner in Wales, following the Welsh Government's refusal to appoint one. This is welcomed news and will make sure Welsh veterans are properly represented.
And I have helped the Wrexham Maelor Hospital with a grant which will support veterans and their families when they are in a hospital setting. The funding is for innovative projects within hospitals that could lead to significant change in how members of the Armed Forces community are documented, supported and have their care co-ordinated within acute hospital settings.
As a member of the Defence Select Committee I led an inquiry into the female military and veteran experience. I’ve heard first-hand from many serving females and veterans about their positive and negative experiences in the military, giving many women a voice. Once the inquiry is over, I’ll keep working to ensure women’s experience of the military improves.