New chapter for library

A veterans support group is set to open a new chapter in a former community library by keeping it open three days a week while also having it as a new base.

Pike Hill Library
Pike Hill Library

Veterans Association UK has agreed to move in to Pike Hill Library in Langwyth Road, Brunshaw, closed by Lancashire County Council in recent cost-saving measures.

The VAUK, which offers support and guidance on a range of issued to veterans of the British armed services, is currently based in Springhill Road.

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Founder and chief executive Tony Hayes said: “The former library is a much more suitable premises for what we need. It is twice as big with its own gardens and car park.

“The good news is that my PA Rosemary Wilson, who is a former teacher, has agreed to run the library three days a week. We have yet to decide the days.”

Northern Ireland veteran Tony, who suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, said the group provides counselling therapy to other PTSD sufferers, and the library building will be a more suitable location.

He added: “We have access to registered psychotherapists around the country, and I am also a trained counsellor.

“The library has gardens which we may use for therapeutic purposes and there is also the potential for allotments.”

The VAUK, which looks after former service personnel across the country, has been instrumental in lobbying the Government to gain better deals for veterans in terms of housing and also worked on raising suicide awareness.

Tony, who served with the 1st Regiment Royal Horse Artillery, said: “We have intervened in some 39 attempted suicides relating to veterans.

“We have also just re-housed our 111th veteran, which is a big part of what we do.”

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The VAUK is looking to move into the former library in the next two months and is also seeking Lottery support to help carry out minor refurbishments.

Anyone interested in volunteering can call the group on 01282 219391.