Flagship project for struggling ex-servicemen to be named in honour of Burnley soldier a decade after his death

The home of a flagship project, that will help veterans who may be struggling to get back on their feet, is to be named in honour of a young soldier who died 10 years ago in Afghanistan.
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Lance Corporal Jordan Dean Bancroft was just 25 when he died.

His parents, Tony and Sheila Bancroft, agreed for the armed forces Healthier Heroes building in Burnley's Elizabeth Street, to be named in his his honour. One of Burnley's most historic buildings, it once served as the original town hall.

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Jordan, who was born in Burnley and later moved to Earby, joined the Army in September 2001 and, on completion of his training, was posted to 1st Battalion, The Queen’s Lancashire Regiment before its amalgamation on 1 July 2006.

Lance Corporal Jordan Dean Bancroft.Lance Corporal Jordan Dean Bancroft.
Lance Corporal Jordan Dean Bancroft.

Throughout his time in the Army, he served with distinction on three operational tours and he was deployed twice to Iraq on Op TELIC 2 and 11.

Andrew Powell, an ex soldier himself who is the driving force behind Healthier Heroes, said it was an 'honour' to be able to name the building in Jordan's memory as the duo served together in Iraq.

Andrew said: "Jordan was the heart and soul of the regiment. He had a beaming smile and was a highly professional and capable junior non-commissioned officer - one who relished life in the army.

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"Jordan was tragically killed doing what he loved, so it is our honour to be able to name the building after Jordan and create a legacy within the community.

Tony and Sheila Bancroft with the portrait Andrew Powell commissioned as a tribute for their son Jordan.Tony and Sheila Bancroft with the portrait Andrew Powell commissioned as a tribute for their son Jordan.
Tony and Sheila Bancroft with the portrait Andrew Powell commissioned as a tribute for their son Jordan.

" My thanks go to Tony and Sheila, for allowing us to do this and for being ambassadors for Healthier Heroes CIC."

In a poignant tribute Andrew commissioned artist David Bryant to paint a portrait of Jordan with his mum which he presented to the couple.

And Bryant has painted a second portrait of Jordan that will take pride of place at Bancroft House It will be unveiled at the official opening of Healthier Heroes on Saturday, December 5th.

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The launch is the fulfillment of a dream for Andrew who began the project in Wigan two years ago.

He always wanted to bring the scheme to his hometown and now the Burnley base will be the flagship for Healthier Heroes that will reach out to ex soldiers across the county to help take them on the journey from rock bottom to getting back on their feet.

The aim is to provide 24 hour support on different levels for ex veterans operating on a two tier system with the first one being complete support for the veterans to help them face their issues and deal with any drug related problems and addictions they may have. They will receive intensive and professional help and counselling.

Then they can move to the second tier where they can live independently within the project, managing their own living space, learn how to cook and budget and also look at finding employment or go into re-training.

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Since Healthier Heroes, a community interest not for profit company, was launched it has helped 200 veterans and their families and Andrew wants to extend that even further to the whole of Lancashire.

Already in the space of a few months, Andrew and his team have been inundated with offers of support from across Lancashire in may different ways as the huge task of refurbishing the building has been underway.

They are already currently working with 23 veterans in Lancashire providing them with different levels of support.

The official opening includes a guided tour of the building at 10am for VIPs followed by the official ribbon cutting ceremony at 11am.

The public are welcome to attend but they will be required to observe social distancing rules.

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