Official opening of flagship project in Burnley that will help armed forces' veterans and their families

VIPs and representatives of armed forces groups are coming to Burnley next month for the grand opening of Healthier Heroes, a hub for veterans and their families.

The ribbon cutting ceremony will be conducted by the Lord Lieutenenant of Lancashire, the Rt Hon Lord Shuttleworth and the High Sheriff Mrs Catherine Penny, and attended by community representatives.

Healthier Heroes has been established in one of Burnley's most historic buildings in Elizabeth Street that once served as the original town hall.

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The driving force behind the project is Andrew Powell, an ex soldier who established Healthier Heroes in Wigan two years ago.

Ex soldier Andrew Powell is the driving force behind Healthier Heroes which will officially open in Burnley next month

Andrew always hoped he could bring the project to his hometown. Now that dream has come true and the Burnley Healthier Heroes will be the flagship for the project 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 of Healthier Heroes 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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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The official opening takes place on Saturday, December 5th, with a guided tour of the building at 10am for the 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.