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Interview | Islington Veterans in the Pandemic

We are committed to our pledge to support charities and our end-of-the-year chosen charity is the Islington Veterans Association. We aim to support their efforts with £1250.00 and hope to be able to give more, with your help.


We have reached out to the current Chair of the Association, Dennis Sharrocks MCMI MIWFM, to find out how they have been managing as an organisation and how their members (many of them elderly veterans) over the course of the pandemic and what the future holds.


The Islington Veterans have now for quite some time been key members of the community in Islington and surrounding areas and the Association has had an important role in the lives of those veterans and their families living there.


The engaging meetings, breakfast clubs and socials that they held pre-Covid, were often the highlight for many veterans and members of their families. With the lockdown and subsequent restrictions under the Tier system and further, the need for many of the older and more vulnerable members requiring self-isolation, the Association has had to become more creative to keep the members’ spirits up.


Impact of the pandemic for veterans


The coronavirus pandemic has impacted us all in ways that we may or may not even realise yet, and for veterans, it is the same. At the moment, the depth of the impact is dependent on their age, medical circumstances and whether they live alone or not.


IVA Chairman, Dennis Sharrocks (retired) said: “We have had some signpost referrals even from the British Legion, who have asked the Islington Veterans Association for assistance, for example to assist struggling housebound veterans, who were living within the borough of Islington, which we did from our own limited funds”.


He adds, “in addition to our limited financial resources, the biggest impact is the lack of social interaction and isolation that the veterans face.”


As an Association, they do hold regular Zoom meetings but IVA Chairman agrees with many others that it is not the same as actual direct human interaction. Sadly, this is further exacerbated by the fact that our older generation have struggled with online interaction and the use of such IT platforms.


Despite the tech-related struggles, the Association and their members persevere and have been able to successfully hold online memorial events and Remembrance parades so much so that they have even been referred to in the London Evening News.


Thinking ahead, and about the future, IVA Chairman is certain that there will be a more serious impact on our older generation in the months and years to come and he feels that it is vital to attract more funding and the younger generation, veterans and non-veterans alike, to ensure the Islington Veterans Association continues to thrive to provide a “home” and support for predominantly the older veterans but the younger ones too for years to come.


Please help us support the Islington Veterans and donate now. Every penny you donate, goes directly to veterans in the Islington area, to help them to re-create that feel of togetherness and belonging.


If there are any other ways, you wish to help, or volunteer or become a member (whether you are a veteran or not) please contact us on comms@penngroup.co.uk or get in touch with Islington Veterans directly, click HERE.

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