Rory has welcomed The Royal British Legion’s launch of the first Handy Vans Service in Cumbria.

This service, which is delivered free of charge, gives home repairs and maintenance to eligible Armed Forces personnel, veterans and their families, dependents or carers, allowing them to remain safe in their homes. It is available to both serving and ex-serving personnel and will be delivered in Cumbria by Neil Pantin from Carlisle, who is the first fitter to be employed by the Legion in the county. There are now 23 Royal British Legion Handy Vans operating across the UK, and it is one of the many services supported by funds raised by the annual Poppy Appeal in Cumbria.

Mr Pantin said, “Our aim is to help people live independently in their own homes – a lot of tradesman might not want to come out to change a light bulb or fix a tap, put up a shelf or fit a grab rail, but it’s those smaller jobs that give people the freedom to remain safe and independent in their own homes. I’ve seen the service work in other cities and people are so appreciative and I’ve met some amazing ex-servicemen and women along the way. I’m excited now to be replicating that service in Cumbria.”

Commenting on this, Rory said: “We owe our soldiers and veterans the most profound debt of gratitude and I very much welcome the news that Handy Vans in coming to Cumbria. The Royal British Legion does the most fantastic work in supporting our Armed Forces Community and I would like to pay a huge tribute to them and to Neil, for bringing this service to Cumbria and for all that they do”.

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