Armed Forces Week launched in Croydon
A week of events dedicated to supporting the armed forces has been launched by the council.
Experts in finance, social and health care and employment will be offering advice on how returning servicemen can be re-integrated best into society.
A flag raising ceremony was held outside Croydon Council offices on Monday leading to national Armed Forces Day on Saturday June 30.
The council was also the first London borough to form a covenant giving preferential treatment to helping forces personnel find housing.
Former Royal Marine Guy Jackson, who left the services following injury in March this year is speaking about servicemen in civilian life.
He said: "When David Cameron first talked about the covenant I thought it was political rhetoric to get votes so I was very impressed it was pushed through. Croydon is one of only four areas in the country to bring it in and the only one in London."
Mr Jackson, who joined the Royal Marines in 1999 and served in Northern Ireland, Sierra Lione and Iraq, is working with company Reds10 who find apprenticeships for ex-servicemen in construction.
He said: "What many servicemen don’t realise is skills they take for granted like organisation, the discipline of turning up on time and following instructions, makes them highly employable. It is about encouraging them on their transferrable skills and providing opportunities."
The Croydon Armed Forces Community Covenant was signed last year and aims to provide help with work and training, housing, school admissions, adult social service and medical needs, as well as encouraging local community support for servicemen.
Colonel Ian McRobbie, representative deputy lieutenant and the Queen’s representative in Croydon, said: "I am very proud of Croydon's support and feel privileged to be part of the Covenant working group.
"I would like to congratulate fellow members who have shown a positive commitment to maintain and enhance relations with all military people in the borough and wish Croydon Armed Forces Week much success."