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Borough ready to celebrate Armed Forces Day

Press release   •   Jun 16, 2014 14:50 BST

The borough of Rochdale is preparing to join towns and cities across the UK this month in celebration of national Armed Forces Day.

Activities take place week commencing 23 June on the run up to Armed Forces Day which takes place on Saturday 28 June, celebrating the UK’s armed forces – past and present.

To mark the build up to the special day, flag raising events will be held on Monday 23 June in Heywood (11am, Heywood Memorial Gardens), Middleton (10am, Memorial Gardens), Milnrow (11.30am, Milnrow War Memorial), Littleborough (12.30pm, War Memorial) and Rochdale (10am, town hall).  Everyone is welcome.

The hugely popular Heywood 1940s Day returns on Saturday 28 June, packed with entertainment and family activities across the town including re-enactments, military exhibits including tanks, vintage vehicles, an Armed Forces parade and ghost train plus a full programme of live music.

On Tuesday 24 June Falklands War Veteran Simon Weston OBE will be the guest speaker at an event at Rochdale Town Hall aimed at business leaders across the borough, looking at the work of Rochdale’s Community Covenant so far, and the transferrable skills of ex Armed Forces personnel. During the evening Simon, who was badly burned when his ship Sir Galahad was attacked, will share his story, talk about his life and convey his message of single-minded determination.  There will also be short presentations from the Ministry of Defence, other Armed Forces experts and music from a military jazz band.  Book online at

Armed Forces Day helps raise public awareness of the contribution made by those who serve and have served in Her Majesty's Armed Forces and gives the nation an opportunity to show support for the men and women who make up the ex-services community said Councillor Alan McCarthy, Lead Member for the Armed Forces:

“Once again I am proud of all the activities that are taking place to celebrate national Armed Forces Day, not just on the day itself but all week.  We have a fine programme of events and activities and I hope to see people of all ages enjoying them.”

Rochdale was one of the first councils in the country to sign the Armed Forces Community Covenant last November, aimed at encouraging local communities to support services that promote and encourage activities that help integrate Armed Forces personnel back into civilian life. 

For details of what’s on visit

The council signed the Armed Forces Community Covenant in 2012 – a statement of support between a civilian community and its Armed Forces community.  But actions speak much louder, and Rochdale has been nationally recognised by the Ministry of Defence, Royal British Legion and others for introducing pioneering changes to better support armed forces personnel and their families back into civilian life.

The Armed Forces Community Covenant

Since signing the covenant Rochdale Borough Council has:

  • Appointed Councillor Alan McCarthy as Lead Member for the Armed Forces and he’s been instrumental in driving forward the changes, lobbying central government and pushing for policy changes to address disadvantages Armed Forces families face.
  • Introduced a ‘guaranteed interview scheme’ – where ex-armed forces men and women looking for work are guaranteed a job interview at the council providing they meet the person specification and job description and have been out of the Armed Forces for a minimum of six months.
  • Launched dedicated web pages to help Armed Forces families access support and a toolkit to help other councils improve the Armed Forces presence on their websites.
  • Rochdale offers serving armed forces personnel and veterans free use of Link4Life fitness facilities and swimming pools. 
  • Offered the families of fallen service personnel who have died in active duty the chance to have a street named after their loved one. 
  • Via Rochdale Boroughwide Housing, supported veterans in obtaining housing within the borough. 
  • Launched a ‘Books on Prescription’ scheme, providing self-help books for the Armed Forces and their families.
  • Other examples are available on request.

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