Chairman welcomes Armed Forces returners

Tribute was paid to Buckinghamshire’s returning Armed Forces personnel at a special reception on Wednesday (January 27) in the Judges’ Lodgings, Aylesbury.

County Council Chairman Bill Chapple OBE was hosting the tenth ‘welcome home’ reception for RAF, Army and Royal Navy personnel who have been on tours of duty overseas.

Before speaking to returning Service personnel, Bill led the 70 Civic and Services guests from across the county in a minute’s silence to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.

Then he told returning Service personnel: ‘We are extremely proud of the service you have given and continue to give on behalf of our country. You are very important and we are most grateful for all that you are doing.’

The Chairman spoke of the nationally-acclaimed work in Buckinghamshireover the past four years through the Armed Forces Community Covenant, which has secured around £450,000 in MoD grant funding for 12 projects to support Services personnel, their families, and veterans.

‘Our work is viewed as best practice nationally,’ he said. ‘Not only have we secured a large amount of funding, but we’ve also successfully delivered projects that have improved the lives of Services families while they are living and working in Buckinghamshire.’

The latest funding grant for £20,000 will buy outdoor play kit to help inspire creativity in play, and to be used in rotation among RAF community groups, childcare facilities, and community events.

TheCounty Council’welcome home’ tradition was started by the late Pauline Wilkinson, who was chairmanin 2007.