Defence Secretary’s Veteran Group Visit

By Lily Rodgers at

The Defence Secretary met the Heyford and Bicester Veterans Group. MP Victoria Prentis extended the invitation last year and it was taken up by the Rt Hon Gavin Williamson CBE MP who travelled to North Oxfordshire for the day. The local support group was set up by a veteran living in the area and welcomes forces veterans, reservists and their families to meetings in Upper Heyford Community Centre every month. These get togethers provide veterans with a chance to chat, catch up with friends, get assistance with form filling and seeking advice and confidential support from services, charities including the NHS Royal British Legion and SEAP Advocacy. The group appreciated the opportunity to share with the Defence Secretary the success they’ve had in such a short period of time and their visions for the future.

The sense of belonging veterans gain from such groups is vital and following his visit, Gavin Williamson, Secretary of State said: “Veterans groups, such as the one I had the pleasure to visit in Heyford and Bicester, are a really important forum for ex-service personnel to get together and discuss shared experiences.”

Following his meeting with the group, Secretary of State visited Barrus, a Bicester- based company to find out more about their work. Barrus employ over 190 local people as well as holding a number of MOD contracts, supply outboard motors and inboard engines.

The Secretary of State’s visit was an all-round success. “I was absolutely delighted that the Defence Secretary managed to find time in his busy schedule to visit North Oxfordshire and meet the Heyford and Bicester Veterans group,” said Victoria Prentis MP. “He has always expressed an interest in the work they are doing with veterans and their families and seemed very impressed during his visit.”