Veterans charities join Shadow Minister in talk about improving support

City MP Stephen Morgan has welcomed Gerald Jones MP, Shadow Minister for Veterans, Reserves and Personnel to visit Portsmouth.
During his visit, the Shadow Minister met with the MoD Police at Portsmouth Naval Base and joined a round table discussion with Armed Forces charities about veteran’s mental health.
During the round table meeting, charities and organisations who provide support to veterans across Portsmouth were given the opportunity to share with the Shadow Minister Issues, concerns and ideas for improving services for ex-service personnel in Portsmouth and across the country.
The group talked about strategies for working together to improve life for veterans, including those who experience complex mental health conditions such as PTSD.
Mr Jones also had the opportunity to meet with the MoD Policen and was given a full tour of the site where he was able to learn more about Portsmouth Naval Base and the challenges faced by the MoD Police.
City MP Stephen Morgan has been calling for the Armed Forces covenant commitments to be met, with a nationwide mentoring service, training not just for veterans but employers, increased investment in specialised mental health treatment, an extended transition period, and proper enforcement of the covenant.
He has also called for better data capture around veteran suicides, pressuring Ministers and calling for the Government to impose a duty on coroners to record veteran status.
Shadow Defence Minister Gerald Jones MP said:
As the home of the Royal Navy, Portsmouth plays an important part in our country’s defence infrastructure and it was good to see first-hand what the MoD Police do at the Naval Base.
Armed Forces personnel who serve our country deserve the very best, including when they transition into civilian life. The charities and veterans support groups that I met during the roundtable do so much for our Armed Forces Community, but it is time for the government to step up and play its part in ensuring that veterans can access good housing, healthcare and training opportunities – areas that have all seen large government cuts in recent years.
I’d like to thank Stephen for organising a really informative visit. I know that supporting our servicemembers and veterans is something that he is passionate about.”
Stephen Morgan MP said:
It was really good to have Gerald Jones to visit our great city and see some of what happens at the Naval Base and across Portsmouth.  
As someone who really cares about serving and ex-service personnel, and as a campaigner for more veteran’s mental health support, I felt the meeting with the Shadow Minister was a useful initiative.
It was helpful to not only talk about the reality of what some veterans are facing in our city, including social isolation, barriers to employment, knowledge of support services but also the challenges local groups face in providing assistance.
But to talk about ways in which those who support them can work together to improve services.”