Spalding not Sutton Bridge now the focus for heroes charity

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A CHARITY set up to help veterans and servicemen has set its sights on opening a centre in Spalding after failing to find somewhere to launch its dream in Sutton Bridge.

Bridge For Heroes wanted to transform the Bridge Hotel in Sutton Bridge into a holiday home for current and past members of the armed forces and start a base for a national charity in the village.

That dream has now fallen through and the charity has switched its focus to a ‘contact centre’ that it has opened in King’s Lynn, where people can get help and support for things such as post traumatic stress.

Gulf War veteran Mike Taylor, the man behind the charity, has now left Sutton Bridge and moved to King’s Lynn. He says the charity still hopes to have a presence in South Holland, with many trustees still based in Sutton Bridge and plans for another contact centre in Spalding.

Mr Taylor said: “We couldn’t get anywhere with a unit in Sutton Bridge

“The idea is still there to do something but we need the backing and to get a unit that someone will let to us.

“Everything started in Sutton Bridge but, as I’ve found out over the last 12 months, these things evolve. All the funding we were promised didn’t arrive because of the recession and I couldn’t second guess that.

“One of the trustees said they were stopped the other night by someone who said ‘what about the hotel?’ but it’s about troops and helping them and we are already doing that and helping people with post traumatic stress syndrome.

“The hotel would be nice and so would the shop but if we help locals that would be a residual affect.

“Spalding has got a lot of potential, we are aware that there are a lot of veterans there.”

Mr Taylor said Spalding will feature along a line of contact centres running from Grantham through to Cromer.

The King’s Lynn centre is run by about 40 volunteers, including Sutton Bridge 48-year-old Steven Burton, a Falklands War veterans who served in the Royal Marines.

He was inspired to help after a friend committed suicide a few years ago because of post traumatic stress syndrome.

For information about the charity visit www.thebridgeforheroes.org or email contact@thebridgeforheroes.org