Southport’s Armed Forces Community Hub is reopening tomorrow (Tuesday 5th December 2023).
The Hub, a vital lifeline for Armed Forces veterans, serving personnel and their families, is operated by the Southport branch of the Royal British Legion.
The facility, on Wesley Street in Southport town centre, was closed in November – just a few days after Remembrance weekend – after the national Royal British Legion held discussions over its future.
The Hub offers comradeship, financial and psychological support through the Branch Community Support programme, a warm space when required and “the best free cuppas in Southport”.
It has become a vital resource in a town which has one of the largest veterans communities in the UK.
Southport Royal British Legion Secretary Sarah McEntee said: “We have taken the decision to reopen the Armed Forces Community Hub, Wesley Street from Tuesday.
“We will be open between 10am and 12pm Tuesday to Saturday.
“Two weeks ago the West Lancashire and Merseyside County Committee informed us that our Southport Committee was being stood down as the leadership team of the branch.
“We have been given no explanation for this, although in their most recent statement the RBL Press Office said that this is to enable the County to support us.
“As one of the most thriving and dynamic RBL branches in the country we simply do not understand any requirement for support and we do not accept the dissolution of our committee without any explanation at all.
“Southport branch is a vital resource in not just this town but in the wider Merseyside area.
“We have been inundated with support from our beneficiaries, members and supporters which has served as a reminder that now more than ever, as the weather gets increasingly colder, we MUST open to continue to support the Armed Forces family.
“We cannot thank the town enough for its support of late.
“Finally we wanted to show our utmost respect for the history and values of the Royal British Legion which remains one of the most significant military charities, in not just the country, but the world.
“We have witnessed first hand the support offered by the RBL and we have always been honoured to volunteer for this historic institution.”
A spokesperson for the Royal British Legion said: “The RBL Southport Branch is currently being supported by the West Lancashire County Committee and, as a result, the Southport hub is temporarily closed. Discussions around its future will take place in the coming weeks.”