With Armed Forces Day being held this weekend, Rhondda Cynon Taf is reflecting on events past, which have been an annual celebration and family fun day for the County Borough, and an opportunity for residents to give thanks to our armed forces personnel, past and present, home and abroad.
Unfortunately, like events across the UK, this has been unable to take place this year due to coronavirus emergency. This year was looking to be the best year ever, as the country celebrated and commemorated VE Day 75.
Armed Forces Day is a popular event in Rhondda Cynon Taf, drawing thousands of people each year, who come to see military parades, salute the forces and enjoy some family fun such as interactive activities and games for children, and fairground rides, as well as the chance to sit in a tank!
Rhondda Cynon Taf Council was one of the first local authorities in Wales to sign up to the Armed Forces Covenant in 2012, a commitment that was reaffirmed in 2018, and was also the first Welsh Local Authority to be in receipt of the Ministry of Defence’s prestigious Gold Award in recognition of the Council’s approach to supporting the Armed Forces community locally.
In recent years, the Local Authority has also granted the Freedom of the County Borough to The Welsh Guards, The Royal Welsh, to MOD St Athan, and all local service personnel of the Royal Air Force, past and present.
Rhondda Cynon Taf Council also has an established Veterans’ Advice Service, a one-stop-shop in which you can access information on health, funding matters such as the Community Covenant Grant, accessing education, housing, support for families and children and more.
The Veteran Advice Service is available for all past and present Armed Forces personnel and their families. Email: VeteranService@rctcbc.gov.uk or call 07747 485 619 (Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 5pm).
Councillor Maureen Webber, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Deputy Leader and Armed Forces Champion, said: “It’s with real sadness that we have not been able to celebrate Armed Forces Day as we would usually, however the health and wellbeing of residents is our main priority.
“Armed Forces Day has always been an opportunity for us to come together as a community to show our support and appreciation for the men and women who do so much for us all.
“The coronavirus emergency has again highlighted the vital work that our Armed Forces personnel do for us not just abroad, but at home also. Many people would have seen the men and women of our Armed Forces supporting our NHS heroes, helping to operate coronavirus testing centres, building field hospitals, and delivering personal protective equipment.
“Even though we are unable to celebrate this day together in person, we can still show our support to our Armed Forces virtually, and I would encourage residents to show their support online, such as using #SaluteOurForces on your social media posts.
“On behalf of Rhondda Cynon Taf, I would again like to thank our Armed Forces personnel for the work that they do year-round to keep our communities safe.”
If you would like to get involved in Armed Forces Day 2020, you can find more information on the Official Armed Forces Day website here
Posted on Saturday 27th June 2020