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Veterans Association UK

Veterans Fighting for Veterans Rights

TV Presenter Dan Snow at the VAUK Centre in Burnley Filming Charles Sandbach VAUK Fundraising Manager and expert on WW1


TV Presenter Dan Snow at the VAUK Head office in Burnley with Charles Sandbach, VAUK Fundraising Manager and expert on WW1, filming for a show next year to mark the end of WW1.

Ex Marine gets stair lift.

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Welcome to my website, enjoy Your stay.   Ex Royal Marine and Fireman Denis Ward and his wife Val from Bradford contacted us for help with a stair lift, Denis lost a leg earlier this year due to diabetes, Denis served for 10 years in the Royal Marines and 10 years in the Fire Service.

The Bradford Social Services sent out a Occupation Therapists (OT) Assistant to make the Assessment for the Wards and told them a stair lift could not be fitted, gave Denis a bidet and a pee bottle for his toiletry needs, this also meant he could not shower.

Tony Hayes spoke to the OT and managers at Social Services in Bradford who still maintained their position and would not fit the stair lift or bathroom conversion required. Tony Hayes contacted the Bradford Argos and the story went viral, offers of help came from two Stair lift companies, Acorn Stair lifts are local to Bradford and asked us if they could help, Acorn fitted a brand new stair lift in for Denis with four days of the story going to Press, Tony also appeared on the local ITV news and named and shamed the managers and the OT and received a telephone call within days from the Social Services Chief who have now offered a £25,000.00 grant to build a wet room for Denis on the Side of the House. RESULT !!.

We had another case about the same time from a terminally ill ex Para from North Yorkshire, he lived in a first floor flat and could not get down the main building stairs to go our, Phil Kendall from the local SSAFA got in touch with Tony as they had hit brick walls trying to help this guy, Tony contacted Unicorn Stair Lifts who donated an oversized stair lift to the main stairs in the flats up to the first floor now the ex para has full access in and out, another good result and good to see VAUK and SSAFA working together, some of the other big charities will not work with us, I always thought it was about veterans not the organisations.  




The VAUK's own fundraising teams working around the UK.



The VAUK now has its own fundraising teams working in shopping malls

around the country,

we have to pay licence fees to go into the centres ranging from £500-£1000 for the week, but 100% of what the guys raise goes into our bank account,if you see any of the guys in your local area go and say hello and donate a few quid. In recent weeks several veterans and veteran families approach the team for help,who directed them to our head office, two are now in the process of being rehoused, one other is now having a ramp fitted to their house to allow a mobility scooter in and out of the house and a further three are now in treatment for mental health issues. 

Veterans Involved with the Nuclear Test on Christmas Island Project.

Any veterans involved in the Nuclear Testing on Christmas Island please click on this link.     British veterans who served in Australia and the South Pacific in the 1950s and 1960s are the subject of a medical research study looking at the possible effects of nuclear test radiation exposure. This study involves both nuclear and non-nuclear veterans. More information is available from the following link, including how to opt out of taking part should you not wish to be contacted regarding this study:


Footcare service available at the VAUK Centre Burnley.


Solace Footcare will be attending at the VAUK Centre in Burnley on Fridays between 10 am and 12.00 starting on Friday 19th May, footcare and toe nail clipping service from £10.00 per person. 

SRC Course VAUK CentreBurnley 19th-20th April 2017

L-R Andy Holder caseworker Head Office. Hannable Hayes CEO. Louise Lane Area Manager North Notts. Mandy Elliott SRC Worksop N. Notts. Bill Brown Area Manager Leicestershire. All completed the course with flying colours, all said they thoroughly enjoyed the course and was really informative and helpful in achieving the knowledge needed to complete their roles within the VAUK.

I am sure you will all join me in wishing them all great success in their roles. 


Chris Percival receiving the keys to the


Chris Percival receiving the keys to the families brand new house.

Chris and Liz Percival approached the VAUK for rehousing about September last year, it took an awful lot of fighting with the certain members of the local authorities but we got there in the end.

Chris, Liz and their daughter were forced to live with relations until we were able to secure them a tenancy, we wish them well in their new home.

Veteran number 114 Rehoused by VAUK


Keith is an elderly veteran from the West Midlands who was being badly bullied by some young neighbours, they were giving him a torrid time and his PTSD was through the roof, Tony Roath the VAUK W. Midland area manager took control of the situation, we obtained mental health treatment for him and rehoused him in Coventry in a brand new property, a delighted Keith is pictured with his new house keys in his new house, Keith is the 114th veteran rehoused by the VAUK. The Bullies received a visit from VAUK W. Midlands and they really are ''very very sorry for being bullies to an old veteran'' Naughty VAUK lol.

New Area Managers and VAUK Volunteers complete the SRC / Caseworkers course.

New Area Managers and VAUK Volunteers complete the SRC / Caseworkers course.

Latest SRC's and Area Managers completing the SRC / Caseworker course at the VAUK Centre in Burnley, L-R Mick Payne, Area Manager Mid/ South Lincolnshire, Simon Tierney, Area Manager North Notts, Steve Taylor Area Manager N.Lincolnshire, Chris Rogers, Tony Roath Area Manager W. Midlands, completed the Train the Trainer course, Bob Brown Area Manager, Kent. Congratulations lads.

The SRC / Caseworkers course is a two-day course run by the VAUK to train new volunteers in identifying symptoms of Critical Multi Trauma PTSD and referring them for clinical treatment, they are also taught the methods and protocols of rehousing veterans, this includes Housing Law and Decent Standard Homes law.

They are also taught how to obtain Social Welfare help with things like obtaining stair-lifts, wet rooms for elderly disabled veterans working with Social Services and the Occupational Therapy Teams in their areas


    Danny and Darren Considine and Tony Hayes CEO VAUK

A cheque is presented for £300 donated by guests at Darren's wedding and Match funded by DHL Danny and Darren's employer.

Old Veterans gets a placement because of VAUK.

An 86 year old veteran who's residential nursing home closed while he was in hospital was stranded in hospital for about 8 weeks and Salford Council in ,Manchester refused to re- house him, was unable to leave hospital because he was ''Of No Fixed Abode'', this was reported to by Donna Harrison from the Defence Veterans Welfare Services, a government funded organisation who help veterans with their social welfare needs.

Donna and the team from DVWS kept hitting a brick wall with the council to re house this old boy, the VAUK  became involved a spoke to his local MP. Council and Social Services who we told we would take this case to National Press and name and shame. Donna contacted me today the old boy is going to a new residential Care home on Monday, he is absolutely ecstatic. I would like to say to Donna Harrison and her team well done lass, great job. 


VAUK Dispatch Riders MCC




The VAUK Dispatch Riders MCC are looking to recruit bikers to join us, we are not a 1%er MCC such the Hells Angels, Satans Soldiers, Devils Diciples ect who wear their patches (colours) on their backs, we wear our patches on the front left hand side of our leather vests or jackets or left hand rear of the shoulder, this is standard protocol in the biker fraternities.

Anyone wishing to join please contact:

Hannable Hayes CEO VAUK in England or Wales

Contact 07713329903 or in Scotland contact Alistaire King President Scotland on 0707599557779. We are looking for Ride Captains and event organising event around the country and Regional Chapter Captains around the country. We will be running treasure hunts, organised ride outs and other social events if we can get enough people to join. 



Julie Cooper MP for Burnley visits the VAUK Centre

We had a meeting with Julie Cooper last Friday 26th February 2016, Julie is very supportive of our work in the VAUK and wants to work closely with us both locally or in Parliament, I have known Julie for a number of years when she was head of Burnley Council when we first moved to the Burnley area in 2013.

New Financial Director for the VAUK

Robby Astick, the new Financial Director of the VAUK

We are very proud to announce that Robby Astick has accepted the post of Financial Director with the Veterans Association UK, We have known Robby for about two years as a friend of the VAUK it was Robby who obtained us our charity status and I am sure Robby will prove to be a very integral and valued part of our team and we look forward to working with him.



The new VAUK exhibition trailer


The Exhibition Trailer in its new livery, I have got to fit the generator in the winter evenings, utilise the trailer for hot tea and coffee and food.  


Front hatch, fit the furniture and water for the homeless veterans in Burnley. 


Boiler in, we will use as a mobile office on collection days and some and surrounding towns and cities.

Brian Yardley b1953 - d 2015




It is with a sad heart that I announce the passing of my old mate and ex MD VAUK Brian Yardle.

Brian passed away on Boxing Day in his sleep. Our condolences go out to his wife Ali and the family, he will be sadly missed. 

Brian was a WO2 and served in the Yorkshire Regt, 5 Heavy Regt RA and the RA Motorcycle Display team and in his later years was a CSM with the Army Cadet Force.


Tony Hayes CEO VAUK gives a lecture at Kingston Upon Thames University.

Tony Hayes gave a one hour lecture to 300 1st year medical students and senior lecturers at the university, Tony informed them of his military background especially in Northern Ireland in 1974 and 1976.

He told the students that he was not a clinician and made that very clear but he is a specialist counselor specialising in veterans mental health issues; he had worked with specialist Psychotherapists and the veterans for nearly five years and the fact that he was diagnosed with Critical Multiple Trauma Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) by three different senior clinicians thus giving him both insight and empathy with the veterans.

Tony told the student that only Psychologists and Psychiatrists specialising in Military mental health issues should be treating veterans because there was currently a huge lack of understanding about the difference between civilian and military mental health issues and this includes the majority of senior clinicians, no person who is not at least a qualified psychotherapist and BACP or UKCP registered should not be assessing or treating veterans.


Well another month has gone by in 2015, August saw a few changes within the organisation, we opened a new office in Accrington Lancashire in the Marketplace. It is just a small drop in Centre and can be contacted on 07710811486 most days.

We have two new caseworkers for the head office in Burnley, John Clark and Steve Jones, both ex-squaddies, John was a Tankie and Steve was Logistic and RCT, We also had Sean Reddington join us as SRC Trafford and Salford in Manchester. I am sure they will do well in their new positions.

Sadly for me we saw my friend and PA Rosemary Wilson retire, Rosemary has been with me for four years as PA and a Director of the VAUK attending meetings all over the country and parliament meeting many politicians, council leaders and CEO's of companies and always doing a top job, enjoy your retirement.



over the last few months Tony Hayes CEO has managed to raise £35,000.00 in funding for projects in the Lancashire region, 2 x social prescribing working in residential nursing homes by putting on social events for the veterans and their families, Dove Court in Burnley and Marsden Heights in Brierfield in the Burnley CCG area and two to be sorted yet in the Hyndburn (Accrington) area.

We are looking for volunteers to come on board with these projects with us, expenses will be paid. We are also purchasing an exhibition trailer (mobile office)  to utilise locally to attract new members or offer services if required, the trailer will also be used as a night centre in city and town centres offering hot drinks and food to homeless veterans, this has been funded by a £10,000.00 lottery grant. we expect to start these activities very shortly.

July was a manic month for the VAUK, it saw changes at the boardroom level, Sadly Rosemary Wilson PA to CEO and a Director finally retired aged 68, Rosemary has been with the VAUK Since late 2011 initially as a case worker then as PA and personal friend to Tony Hayes the CEO.

Rosemary attended meetings all around the country with Tony talking to Cabinet Ministers, Councillors, Senior Housing officers, Rosemary and Tony gave seminars to Lancashire Police and to the senior hierarchy at Lancaster University resulting in 3rd year students attending the VAUK Centre working with VAUK staff and clinicians from the NHS MVS IAPTs team as part of their training.    

June has been a truly remarkable month is the terms of cases concluded, people re-homed, actions were taken, and things going on behind the scenes. There have been two of the fastest relocations on record, with one happening in just over 24 hours and the other taking just under a week to complete. It's at times like this when you realise just what a vital and much-needed service we provide and if you have been sitting there wondering what belonging to the VAUK means then it is this. We are there when we are needed. When we are not needed we are still there, but quietly, and hoping the world is performing well and no-one needs our services.

Even cancer treatment has failed to slow down Tony; his dedication and determination to help other veterans and their families with a multitude of problems and issues is no less now than it was 4 years ago.

The Birthday Bash: 2015

The celebration of Veteran's Association's 4th Anniversary took place at the National Memorial Arboretum on 18th April: although the turnout was less than we had hoped for it was a lovely, albeit emotional, event.

The service was conducted by our CEO Tony Hayes, flanked by Standard Bearer's Andy Honour and John Bonnewell and accompanied by bugler Bobby Crick, who blew the Last Post to mark the end of the service. The magnificent sculpture behind us depicts the scene as an injured Serviceman on a stretcher is raised aloft  by comrades. On either side, family members look on - a mother and child comforting each other, and an older couple clutching each other in anguish. It bears witness to the cost of armed conflict to those left behind - the families, loved ones and friends who live with the pain and consequence of their loss for the rest of their lives.

A visit to The NMA is an awesome experience: it is a fitting tribute to our fallen heroes. The huge landscaped area is full of native trees, almost 50,000 of them, and almost 300 memorials. There are dedicated gardens, amongst them is the beautiful Widow's Rose Garden, pictured opposite, and another garden full of poppies and other indigenous wild flowers. The Huge Memorial Walls are engraved annually with the names of the fallen, and are placed in order of date, so that comrades whom fell together are remembered together.


The Arboretum is a wonderful memorial to all those whom fell from the end of World War II to the present day: soldiers whom fell before that date are remembered on the thousands of local memorials in their home towns, to whom Remembrance Day is dedicated.


Please try and join us next year, the 5th anniversary of The Veterans Association UK. The date is yet to be announced. For those whom have mobility issues there are buggies driven by volunteers which will take you up to the main memorial and which also conduct guided tours.

The closest hotel to the Arboretum is the Premier Inn, Lichfield North, on the A38. There are also around 40 hotels, B&Bs and Guesthouses within a 5 mile radius of the Arboretum, most of which can be found on these websites: early booking is advised.

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