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Audley Court petition passes 1,000 signatures

February 25, 2021 9:25 AM

A petition to save the Audley Court veterans' mental health centre has gathered more than 1,000 signatures in just one week.

Wrekin PPC Thomas Janke

Cllr Thomas Janke is determined to save Audley Court

The online petition, launched by Liberal Democrat Councillor Thomas Janke, calls on Telford and Wrekin Council, and local MPs, to do all they can to ensure the Newport centre is able to continue providing services to veterans, once its use as a coronavirus vaccination centre is completed.

"I am so grateful for our local community's huge response to the petition," emphasised Cllr Janke. "The scale of the support for the campaign to save this vital facility simply cannot be ignored."

Following the closure, in 2017, of respite services at Audley Court, run by charity Combat Stress, the building is currently partially in use as a coronavirus vaccination centre, as well as providing some remote online counselling by the charity.

Iraq veteran Cllr Janke has suggested that, with the right support, the centre could be a hub for agencies helping not only veterans, but others suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, including NHS and care workers after the pandemic.

"The demand for mental health provision for veterans remains high," highlighted Cllr Janke. "And now added to this, we will have NHS and care workers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder following the coronavirus pandemic. There seems to me to be an opportunity to provide our NHS heroes with the care they deserve, too."

Cllr Janke has this week discussed potential next steps with Council cabinet member David Wright.