In 2017, Rotherham United Community Sports Trust (RUCST) in partnership with Military Community Veterans Centre (MCVC) and Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council (RMBC) were successful in securing MoD funding to deliver a project on community integration which would include delivery of local services.
The overall aim of the project was to increase social cohesion by bringing the armed forces veterans together with other diverse communities in Rotherham. This was achieved through activities that helped build positive relationships, improved physical, emotional and social wellbeing, to help combat isolation and loneliness often faced by veterans and their families.
Links were made between the military veterans and the wider community via activities and events. This created opportunities for people to meet, interact and break down barriers. A range of activities were delivered to promote community integration through culture, art and sport.
As well as improving health and wellbeing, the project has successfully forged partnerships and community collaborations. This booklet has been created as a tangible memory dedicated to all the veterans of MCVC for their selfless service to their country. The impact of this project has made a significant contribution in bringing a range of groups and cultures together, thereby significantly enhancing mutual understanding, respect and tolerance of the different communities who call Rotherham their home. It demonstrates that communities are stronger together and have more in common than they think.
The superb booklet produced by Mariam Shah Chair of ‘One Voice’ in collaboration with veterans from the MCVC Lt Col Mac Mcpherson MBE, the Chairman of the MCVC Trustee Board made the following statement:
“It has been nothing short of remarkable to watch this project flourish. It has been a resounding success and very enjoyable to be involved in the several activities which has brought the veterans community into contact with so many people who we would not have got to meet and become friends with.
Many of the activities are recorded in this booklet. However, the real lasting impact has been developing an awareness of other cultures, building, growing friendships and having some fun along the way. This will be a bridge to those who we may never have been fortunate enough to meet. It will lead to stronger relationships and a great pathway into the veterans taking an active role in the National Inter-Faith week in November 2018. I would like to thank Rotherham United Community Sports Trust for their support and involvement, which has been magnificent.
In particular and on behalf of all the veterans who have taken part in this program, I would like to extend our thanks to Zanib Rasool MBE (Partnerships Manager RUCST) and her team who have invested significant time, thought and consideration to supporting veterans. We are extremely grateful to you all.”
RUCST have been overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and motivation of everyone involved in the project and are keen to continue work with MCVC on future projects.