Gary's News and views

Gary Streeter MP for South West Devon

Gary writes a weekly article which appears in the Plympton Plymstock and Ivybridge News in South West Devon. The articles are published here.


Friday, 11 July 2014


Two weeks ago I had the privilege of viewing the fabulous new facilities built in Devonport Dockyard to help rehabilitate and treat wounded or sick ex-service personnel, including those with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Known as the Endeavour building this £24 million project is one of the most impressive new buildings I have ever visited. It was built from funds raised by the Help for Heroes charity which has sprung up from nowhere to become one of the most dynamic and best supported causes in the country. There is a huge gymnasium, magnificent swimming and hydrotherapy pool, consultation rooms and refreshment areas. Almost alongside it is a stunning new residential block where people might live while they are undergoing treatment and support, and also where families may stay while visiting participants of these facilities. The whole complex reeks of excellence and quality. This is very much as it should be, supporting those who have given so much in defending their country.

The facilities are run jointly by Help for Heroes and the Ministry of Defence, and the staff I met were utterly dedicated to their cause. I was pleased to learn that people who might have left the services years ago, but who now start to exhibit symptoms of PTSD are very welcome to participate in the help available in the Endeavour building. There has been a slight increase in the number of ex-servicemen who have sought help at my surgeries in the past 12 months, struggling with life due to things they experienced whilst serving in the forces. Although years ago, we might have poo-pooed such "weakness" we now recognise this as a proper medical condition, and when you think about some of the events these brave young men and women have witnessed first-hand, it is hardly surprising that it might make an impact.

There has been a welcome sea change to our armed forces since the time I have been at Westminster. The new covenant with the military is a step in the right direction. If we want the best fighting forces in the world, we have to look after them better, and their families, while they are serving and when they have left.

It would be great to finish this column by suggesting that soon the need to invest so much in our military will be a thing of the past. Sadly, looking at the state of the world today, that is far from the case.

posted by Gary @ 10:23