Work of art showcases struggles of ex-forces personnel

RAISING AWARENESS: The Thousand Yard StareRAISING AWARENESS: The Thousand Yard Stare
RAISING AWARENESS: The Thousand Yard Stare
A PAINTING presented to John Healey by a Rotherham-based group aims to highlight the struggles of military veterans across the country.

A print copy of artwork The Thousand Yard Stare was given to the Wentworth and Dearne MP by The Daparian Foundation, a veteran and emergency services staff PTSD research organisation which was set up to help improve the lives of those living with trauma.

The group was given the rights to the image by the artist, Steve Stonestreet, and auctioned the original painting to help UK veterans with PTSD through targeted support.

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Wentworth and Dearne MP Mr Healey said: “I’d like to thank Richard and Gareth from The Daparian Foundation for the copy The Thousand Yard Stare. It’ll take pride and place on the wall of my office.

MOVING IMAGE: Mr Healey with Richard Gettings of The Daparian Foundation Trauma Fellowship & Society, and Gareth Stanton, foundation directorMOVING IMAGE: Mr Healey with Richard Gettings of The Daparian Foundation Trauma Fellowship & Society, and Gareth Stanton, foundation director
MOVING IMAGE: Mr Healey with Richard Gettings of The Daparian Foundation Trauma Fellowship & Society, and Gareth Stanton, foundation director

“The painting is thought provoking and helps you to understand the challenges faced by veterans suffering with PTSD on a daily basis.

“The group do some great work supporting veterans and carry out important research to help those experiencing trauma.”

It comes as figures show veterans’ homelessness rose by 14 per cent in the year 2022-23 compared to the previous year.

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Labour’s analysis of the latest quarterly homelessness statistics has found there are around 500 veterans’ households being made newly homeless every three months – up to 180 households a month.

Data shows that 2,110 households containing someone who served in the armed forces were assessed as homeless, up from 1,850 in the previous year, which Mr Healey said was extremely concerning.

Shadow defence secretary Mr Healey said: “Labour is deeply proud of our armed forces personnel, veterans, and their families for the enormous contribution they make to our country. But they are being let down by this government.

“Ministers have created a postcode lottery for veterans, halved employment support and more veterans are homelessness this year than last year.

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“In government, Labour will fully incorporate the Armed Forces Covenant into law, fulfilling the moral contract our society makes with those who serve and make sure that former personnel have easy access to high quality, affordable homes fit for our heroes.”