The Council is launching a new Armed Forces Veterans LGBTQ+ group on Friday (March 31), in partnership with the charity Fighting With Pride.
It will be the fifth Armed Forces Veterans Group based in Rhondda Cynon Taf – the others being Mountain Ash Veterans, Aberdare Veterans, Valley Veterans, and Taff Ely Veterans, all of which meet on a weekly basis in their respective areas.
The LGBTQ+ Veterans group will also meet on a weekly basis, alternating between Cardiff Castle and the Bowls Pavilion at Ynysangharad War Memorial Park, Pontypridd.
Councillor Maureen Webber, Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council Deputy Leader and Armed Forces Champion, said: “We have a wonderful network of Armed Forces Veterans Groups located across our County Borough and I am delighted and proud that we now have an LGBTQ+ Armed Forces Veterans Group.
“For so many years, the LGBTQ+ community was stigmatised within the military while serving their country. It is therefore fitting that comradeship and support is now provided while at the same time we reflect, recognise and remember those who did not enjoy the freedoms we are privileged to have today.”
Latest data shows that more than 7,500 Armed Forces veterans live in Rhondda Cynon Taf, the third largest population of veterans per local authority in Wales.
The Council is working in partnership with Fighting With Pride, the LGBTQ+ veterans charity which was created on the 20th anniversary of the complete lifting of the ban on LGBTQ+ armed service personnel. The charity supports the health and wellbeing of LGBTQ+ Armed Forces veterans, service personnel and their families – in particular those most impacted by the Armed Forces LGBTQ+ ban prior to January 2000.
Fighting With Pride
In 2019 the Royal British Legion launched its first ever LGBTQ+ Allies branch, 19 years following the UK Government lifted the ban on gay and bisexual people serving in the Armed Forces.
The Royal British Legion is the UK's leading Armed Forces charity and one of its largest membership organisations. Members get together through the network of branches and clubs all over the country and overseas to participate in social, fundraising and welfare activities.
The LGBTQ+ Allies branch of The Royal British Legion recognises and remembers the contribution of the LGBTQ+ community to the Armed Forces.
Find out more about the work of The Royal British Legion
The Council’s Armed Forces Veteran Service offers a wide range of assistance on subjects such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Housing, Adult Social Care, Benefits, Finances and Employment.
Providing FREE, impartial and dedicated information, advice and support, former members of the Armed Forces, Past and Present, can speak to dedicated officers in strict confidence. Officers from the Council’s Veterans’ Advice Service also attend the weekly support group meeting.
Armed Forces Community, Past and Present: Support Available
In recent years, the Council has also granted the Freedom of the County Borough to The Welsh Guards and to MOD St Athan, and all local service personnel of the Royal Air Force, past and present.
Contact the Council’s Armed Forces Team on 07747 485 619 or Email:
Posted on 30/03/2023