Town to honour heroes

FILEY is set to become an ally for a national scheme providing invaluable support for our armed forces heroes.

The town’s tourism body chiefs are locked in negotiations with bosses from Heroes Welcome to offer servicemen and women a warm reception in the town.

The concept gives Army, Royal Navy and RAF personnel and veterans certain discounts at businesses and hotels and provides a huge morale boost for serving troops.

The potential link-up was given unanimous backing by town councillors this week, and John Colling, chairman of Filey and District to Tourism Association, said he was delighted the scheme was coming to the town.

Mr Colling, who served for more than 30 years in the Royal Navy, told the Mercury

He said: “When I heard about what Heroes Welcome did I immediately thought what could we do in Filey to help.

“It is a great idea and really allows us to show our appreciation.

“We do not get to see the dangerous work these people do and rarely meet them so this is a great opportunity to give them a warm welcome in Filey.

“This scheme reflects what they do in America where servicemen and women are treated like royalty.”

Mr Colling, who served in Kandahar, in Afghanistan, said he was now awaiting confirmation from organisers of the scheme.

He added once the deal had been concluded, he would be contacting businesses in Filey to display stickers highlighting their support.

Founded in founded in 2008 by the Scarborough South Bay Traders’ Association, with support from the Evening News, the campaign has attracted major support from across the country.

Wootton Bassett, in Wiltshire - which is synonymous for the repatriation of British troops - is a key ally of the scheme, which has also received support from Phuket, in Thailand and the London Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association.

Fellow places on board also include Scarborough and Bridlington with Brighton, Stockport, Blackpool and Middlesbrough welcoming servicemen and women under the scheme.

The campaign has been co-ordinated by John Senior, a former major with the 16 UK Air Assault Brigade.

He said he had been left “humbled” by the strength of interest.

He added “I am very honoured by the response that we continue to receive.

“This has definitely set the tone and to see the towns and cities coming forward is commendable.

“The scheme is still very pertinent and I keep getting responses out of the blue from people wanting to join.

“The enthusiasm is great and it is really good to see.

“The feedback has been tremendous and I know that it means a lot to the guys currently serving in the forces to have such support.”