Delyn MP David Hanson is backing the National Lottery’s Heroes Return 2 programme and is calling on Second World War veterans to come forward and secure funding for commemorative trips back to the places they saw action.
Since launching in April, the Big Lottery Fund’s Heroes Return 2 programme has already enabled more than 7,500 veterans, widows, spouses and carers to go on emotional trips, home and abroad, to honour and remember those that did not return from the battlefields of 1939-1945. A total of over £4.95 million has been given to date and the scheme is open until January 2011.
Grants up to £5,500 are available to pay travel and accommodation costs for the journeys. Many veterans have used grants to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy in June and to attend September’s memorial events in Holland marking the anniversaries of Operation Market Garden, where almost 1,500 British airborne troops lost their lives. Other veterans have returned to places including Italy, Greece, Malta, India, the Far East, and North Africa.
David Hanson said:
“Many of us have relatives or friends that fought during the Second World and would like the opportunity to return to where they served and pay their respects to those that made the ultimate sacrifice.
“The first Heroes Return programme was launched to mark the historic 60thanniversary of D-Day in 2004. The scheme awarded £16.6 million to over 39,000 veterans, spouses, widows and carers to fund commemorative visits to Second World War battlefields, cemeteries and other significant places across the world.
“The Heroes Return 2 helpline 0845 00 00 121 has been set up to provide further information on the programme and details of how to apply. Information is also available on www.biglotteryfund.org.uk.”