Three new reports on partnership working between faith and local government.

Liam Fox partners with Afghan Heroes to offer holidays for soldiers

Former defence secretary MP Dr Liam Fox has launched a partnership with Afghan Heroes calling on second-home owners to donate time at their properties to soldiers, eight months after the last charity he founded was shut down.

The initiative is called Give Us Time and is a programme of the forces charity Afghan Heroes.  The programme enables people to donate time in their second home, holiday home or time-share property to returned soldiers recovering from trauma.

The website went live yesterday. Fox has promised to write to fellow MPs encouraging them to “lead by example”.

He said: “Medical improvements in prosthetics, better physiotherapy and improved social attitudes all contributed to a better chance of rehabilitation. In terms of psychological trauma – the invisible scars of war – we are making progress, though perhaps at a slower rate.

“One of the areas where I think there remains room for improvement is the integration of service families into this equation.”

The aim is to open the scheme to applications from service personnel in September and to then roll the programme out more widely in 2013.

The logistics of the programme will be managed by Afghan Heroes, which was founded in 2009 to support soldiers on the frontline and families affected by military operations, although Fox will be heavily involved.

Afghan Heroes’ founder, Denise Harris, said: “I know through personal experience how difficult it can be for those who have suffered loss or injury to recover. Give Us Time is a fantastic initiative and will go a long way to help those who have put their lives on the line readjust to a normal civilian life.”

The charity had already been trialling a similar initiative when Fox approached them with this idea. He was aware of the work of the charity because it launched in his constituency when he was shadow defence secretary.

Give Us Time has been funded by sponsorship from Serco, Venue Directory, Fanatic – which also did the branding and design for the company – and Cobweb. Virgin Trains has also agreed to offer free travel to participants.

Last autumn Atlantic Bridge, a charity founded by Fox, and run by his friend Adam Werritty, was removed from the Charity Commission’s register. After an investigation into its conduct in 2010, the Commission concluded that Atlantic Bridge did not meet its “educational objectives” and the trustees decided to wind the charity up, declaring in September 2011 that this had been done.  

Fox resigned from his role as defence secretary in October 2011 following allegations that he had broken the ministerial code when it emerged that Werritty had accompanied him on 18 foreign trips, despite not having an official role.

This article was taken from www.civilsociety.co.uk – http://www.civilsociety.co.uk/governance/news/content/12587