A SCHEME which began in Scarborough and aims to help members of the Armed Forces and their families has been launched in two new areas elsewhere in the UK.
The Heroes Welcome initiative has been launched in Bournemouth, as well as across Hampshire, and they are the latest of a growing number of areas to show their support for military personnel.
It began in April 2008 when John Senior placed a poster in the window of the Golden Grid Restaurant, in Sandside, when he heard of a soldier being turned away from a hotel because he was in uniform – and since then the idea just snowballed.
The former major with the 16 UK Air Assault Brigade said Hampshire officially launched its scheme three weeks ago and Bournemouth made an official announcement on Friday.
“The mayors of all the towns in Hampshire have made a commitment and joined up,” he said.
He added that he was surprised when representatives from Bournemouth contacted him on Friday to say they were going ahead with the scheme. He said: “Scarborough and Bournemouth are Britain’s two leading upmarket resorts – with Bournemouth on board it is wonderful news.”
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.
It was founded by the Scarborough South Bay Traders’ Association with support from the Evening News.
Other areas and organisations to have joined the cause include: Whitby, Bridlington, Middlesbrough, Wootton Bassett – which became the first town in more than 100 years to get the title of royal for its efforts to honour the UK’s war dead – Phuket in Thailand, the London Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association, the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, Brighton, Stockport, Blackpool, Chesterfield, Weston-Super-Mare and Beeston.
l Anyone could apply for stickers to promote the scheme by logging on to www.heroeswelcome.co.uk