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Double amputee talks at military veterans conference

Monday 19 June 2017

A CONFERENCE examining how military veterans transition into civilian life will be held at the University of Salford.

The Military Veterans Conference Transition to Public Life will be held at the University on Thursday June 22, just ahead of Armed Forces Day.

Harry Parker, a captain with The Rifles, needed to have his legs amputated after he stood on a roadside bomb in 2009 and who has gone on to become a successful novelist – going on to write a fictionalised account of his experience in his novel Anatomy of a Soldier – will speak at the event.

His father General Sir Nick Parker, the former head of the British Army, who himself served in Afghanistan as well as Iraq, Sierra Leone, and Northern Ireland, and has gone on to review the leadership of organisations such as the police, will also speak.

The event, attended by health service professionals, charities, and veterans themselves, is aimed at understanding the realities of life for people who leave military service, highlight what areas need to be researched and discuss what more needs to be done.

There are 2.8 million military veterans in the UK, with a large number settling in the North West, and although many go on to successfully move into civilian life, many face problems ranging from mental health issues to drug and alcohol addiction and even homelessness.

Lisa Scullion, a research fellow at the University who is currently leading a project looking into the experiences of military families who face benefits sanctions, will also speak at the event.

Other speakers include:

Dale Walker, a physiotherapy lecturer at the University of Salford and himself a veteran who served in the Royal Engineers, Royal Marines and Royal Army Medical Corps, has organised the event along with Dr Celia Hynes, director of multi professional post graduate studies at the University.

He said: “The Armed Forces Covenant, which underlines the government’s commitment to supporting those who have served us often at great cost to themselves, is now enshrined in law, but still we know there are huge numbers of veterans who find it incredibly difficult to move into civilian life.

“There is a lot more work that needs to be done in order for policy makers to understand the issues that veterans face. We are lucky to have some wonderful speakers at this conference to ensure that these issues are properly debated.”

Click here to buy a ticket for the event, taking place at the University’s Chapman Building. Anyone with further enquiries should contact 0161 295 5950 or e-mail