A SPECIAL event has been organised in a bid to help local service families cope with life after the forces.

A Transition Fair, designed to ease the shift from military to civilian life, will be staged at Kimberley Barracks, Preston, on Tuesday, at 2pm.

It will be attended by representatives from local authorities, the NHS, charities and educational bodies.

The event is open to all service personnel, and their partners, who are due to leave the military in the next 12 months or so and intend to settle in Cumbria or Lancashire. Major Bob Smethurst, the unit employment support officer for the 4th Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment (4 LANCS), said: “We aim to help all service leavers who intend to settle in Cumbria and Lancashire by providing pertinent local knowledge about the five main aspects of transition from military to civilian life.

“These are housing, education, welfare, employment and health.

“We have been really pleased by the commitment from local organisations to support this event.”

The fair is sponsored by 4 LANCS, the North West’s Territorial Army Infantry Battalion, but is for all service leavers from across the Armed Forces.

It will be opened by Councillor Mike France the chairman of the North West Veterans’ Advisory and Pensions Committee.

Experts say returning to ‘Civvy Street’ can lead to issues such as depression, family trauma, substance misuse, homelessness and in some cases suicide.

About 19,000 service personnel return to civilian life each year and it is estimated that there are about five million veterans in the UK.