Although The Yorkshire Regiment has an established network of veterans’ associations and branches, 1 August ‘Yorkshire Day’ will see the launch of a new ‘Millenium Branch’, with a specific emphasis on those Yorkshire Warriors that served or joined after 2000. This is the cohort of officers and soldiers who have witnessed and participated in some of the most challenging conflicts in our recent history.
Colonel of the Regiment, Maj Gen ZR Stenning OBE, said: “I proudly count myself in this new cohort having commanded Yorkshire soldiers during challenging times in Helmand and serving in Iraq. As head of the regimental family, I am committed to providing the community, care and support our young veterans both serving and retired, deserve. The Millennium Branch is one of many networks available to Yorkshire Soldiers. We will not hesitate to create similar communities in the future; it is shared experience, compassion and love for each other that continue to bind our veteran communities together. The Millennium Branch will unashamedly focus on binding our younger veterans together through outdoor activities, events and shared family experiences”.
Traditionally, veteran cohorts are composed of groups with a shared experience of past campaigns, from WW2, Malaya, Aden, to the Cold War and Northern Ireland, but it has become abundantly clear to The Yorkshire Regiment, that some of the more vulnerable members of the regimental family are younger and have served in the more recent conflicts. This is really who the new branch is aimed at. Although not exclusively limited to those of ‘Generation Y’ or ‘Millenials’ – this new branch aimed at those who have a shared experience of operations, from 2000 to the present day.
Branch Chairman Jimmy Lynas said: “I’m adamant that this is not going to be just another social drinking club, but a coordinated effort to reach out both physically and virtually to a younger cohort of veterans, many of whom have yet to re-engage with the regimental family after leaving. We’ll start with some Breakfast Clubs and set up some Adventurous Training and Sporting opportunities and make full use of social media to connect with those veterans and service leavers who are simply not aware of the many benefits and opportunities that are available to them. By appealing directly to the friends and colleagues we all served with, I’m hoping we can make a real difference to the ‘hard to reach and seldom heard’ community of younger veterans and their families.
Maj Mick Lynch, the Chairman of the Yorkshire Regiment Association, had this to say: “We’ve taken this action as an Association because many in the YORKS family feel they do not have enough in common with some of the existing branches of our Association and so this exciting new branch is for those that have left in more recent years, offering them the opportunity to connect with old friends that they may not otherwise know about. “As a regiment, we’ve always understood the need to listen to our veterans and this initiative is supported by the Colonel of the Regiment in an attempt to meet the desires and needs of our younger veterans. Over the next 12 months, the aim is to have a number of breakfast and lunch clubs and sporting activities, and create a friendly and safe environment for veterans to meet and catch-up”.
The new Yorkshire Regiment Association (YRA) Millenium Branch will be launched on Yorkshire Day, 1 August 2022, at 1200 in the York Army Museum, at 3 Tower Street, York YO1 9SB. The event will be attended by the team behind the initiative, invited guests, and member sof the ‘new’ branch.