A VETERANS support group in Clackmannanshire marked its sixth anniversary last week.

The Wee County Veterans and Supporters Group, which meets in Sauchie, held a ceremony last Friday, September 17, to mark the occasion.

The group has come far since it started six years ago with 10 founding members and two supporters.

Since then regular meetings, partnerships, friendships and a range of supports have all been established.

The group marked the anniversary with a small event including lunch and a cake, with some people unfortunately having to stay away due to health conditions.

Guests in attendance included Provost Tina Murphy, Clackmannanshire Council's champion for veterans, and Clackmannanshire's Vice Lord Lieutenant John Spruce.

Mr Spruce said: "I was delighted to be there to celebrate the sixth birthday.

"I'm hugely impressed by the amount they have managed to do in the past year despite Covid.

"They've been of tremendous support to the veterans."

Mr Spruce noted how the group has grown over the past six years and adding that it was good to see some new faces on the day.

The milestone comes after a difficult Covid-19 period, which initially saw regular meetings at Sauchie Resource Centre cancelled as the public health crisis developed.

However, thanks to some hard work behind the scenes, a drop-in hub was set up at the ACE premises just a short walk away.

Jo Wilkinson, chair of the group, said: "We have to say a massive thank you to Anthea Coulter and CTSI [Clackmannanshire Third Sector Interface] with massive support from SSAFA [Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association] because we had our come and go centre at the hub from August to December 2020."

Jo also wanted to thank Sauchie Community Group and Morrisons supermarket and their community champion Jayne Lindfield for supplies of groceries over the pandemic as well as heaters and duvets during the winter, which were donated to veterans in need.

Unfortunately, the group lost two members last year in Ray Fyfe and Malcolm Chambers while John Gardner also sadly passed away this year.

However, the group has also gained members in Brian Petrie and Lisa Wade since.

Both Mr Fyfe and Mr Chambers were part of the original team who helped start Wee County Veterans in September 2015.

At the end of June, the group planted memorial trees to commemorate the founding members who have since passed away, also including Hector Mackenzie, Michael Prunty and John Duncan.

Looking ahead, the group is set to hold a used clothing sale, with no set prices just donations sought, on October 16 at Sauchie Resource Centre from 12noo until 4pm.

Veterans looking to join the group or in need of support can contact Jo on 07507 099024.