A FESTIVE lunch was held for veterans and their families at a Heswall care home.

Activities lead at Hazelwell Care Home on Oldfield Road invited 26 Age UK veterans who are part of the Joining Forces Project to the special Christmas lunch on Wednesday, December 4.

Margaret and Tony Boote, the parents of Steven Boote, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2009, also attended and spoke to the Mayor of Wirral Cllr Tony Smith.

Wirral Globe:

The Mayor meeting Tony Boote (Picture: Phillip Kirby)

The day was especially important for Margaret and Navy veteran Tony as it marked what would have been their son's 33rd birthday.

Corporal Boote, 22, from Prenton, died at Blue 25, a police checkpoint in the Nad-e'Ali District of Helmand Province, Afghanistan in November 2009.

A member of the Royal Military Police, he was one of five soldiers shot dead by an Afghan policeman they were training.

His funeral, which was held at Christ Church in Port Sunlight, was attended by more than 200 people.

In tribute to his bravery a bench, bearing a plaque with his name on, was unveiled near the war memorial in Osmaston Road, Prenton in March 2010.

Joining Forces is an Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust-backed project which supports the quality of life and wellbeing of veterans born before 1950, their families and carers.

Wirral Globe:

(Picture: Phillip Kirby)

There are 12 local projects being delivered across the UK including in Wirral.

In the borough there are many information and advice drop in sessions for veterans alongside a research group, veterans breakfast club and life story work.

Click here for more information about Joining Forces in Wirral.

Joining Forces Activities Co-ordinator Rachel Buckley said: "A wonderful time was had by all and the Joining Forces Project at Age UK Wirral would especially like to thank Hazelwell Care Home for their wonderful hospitality.

Wirral Globe:

(Picture: Phillip Kirby)

"Our Joining Forces project runs until April 2020, and we are encouraging any veterans who would like to join the project to sign up for free with us at Age UK Wirral."

Any veterans who are interested can contact Rachel by calling 0151 482 3456 or email rachelbuckley@ageukwirral.org.uk