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War graves renovation

Published: 10/09/2014

Ex-veterans from a mentoring charity are restoring war graves across Flintshire as part of a project that will eventually develop a local guide to war graves and cemeteries across North Wales. Volunteers will be at Connah’s Quay, Holywell, Buckley, Old Flint London Road and Northop Road, Greenfield and Treuddyn cemeteries throughout September offering gardening services to tidy up the graves from World War I and II. Led by North Wales based charity CAIS, Change Step is a peer mentoring and advice service delivered by veterans for veterans with post traumatic stress disorder and a range of psychosocial problems who want to make positive changes to their lives. Since the launch of Change Step in May 2013, veteran mentors and mentees have joined forces to help local councils and community groups to tidy up war memorial sites, coastal paths, community halls and beaches across North Wales. With the help of a community grant from the Armed Forces Covenant they plan to extend their volunteering programme and, using data from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Change Step will develop a website that will act as a local guide on war graves in North Wales. It will include lists and maps of all of the cemeteries in North Wales. Councillor Aaron Shotton, Flintshire Council Leader and Armed Forces Champion said: “This project raises awareness of the millions of lives lost during the World Wars and a big thank you goes to veterans for giving up their time to work on the graves. It’s a chance for them to get involved in the local community as well as reminding us of the sacrifices our armed forces make to serve their country.” Councillor Kevin Jones, Cabinet Member for Public Protection said: “Our local cemeteries are a great source of history and the veterans are making these more accessible by offering this fantastic service.” If you know of a Churchyard that includes war graves that Change Step could schedule into their plans or to find out more information about volunteering please contact Kimberley Ferguson on or call 01492 523 821. If you would like to know more about Change Step please visit the Change Step website on or call 0300 777 2259.