Whitby Gazette launches Heroes Welcome campaign - SIGN UP TO SUPPORT TODAY!

TODAY the Whitby Gazette is launching a campaign urging the town to get behind its serving squaddies.

Heroes Welcome has been rolled out in other towns and cities and organisers hope to get a resounding response from Whitby people.

It is a scheme which offers Army, Royal Navy and RAF personnel and veterans discounts or special treatment at restaurants, hotels and other businesses as a way of saying thank you for putting their lives on the line for this country.

It may be that restaurants give 10% off the cost of a meal, hotels might offer an upgrade or businesses like taxis which can't give a discount could go that extra step and carry bags to and from the car.

Heroes Welcome has been established by Scarborough businessman John Senior who himself was a major with the 16 UK Air Assault Brigade.

He came up with the idea two years ago after hearing about a soldier who was injured in Afghanistan being refused a room at a hotel when he showed his military ID card.

John told the Whitby Gazette: "I read about it and was pretty incensed by it as was everybody.

"I wanted to make the point that if they came in uniform to my restaurant they would be welcome. I did a handmade poster and stuck it in the window.

"Other businesses were coming in asking if they could have one and within a week they were all over the sea front."

Whitby Town Council is backing the scheme and several businesses have already signed up to show their support.

Local counillor Joe Plant who sits on the borough council said: "I think it is a fantastic idea.

"They put their lives on the line for our country and they deserve some recognition.

"Why shouldn't they have a Whitby welcome and I urge everybody in the town to get behind such a wonderful idea."

The Whitby Gazette has pledged to give a free paper to soldiers who come to our offices in Bridge Street.

We will also soon have 500 stickers printed for businesses supporting the campaign to display at their premises.

* If you or your business would like to add its support call reporter Emma Spencer in the newsroom on 829908 or email: emma.spencer@yrnltd.co.uk

You can also leave a comment on your support below.

A list of all the scheme supporters will be published regularly in the Whitby Gazette and on our website at www.whitbygazette.co.uk

New additions will also be updated on our Facebook and Twitter sites.