Preseli Pembrokeshire MP, Stephen Crabb MP, welcomed members of Pembrokeshire’s VC Gallery and Veteran Community at Parliament today (28th March).
The VC Gallery is a registered Charity based in Haverfordwest and Pembroke Dock and they help service veterans and those in the wider community by getting them engaged in a variety of art projects.
The group of 15 veterans and members of The VC Community which also included Colonel James Phillips, the first Veterans Commissioner for Wales, had the opportunity to observe Veterans’ Affairs Minister, Johnny Mercer, during a debate in the Chamber, viewed from the Public Gallery. They were also able to meet him afterwards to highlight the work of The VC Gallery in Pembrokeshire.
The VC Gallery passionately believes that art and culture can improve health, wellbeing, and overall quality of life. As part of the visit, the veterans viewed the art and sculptures on display around the Palace of Westminster and in Portcullis House to inspire and direct their own collection of unique art pieces to be exhibited and showcased locally.
Stephen Crabb MP was able to provide a ‘walk about’ tour providing information about the history of the Palace of Westminster, and an insight into the daily routine of parliamentary business and proceedings.
During the visit Stephen Crabb MP said, “I continue to be impressed by The VC Gallery and all the work they carry out in Pembrokeshire to help improve not only the lives of veterans, but others in the wider community. I have witnessed Barry’s journey with The VC Gallery from the outset, and watched it grow from an idea to the well-respected award-winning charity it is today. I have seen first-hand how art and the creative medium has been transformative for those involved in the VC Gallery.”
“ I am really pleased that I have been able to be part of their London visit and enable them to experience the historic and unique art and sculptures on the estate which all have their own story to add to the rich tradition of Parliament.”
VC Gallery Founder and Veteran, Barry John commented, “I am thrilled to have Stephen’s ongoing support for The VC Gallery and has taken the time out of his busy schedule to not only arrange our visit but to personally show us around today. We are very grateful for the experience which has been a real privilege and will have had an impact on many of our members.”
“This unique experience has helped boost their confidence to travel and engage in the wider environment and it has highlighted opportunities that exist in the arts and creative world. We have used the sights and sounds of London to infuse our ideas for future creative projects."
The VC Gallery also visited the RAF Club, and the Imperial War Museum during their two-day visit to London.