Devon website is supporting Armed Forces

Cllr Roger Croad, DCC lead member for the Armed Forces Covenant

Posted on: 9 November 2016

Nearly 3,000 visits have been made to a new website for Devon’s military service leavers, veterans, reservists and their families in the first four months since its launch.

The most visited web pages have been for information about housing, support for military families, about employment, and health matters.

The Devon Forces Family website was launched in July by Devon County Council as an online directory of services, a one-stop-shop, and supports all people connected with the armed forces.

It’s been developed in consultation with veterans and professionals working with people in the armed forces.

And it’s been produced partly in response to a review in 2014, a Health Needs Assessment, that found that while most of the 107,000 veterans living in Devon made smooth transitions into civilian life, about 15 per cent have a complex mix of physical and mental health needs.

This can affect family life and has sometimes led to offending behaviour and imprisonment.

It’s long been recognised that people in the armed forces, and their families, experience a unique set of factors as a consequence of their time in the services, which carry through to civilian life.

Risks to life or of injury, as well as armed services’ lifestyle of frequent moves and disruption, all have an impact on individuals and their families.

A lack of familiarity about civilian services, and in some cases stigma, also prevents many veterans and their families from accessing health care, finding suitable housing, gaining employment or joining social groups.

cllr-roger-croadFormer serviceman and Devon County Councillor, Roger Croad, Lead Member for the Armed Forces Covenant, said:

“It’s interesting that the most visited web pages since the launch of the website are for information about housing, support for families, employment and health matters.

“It’s a measure, in a crude way, of what some of the major challenges are for people who have come out of the armed forces, and reservists, and their families, as they adjust to civilian life.

“As we approach Remembrance Day, it’s right that we remember all those, living, as well as those who have given their lives for our country, and recognise the difficulties that their experiences have left them and their families.

“Information and support available to the Armed Forces Community has sometimes not been easy to find, and listed across various websites.

“Through this dedicated website, we hope to make it quick and easy for our military service leavers, veterans, reservists and their families in Devon, Plymouth and Torbay, to access the services and support they need, and ultimately improve their health and wellbeing.”

The website is funded by the Armed Forces Community Covenant Fund.

The Armed Forces Community Covenant is a promise from the nation to all those who serve. It says that we as a nation will do all we can to ensure that people in, or who have left the Armed Forces, and their families, are treated fairly and are not disadvantaged in their day-to-day lives.

A short video has been produced to promote the website.

Or for more information about the Armed Forces Community Covenant, visit its website.

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