Digital platforms boosts support for Armed Forces in the south west

signing the Armed Forces Community Covenant

Posted on: 21 June 2019

A new website and film designed to provide support and training for those working with former service personnel in communities, has been launched.

The website and film has been produced by a group of southwest councils as part of the South West Armed Forces Covenant Project.

The councils, led by Wiltshire Council, include Bristol City, Cornwall, Devon County Council, Gloucestershire County Council, North Somerset and Somerset. They are working together to improve delivery of the Armed Forces Covenant, to raise awareness and promote understanding to benefit military communities.

Watch introduction to the film ‘Change Step’ by former Royal Marine Tip Cullen below

Referred to as Forces Connect South West the authorities won £190,000 Government funding in 2016 and an extra £150,000 early in 2018 to fund initiatives.

The film, called Change Step and website raise awareness of the covenant and provide information on services available.

The film illustrates some of the challenges faced by service personnel and their families during and after transition, and can be used as a training resource to help raise awareness in organisations or at an individual level.

Watch Change Step below

The website provides regional information for the whole military community in the south west including accessing help through the Veterans and Families Service Directory.

Former serviceman and Devon County Councillor, Roger Croad, Lead Member for the Armed Forces Covenant, said:

“There are more than 100,000 veterans living in Devon and as a nation we have a duty to ensure that that those who serve or have served, and their families, are treated fairly.

“Many service personnel experience difficulties as a result of their experiences and can find the transition to civvy-street difficult.

“A lack of familiarity about civilian services, and in some cases stigma, can make it difficult for many veterans and their families to access health care, to find suitable housing, to get a job or join social groups and it can impact on their families.

“This website and film will help those who support forces veterans in the community better understand the difficulties they face, and that in turn will help improve the quality of support they receive.”

In addition to access to the directory, the partnership will also be able to routinely update it with local organisations and agencies that support the military community.

The approach echoes the aspirations of the Armed Forces Covenant which was reaffirmed in Wiltshire in 2017. It ensures the council, businesses and public and voluntary sector work with the military to provide help and advice to the Armed Forces community.

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Posted in: Community