Organisations across Cheshire East have re-affirmed their commitment to support ex-military personnel back on ‘civvy street’.
In total, more than 20 key organisations have signed the ‘Cheshire Armed Forces Covenant Partnership’ on 6 December – and the event was hailed a tremendous success.
Cheshire East has more than 1,500 former servicemen and women claiming war pensions but many more serving or ex-military personnel could qualify to access the service.
Last summer, the Ministry of Defence contributed £20,000 to the Cheshire Armed Forces Hub, which is helping past and present soldiers, sailors and airmen who need help to access essential services, as well as emotional and family support, where required.
More than 200 ex-military personnel aged between 26 and 95 have been supported in a variety of ways through a range of community schemes and initiatives. These have helped to provide support in health and social care, business start-ups, job advice, sports events, breakfast clubs and appropriate housing in care homes.
The community covenant is a voluntary statement of support between communities and the armed forces as well as being underpinned by the British Legion. The aims of the community covenant are to:
● Encourage local communities to support the armed forces community in their areas;
● Nurture public understanding and awareness of issues affecting the armed forces community;
● Recognise and remember the sacrifices made by the armed forces community; and
● Encourage activities which help to integrate the armed forces community into local life.
Councillor Liz Wardlaw, cabinet member covering equality and diversity, said: “This important covenant signing re-affirms Cheshire East Council’s commitment to supporting ex-service personnel – the signing is another positive step forward. We believe it is vital to support our armed forces personnel, some of whom find it extremely difficult to make the transition from military life to ‘civvy street’.
“Also, some of these personnel return from war zones deeply affected by their experiences and need additional emotional support. We will make sure these heroes are supported and looked after, for all they have given for their country.”
The government has published a national Armed Forces Covenant, which sets the tone for national policy to improve the support available for the armed forces community.
The core principles are that members of the armed forces community do not suffer disadvantage as a result of their service and that they receive special treatment, where appropriate.
For further information visit the Armed Forces Covenant pages on the GOV.UK website.