Issuu on Google+

Issue 17 September 2010

Raising awareness of the range of help and advice available to veterans

Remembering Fromelles Power of mutual support Armed Forces Compensation Scheme Changes

Service Personnel & Veterans Agency

HELP AND SUPPORT FROM SERVICE PERSONNEL AND VETERANS AGENCY Joint Personnel Administration Centre (JPAC)

Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre (JCCC)

The first point of contact for serving personnel

Providing casualty and compassionate reporting services - 24 hours a day

Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS)

Medals Have you claimed your medals? Call us today

For injury, ill health and death linked to Service on or after 6 April 05

War Pensions For injury, ill health and death linked to Service prior to 6 April 05

Armed Forces Pension Schemes Have you claimed your pension entitlement? (Service from 1975 onwards)

How to contact us Service Personnel

Ex-Service Personnel

JPAC opening hours Monday – Friday 07.00 -19.00

Veterans UK Helpline 0800 169 2277 You may be offered a call back if lines are busy. Lines are open: Monday – Thursday 8.15 -17.15 Friday :8.15 -16.30

JPAC Enquiry Centre 0141 224 3600 Mil 94560 3600

Write to us Write to us JPAC Enquiry Centre, Mail Point 403, Kentigern House Veterans Advice Team, 65 Brown Street, Glasgow G2 8EX Service Personnel and Veterans Agency Tomlinson House, Norcross FY5 3WP Online accessibility Email: veterans.help@spva.gsi.gov.uk Internet: JPAC@spva.mod.uk Fax: 01253 332014 Intranet: JPACEnquiryCentre Online JCCC www.veterans-uk.info Contact the JCCC 24 hours a day, seven days a week 01452 519951

Contents

速 September 2010 Issue 17

IN THIS ISSUE

6

07

MOD Improves AFCS Period to claim increased

7

Meeting the Need Independent inquest advice launched

8

08

Inside Right Veterans score a better future

14 Reviewing Health Services Improving healthcare for North East veterans

17 Making a Difference Beacon Scheme provides employment opportunities

19 Remembering Fromelles Family members attend new cemetery dedication

19

20 Working in Partnership Providing a new home for disabled veteran

Regulars 4-5 News in Brief 25 SPVA News 26 Noticeboard

17

Managing Editor: Laurie Manton Editor: Clare Ellis Deputy Editor: Chrissie Butterworth Email: SPVA-VeteransWorld@mod.uk For distribution enquiries Email: SPVA-VeteransWorld@mod.uk or call: 01253 330451 Want to make an editorial contribution? Contributions are most welcome. To raise awareness of an initiative, scheme or organisation that offers help, advice or support to veterans contact the editorial team by emailing: SPVA-VeteransWorld@mod.uk Editorial content enquiries contact: Managing Editor: Laurie Manton by Email: SPVA-VeteransWorld@mod.uk or by calling: 01253 333882

Issue 17 September 2010

24 3

News in brief

Planning for the future The UK State Pension has changed

The UK State Pension changed on 6 April 2010. People over 55 or who have recently retired may need to take action now to make sure they don’t miss out on money for their future. For more information on how the State Pension is changing, visit the Direct Gov website www.direct.gov.uk/pensions State Pension can be claimed if a person lives outside the UK. However, they’ll only receive any index-linked increases if they live in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland or in a country with which the UK has a social security

agreement that includes increasing state pensions. The spouses and civil partners of Service personnel who are accompanying the partner on an overseas posting can now claim National Insurance credits to help protect their future State Pension entitlement, but they must remember to take action when the accompanied posting ends. These credits are only available for time spent overseas since April 2010.

Confused about priority treatment? Not sure how to get mental health support? The Royal British Legion and the Department of Health have jointly published a leaflet which explains the health services veterans are entitled to and how they can access them. For those who served - Meeting the healthcare needs of veterans in England gives specific advice about registering with a GP, accessing priority treatment (subject to the clinical needs of all patients), prostheses and mental health support. It also gives a list of useful contacts that will be able to give you more information or answer any questions.

Contacts For more information, visit the Directgov website and look for National Insurance credits for Her Majesty’s forces.

Contacts

New rehabilitation complex opens at Headley Court

© Crown Copyright

For copies of the leaflet visit www.britishlegion.org.uk, call Poppy advice, telephone 08457 725 725 or you can download the leaflet from the Department of Health publications at www.dh.gov.uk

Prince William meets with Military personnel at the opening

The multi-million pound complex, part funded by the charity, Help for Heroes and the Ministry of Defence, opened its doors before schedule on 4 June 2010

4

© Crown Copyright

The new complex houses a 25-metre swimming pool, refurbished gymnasium, gait laboratory - a highly specialised environment that enables staff to scientifically measure how patients walk, treatment areas for physiotherapy and consulting rooms. These onsite treatment facilities will aid the recovery of all those treated at the centre.

Association of WRENS contact details

Prince William took a tour of the new centre

In Issue 16, we reported on the Association of WRENS celebrating 90 years of memories, camaraderie and support. To join the association contact: Tel: 02079320111 Email: office@wrens.org.uk Visit: www.wrens.org.uk

Heroes Return 2 Second World War veterans can still benefit from a Lottery-funded scheme, enabling them to revisit the places where they served their country THE Big Lottery Fund (BIG) pledged to fund World War 2 veterans resident in the UK and Republic of Ireland to make commemorative trips to mark anniversaries throughout 2009 and 2010. Funding is also available for a carer or spouse and widows and widowers of veterans can also apply.

Grants have been provided through the Heroes Return 2 programme to nearly five thousand veterans. The Heroes Return 2 programme will fund trips to Second World War theatres of war around the globe, such as Arnhem, Burma, Libya and the Far East. Funding is not means-tested and applicants can apply for a fixed amount grant of between £150 and £5,500 depending on the number of people partaking and the chosen destination.

Veterans must have travelled by 31 December 2010, although claims can be made retrospectively until 31 January 2011.

Contacts To find out more about the programme, call the Heroes Return 2 Helpline on 0845 00 00 121 or visit the Big Lottery Fund website at www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/heroesreturn

or email general.enquiries@biglotteryfund.org.uk

Inheritance Tax

Did you know that some veterans may be eligible for inheritance tax exemption if they die as a result of injuries or disease received or aggravated during military service . . . peace time or anti-terrorist operations), a complete exemption from inheritance tax can be granted on their estate under the provisions of s154 of the Inheritance Tax Act. Likewise, while the total exemption is not transferrable to a spouse’s estate, the granting of an exemption on the veteran’s estate will double the personal tax threshold (to £650,000) used to assess any Inheritance Tax

Contacts When someone dies, Inheritance Tax must normally be paid on their estate (everything they owned at the time of death), if their estate is worth more that a certain amount (currently £325,000). The main exemption is if they leave their total estate to their spouse. HOWEVER, if a serving or former member of the Armed Forces dies from (or death can be shown to have been hastened by) an injury sustained or disease contracted on active service against the enemy or other service of a warlike nature (such as operations against hostile forces in Issue 17 September 2010

Anyone wishing to apply for an exemption under s154, or requiring further information, should contact Service Personnel and Veterans Agency Joint Casualty & Compassionate Centre (Deceased Estates) Room G35 Innsworth House Imjin Barracks Gloucester GL3 1HW Or telephone Wendy Gower or Linda Blackwell on 01452 712612 Ext 5680 or 8174

liability on the spouses estate when they die. Each application for an exemption is considered on its merits after the death of the veteran concerned and requires the MOD to be given access to the veteran’s full medical records. Neither war time service in the armed forces or receipt of a war pension, is a guarantee that an exemption will be granted.

Be the Boss In the last issue, Veterans WORLD published details on the new £5 million Government scheme administered by the Royal British Legion – Be the Boss. The scheme will provide ex-Service personnel with loans and grants to help with the costs of starting their own business. FOR further information on the scheme call the free Helpline on 0800 678 5787, email betheboss@civvystreet.org or visit www.civvystreet.org and click onto Be the Boss

5

s

MOD improves Armed Forces Compensation Scheme The period in which anyone injured in service can claim compensation was extended in August from five to seven years from point of diagnosis as part of a series of changes to the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme

“Making these changes and implementing the recommendations of the Boyce Review demonstrates the Government's commitment to injured service personnel, both those serving and veterans.” THE change, which came into effect on August 3, is one of several to be introduced following the recommendations from the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme Review, carried out by former Chief of the Defence Staff Admiral the Lord Boyce last year.

rces Armed Fo Scheme n o ti Compensa

eas)

s of n all aspect ms. ng claim for claim eting the to ing ask nd nager.

e the schem Changes to 0 1 st 20 from Augu

Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) Your compensation scheme is changing from August 2010 •

AFCS pays compensation for injury, illness or death predominantly caused by Service after 5 April 2005.

August 2010 sees extended time limits for claiming, higher maximum bereavement grants and increases in the majority of hearing loss payments.

Could you be entitled?

Call 0800 169 2277

Awards already made since April 2005 will be automatically re-visited and claimants will receive an uplift after all recommendations have been put into legislation. Due to the complexity involved in re-visiting such a large number of previous awards, this process will take time, but all additional payments are expected to be made by June 2012. Andrew Robathan, Minister for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans, said:

Call SPVA helpline on: 0800 169 2277 (UK only) +44 1253 866043 (overseas)

Internet: www.spva.mod.uk www.veterans-uk.info

The Review, which was assisted by an independent scrutiny group which included Service charities, medical experts, serving personnel and veterans, announced its recommendations for improvements in February this year. The majority of these improvements require legislative amendment to the Scheme and will be implemented by February 2011, but some changes could be made more quickly. The improvements that took effect from August 3 also included; •

6

An uplift of the majority of awards for hearing loss by one Tariff level.

An increase in the maximum level of Bereavement Grant from £20,000 to £25,000 to reflect the increase in Armed Forces pay since 2005; An increase in the maximum level of Bereavement Grant for Reservists who are not members of a reserve forces pension scheme to £37,500, to help bring their benefits in line with their Regular forces colleagues; and

“Making these changes and implementing the recommendations of the Boyce Review demonstrates the Government's commitment to injured service personnel, both those serving and veterans. We are working to get all of the recommendations from the Review into practice as soon as possible. Crucially, nobody will lose out as a result of these changes – indeed, all will receive an uplift to the amount they received. I am determined to continue to ensure the care for our personnel is the best possible.” All personnel seeking advice should call the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency free helpline on 0800 169 2277 or visit the website www.veterans-uk.info

Contacts Further information is available through a number of AFCS communications products. These can be downloaded via the SPVA website www.veterans-uk.info

Independent Inquest Advice for bereaved Service families will meet a real need A new service part funded by the MOD to help bereaved Armed Forces families through the inquest process was launched in July by The Royal British Legion

Legion solicitors, Kevin Hart and Michele Price, at the launch of Independent Inquest Advice, with bereaved families who helped set up the service

Independent Inquest Advice provides free, independent and expert legal advice and assistance from professionally qualified lawyers to support bereaved Service families through what can be a confusing and frustrating process at an already difficult and painful time. Chris Simpkins, Director General of The Royal British Legion, said: "Independent Inquest Advice is a new departure for the Legion, and reflects the wider range of services we now offer to meet the growing needs of our Service personnel and their families. Bereaved families need to feel able to participate in the inquest procedures, to ask questions, and to receive as much information as possible. Our service will meet a very real need, helping bereaved Armed Forces families to understand, and feel better equipped to deal with, the whole investigation into their loved ones' deaths. The Legion will be with them every step of the way through this." Robert Dicketts, whose son Corporal Oliver Dicketts was one of 14 Service men killed in the 2006 Nimrod Issue 17 September 2010

“By working together, The Royal British Legion and the MOD can guide families who have lost loved ones through the sometimes complex and unfamiliar process of an inquest.� explosion in Afghanistan, spoke at the launch and welcomed the new service: "I have had first-hand experience of how harrowing a military inquest can be. Nothing can prepare you for it, and it can be all the more frustrating if you aren't receiving support and advice along the way." Diana Barnes, whose husband Corporal Jason Barnes died in Afghanistan in 2008 when the vehicle he was driving hit a roadside device, said: "Military inquests are so complex, you don't really know what to expect. There's a lot of waiting around and not knowing. With Jason's inquest I went into it blind and totally unadvised." The Legion's new service has been welcomed by Andrew Robathan, Minister for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans. He said,

"The Royal British Legion offers outstanding support to former Service personnel, their families and those who have been bereaved. I am sure the Independent Inquest Advice Service will become another valued and excellent service. It will complement the good work the Ministry of Defence and the Armed Forces already does on behalf of bereaved families. By working together, The Royal British Legion and the MOD can guide families who have lost loved ones through the sometimes complex and unfamiliar process of an inquest."

Contacts For further information email iia@britishlegion.org.uk or call 020 3207 2144 or 020 3207 2137

7

Football and service charities join forces to help younger veterans

“I am delighted that our national game is teaming up with Service Charities to give support and valuable assistance.”

Inside Right is funded by the Football Foundation, The Royal British Legion, Comic Relief, ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, the Ministry of Defence and RAF Benevolent Fund with support from Combat Stress and the Mental Health Foundation 8

Photo courtesy of Colchester United FC

Inside Right is a new lifestyle programme, which uses football as a vehicle to help younger Service veterans adjust to civilian life

Inside Right ambassadors LCpl Johnson Beharry VC and former Major Phil Packer join military veterans and the Chelsea squad to announce the programme

Most people transfer easily but some may miss the company and the focus on physical fitness, especially in teams. Using the hook of football and the appeal of professional football clubs, Inside Right offers physical fitness and social interaction to improve health and well-being with as required access to on-going support and services. In particular, it is aimed at younger ex-Servicemen and women, aged between 20-50.

• •

INSIDE RIGHT is initially a three-year pilot, to be delivered by five clubs: Chelsea, Colchester United, Everton, Lincoln City and Portsmouth. A key supporter of Inside Right is former Major Phil Packer. He joined the entire Chelsea squad at a special event, held in March, at Stamford Bridge to announce the programme.

focused around the football club. This could include attendance at matches, social events and meeting players To provide physical activity and social interaction, especially for veterans who are lonely, isolated, suffering mental health symptoms, long term unemployed or on low income. To offer veterans access to training qualifications, and volunteering roles. To raise awareness of the array of veterans support services available and assist with accessing these services.

And speaking on behalf of the football family, Chelsea captain John Terry added, “I am really pleased that football is playing its part in helping our Servicemen and women return to civilian life.

“They have risked their lives serving our country and we are rightly proud of them. “I am fully behind the Inside Right programme and it is perhaps football’s way of recognising all of our military personnel for the sacrifices that they make on our behalf.” Health Professional and welfare officers will be able to refer people to the football clubs, using a referral form, which can be found on the Football Foundation website – www.footballfoundation.org.uk

Contacts For more information contact Lucy Mann, Inside Right Programme Manager, at: lucy.mann@footballfoundation.org.uk

At the launch he said: “I am delighted that our national game is teaming up with Service Charities to give support and valuable assistance.” The key aims of Inside Right: •

To reduce the isolation felt by some veterans when they return to civilian life through a programme of social activities Issue 17 September 2010

9

New police scheme supporting veterans in Kent A project identifying veterans in the criminal justice system has been operational in the Kent Police area since April this year Neil Payne said: “This initiative is a simple yet effective way of identifying those who might be in need of assistance and signposting them to appropriate help and support. If we can prevent any veteran from committing crime which could result in that person receiving a custodial sentence it has to be a good thing.” How it works When people are leaving custody they are asked a number of questions. Previously these included, "Do you use drugs or alcohol?” , "If so, do you have a drugs or alcohol councillor?” and "Do you have somewhere to live?”

Chief Inspector Paul Anderson responsible for custody at Kent Police and Neil Payne SSAFA Divisional Secretary

“If we can prevent any veteran from committing crime which could result in that person receiving a custodial sentence it has to be a good thing.” 10

Now people leaving custody are also asked: “Are you, or were you a member of the Armed Forces?” and, "If so, would you like some help from the Service charities"?

THE PROJECT has been spearheaded by DC Colin Back of Kent Police, who is both a SSAFA volunteer and ex-Service himself.

If they answer yes to these questions they are given a police referral leaflet with contact details for the SSAFA Forces Help in Kent.

DC Back explained:

The story so far

“It isn’t about the crime committed. It’s about identifying those entering the criminal justice system who are ex-Service and signposting them to the support available. Once identified, I chat to them, to try and establish whether any problems they are facing are linked to their service, then I refer them to the local SSAFA co-ordinator who can provide further help.”

In the first two months, 232 former Service personnel were arrested in the county*. Of those, 11 have contacted SSAFA Forces Help for assistance with issues ranging from homelessness, house repossession and difficulty paying bills. SSAFA has also received two referrals direct from police officers who are aware of the assistance it can offer to serving and former members of the Armed Forces.

DC Back worked with Neil Payne, Divisional Secretary of the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen & Families Association (SSAFA) Forces Help White Cliffs County & Romney Marsh Division to launch the pilot.

Editor’s note: *This figure represents 3.1% of arrests made this period. Not all arrests result in a conviction.

Big Lottery Fund Heroes Return 2 Final call for applications

The Big Lottery Fund is sending out final calls for Second World War veterans to apply for funding from the Heroes Return 2 programme, which is awarding grants for them to return to the places across the world where they served, as well as to attend memorial events in the UK.

Any Second World War veteran who served with or alongside the British Armed Forces and is a UK and Channel Islands, Isle of Man or Republic of Ireland resident is eligible for the funding.

Funding is still available and can be claimed up until January 31 2011, though veterans must have travelled by 31 December 2010.

Veterans have used the funding to return to places including France, Holland Italy, Greece, Malta, India, America, the Far East, and North Africa.

Spouses and carers, usually a family member, can also receive funding to go on the trip, widows and widowers of veterans are also eligible for the grants

Anyone wanting to find out more can call the Heroes Return helpline on 0845 00 00 121 or visit the website: www.biglotteryfund.org.uk To date over ÂŁ7.1 million has been awarded through Heroes Return 2, enabling over 10,600 people to go on the trips.

Veterans’ mental health service extended across Wales A pilot project funded by the Welsh Assembly Government for veterans of the Armed Forces experiencing mental health problems has been extended across Wales

“Indeed, it is widely recognised that veterans have particular health and social care needs which in the past have not been fully addressed. I have therefore prioritised improving the health and well-being of Service personnel and veterans in Wales.

The Welsh assembly in Cardiff

The service offers access to clinicians with expertise in veterans’ mental health to provide a comprehensive assessment, suitable treatment options, and referral or signposting to other veterans’ agencies or NHS departments. It builds on the veterans community mental health pilot in Cardiff (funded by the Welsh Assembly Government with support from the MOD), which is one of six such pilots located across the UK. THE new all-Wales mental health and well-being service, funded fully by the Welsh Assembly Government from April 2010, with an investment of £485,000 per year is currently being rolled out. The new service will include: •

Veterans who experience mental health and well-being difficulties to have a comprehensive assessment to assess their

12

psychological and social needs; Veterans and carers to be involved in the development of a management plan to meet their health and care needs; and, Veterans and carers to be given information on other services and support that they are entitled to in an effort to improve their health and quality of life.

Veterans in Wales already receive priority treatment on the NHS for a health condition related to their military service and the Welsh Health Minister Edwina Hart has also ensured that all NHS organisations now have a champion for Veterans and Armed Forces health. She said: “I am determined to improve the care for people who have experienced health problems as a result of their military service. We owe them a debt of gratitude and have a duty of care to them.

Leader of the pilot project Professor Jon Bisson added: “This is excellent and very exciting news. Health Boards will now identify staff to deliver a service that will allow us to build on the success of the pilot project and ensure that veterans across Wales can access and benefit from a local service that is tailored to meet their needs.”

Contacts Access to the scheme is open and includes self-referral, GPs, veterans’ agencies and charities. The service can be contacted through 02920 742062 or visit www.veterans-mhs-cvct.org You may also be interested in the following links . . . Armed Forces and Veterans (Welsh Assembly Government) http://wales.gov.uk/topics/ housingandcommunity/safety/armed forces/?lang=en Combat Stress http://www.combatstress.org.uk/ Welsh Health Circular on Priority Care and Treatment for Veterans http://www.wales.nhs.uk/documents/WHC (2008)051%20full.pdf

Scotland’s veterans projects share £80,000 grant

Eleven projects are sharing an £80,000 fund to help ex-Service personnel at home in Scotland Over three years the Scottish Veterans Fund has distributed £240,000 worth of grants for projects that support veterans and their families. £80,000 has been allocated for 2010/11. THE projects are diverse - from upgrading websites, creating employment opportunities to an outdoor pursuits programme. Erskine will run a pilot offering supported transition for those leaving the service, providing accommodation in five new properties for recently discharged Service personnel. Support in accessing welfare advice, re-training and employment will also be provided. The Thistle Foundation will provide veterans lifestyle management courses improving the health and wellbeing of at least 40 veterans through participation in a ten-week self management course. Scottish Veterans Residences is using the funding for a commemorative service to mark 125 years of service to Veterans. The event will bring to the public's attention the work being done by the organisation. It will raise awareness that SVR is embarking on a much needed project to build new accommodation in Glasgow for needy and homeless ex-Servicemen for which £5m of funding is required. RBL Scotland will publicise a scheme to fund travel and subsistence to Ministry of Defence Issue 17 September 2010

Hospital Units in England. The funding will be used for the production of literature to publicise the scheme. Poppyscotland will host a conference highlighting the problems of finding and retaining employment faced by disabled and vulnerable veterans. One of the aims of the conference is the recruitment of ten veteran-friendly employers who will have input to the Veterans Employment Workplan process and pledge to create 30 vacancies for veterans within an 18-month period. Funding will support the Mark Wright Project Physical Activity Outdoor Programme designed to help veterans in accessing, and participating in, healthy outdoor physical activities to promote and develop positive physical and mental health and wellbeing. The programme will provide veterans with opportunities to access a wide and varied range of outdoor pursuits and facilities within their local community, Lothians in Scotland.

Mark Wrig ht Pr oject

ne Erski

Veterans Scotland is using the funding to develop their website into a veterans hub. Funding is also being provided for educational projects by the Lady Haig Poppy Factory, Poppy Scotland and RBL Scotland.

Contacts Scottish Veterans Fund is administered by Veterans Scotland, for further information visit www.veteransscotland.co.uk

Scott ish V etera ns Resid ence s

13

Meeting healthcare needs A 12-month project in the North East aims to improve health services for veterans in the region. The 12 authorities involved are: Darlington Durham Gateshead Hartlepool Middlesbrough Newcastle North Tyneside Northumberland Redcar and Cleveland Stockton-on-Tees South Tyneside Sunderland

Editor’s Note: The Centre for Public Scrutiny is a charity that has been created to help those who look at the effectiveness of public services. For further information visit: www.cfps.org.uk

Twelve North East councils are taking part in the project, part-funded by the Centre for Public Scrutiny (CfPS) to review health services provided to veterans and to help to understand and tackle inequalities that veterans may be subject to as a result of their service in the Armed Forces. The results will also be used by the CfPS to develop a toolkit that could be used nationally. THE project will establish and benchmark local and regional information about: •

the health needs and access to services of the ex-Service communities compared with civilians of similar socio-economic backgrounds;

the different needs of the ex-Service communities, including, for example, looking at older and younger veterans, veterans of different conflicts; veterans of different Services and the families of those groups, specifically addressing socio-economic wellbeing as well as physical and mental health;

the extent to which ex-Service communities are able to access to services and support (including pyschosocial support), access to employment and training, drug and alcohol misuse, family breakdown, housing difficulties and involvement with the criminal justice system; and

good and bad practice across the region, including specific issues such as priority access to NHS treatment for veterans, but also more generally in terms of the quality of communications between agencies and partnership working and the resulting support for ex-Service communities.

The project is also looking at what awareness veterans and their families have about the services that are available to them. The Councils instigated their project on June 28 with a day of discussions with the MOD and Department of Health, and with local representatives of the Armed Forces, ex-Service organisations and health and social care providers.

Contacts For further information on the project contact Steven Flanagan, Newcastle City Council by calling 0191 277 7522 or email steven.flanagan@newcastle.gov.uk

14

National celebration of Armed Forces Community Over 300 events were held across the UK to mark the second Armed Forces Day will be the focus for Armed Forces Day next year, 2011. I am sure that Edinburgh City Council, the local community and our forces across Scotland will provide a celebration befitting such a great capital city.” Armed Forces Day 2011 will take place on Saturday June 25 and plans are already underway in Edinburgh to make the national event extra special, as Edinburgh’s Lord Provost explained: “It’s a tremendous honour for Edinburgh to host Armed Forces Day 2011. Plans are already underway to lay on a truly spectacular occasion, and we want the whole city to get behind our troops and veterans – the people, local businesses, schools and community groups.” A Royal Navy sailor shows his support for Armed Forces Day by waterskiing in full uniform while flying the AFD 2010 flag.

Wimbledon, the World Cup and the G8 Summit weren’t the only hot topics in June. Armed Forces Day was a resounding success with high event attendance, featuring in the media spotlight with extensive online coverage. A CROWD of between 70 and 80 thousand people from across the country descended on Cardiff, the proud national hosts for 2010, to celebrate Armed Forces Day. The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall attended the event and led the nation's support for the Armed Forces. The day's celebrations began with a parade across the city, made up of service men and women from the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force, marching from Cardiff Castle through the city, where the route was lined with well-wishers waving Armed Forces Day flags. At Cardiff Bay, crowds gathered to cheer on the parade as they entered Roald Dahl Plass and to attend the Issue 17 September 2010

Drumhead service. The bay was also centre stage for the afternoon activities, where a jam-packed afternoon of events took place including fly-pasts by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and Red Arrows, military displays and a dynamic air display. Royal Navy frigate HMS Kent also welcomed hundreds of people on board.

Keeping informed To keep updated on plans for next year’s events, visit www.armedforcesday.org.uk EDITORSNOTE: The AFD website had over 30,000 visits on the day and its Facebook page has 347,000 followers.

Lord Mayor of Cardiff, Cllr Keith Hyde, said: "We had a fantastic day, and we are very proud to have been given the opportunity to be the host nation for the 2010 Armed Forces Day. "I would like to thank everyone who attended and showed their support for the brave men and women of the Armed Forces." Next year Edinburgh will host the Armed Forces Day flagship national event next year. The announcement was made by Defence Secretary Liam Fox during the national event in Cardiff. He said: “I am pleased to reveal that Edinburgh

The Red Arrows fly over the Millennium Centre at Armed Forces Day Cardiff.

15

Providing over 20 years of support The RAF Benevolent Fund working in partnership with a leading national charity for those with spinal cord injuries

The RAFBF has provided donations to the Spinal Injuries Association (SIA), since 1982, which have contributed towards the expansion of SIA’s services which include a Free phone Advice Line 0800 980 0501, Peer Advice Service, Community Peer Support Service and a Family Counselling project. Paul Hewson, Regional Director for the RAFBF, explains: “The RAF Benevolent Fund has supported the Spinal Injuries Association’s invaluable work for many years. Working with organizations like SIA helps us to deliver help to RAF family members where it is needed most.” Paul Smith, Executive Director of the Spinal Injuries Association added: “The RAFBF’s longstanding support of our work with spinal cord injured people, has enabled us to keep providing and developing our much needed services to support individuals as they rebuild their lives after paralysis.” Shared Experience SIA’s Community Peer Support Officer, Peter Hutchings (pictured), is currently providing support to David, an RAF veteran. Peter’s role is to support individuals who are not admitted to a Spinal Injury Centre and are instead treated in settings such as District General Hospitals, where they do not have the benefit of support from others in a similar situation. David’s injury was non-traumatic, having been sustained through illness. However, the impact of this injury is no different to one that was sustained

16

Paul Hewson, Regional Director for the RAFBF presents the cheque to SIA Executive Director Paul Smith

in a traumatic accident and David is having to come to terms with the fact that he will not walk again. He has been in a District General Hospital for over eight months and is currently undergoing rehabilitation. Peter suffered a spinal cord injury in 1999 following surgery and was treated in a General Hospital, and therefore has a good understanding of the feelings David is experiencing and the challenges which lay ahead. Peter was initially contacted by David’s physiotherapist who felt he would benefit from the support of someone who has rebuilt their own life after paralysis. Peter has since visited David several times and has chatted to him and his wife about various elements of living with paralysis.

Peter Hutchings, SIA Community Peer Support Officer

Contacts For more information on the RAF Benevolent Fund, call 0800 169 2942 or visit www.rafbf.org Further information on the Spinal Injuries Association can be found by calling 0800 980 0501 or visiting www.spinal.co.uk Peter Hutchings can be contacted by calling 0795 3538126 or sending an email to p.hutchings@spinal.co.uk.

A particular concern of David’s has been housing and accessing funding to meet his health care needs after discharge. Peter has provided detailed information on these topics, including support provided by the RAFBF and will continue to support David for as long as needed to ensure he is EDITOR’S NOTE: SIA cares for all equipped with the information and confidence to live an independent and those with spinal injuries, including veterans from all three Services fulfilling life.

Beacon lights way to employment opportunities As a result, Nigel Berry has now successfully moved out of Riverside ECHG accommodation and into his own flat: “Having been unemployed for almost five years after I was medically discharged out of the Army I now have a job and it’s made the world of difference to me and my plans for the future and I’m looking forward to getting additional qualifications for Driving Diggers and Forklift licence!”

Architect’s impression of Riverside ECHG’s The Beacon Scheme – front elevation

In January 2010 construction started on The Beacon, a groundbreaking housing and training centre for single ex-Servicemen and women in Catterick, run by housing association Riverside ECHG. The intervening months have brought some interesting developments!

IN JUNE, with the foundations of The Beacon scheme well underway, Iraq veteran and former Riverside ECHG resident, Nigel Berry, took centre stage to launch a pioneering partnership with the Royal British Legion to assist disabled veterans back into employment.

“I now have a job and it’s made the world of difference to me” As part of their Supported Employment Scheme The Royal British Legion Poppy Factory is working with Riverside ECHG to provide one year’s funding to designated companies who provide employment to disabled veterans. Riverside ECHG’s Manager, Trevor Morris, believes there will be plenty of interest:

Riverside ECHG’s The Beacon Scheme – former ECHG resident Nigel Berry on construction Issue 17 September 2010

“We know that employment is crucial to helping veterans move on successfully. And we’re delighted that RoK, the construction company who are building The Beacon for us, have signed up to employ Nigel on our construction site in Catterick.”

But Riverside ECHG’s plans won’t stop there. Morris continues: “There will be further construction skills training on the site from this Autumn when two veterans start a six month placement via the Future Jobs Fund. This is being done in partnership with Groundwork which is an environmental regeneration charity.” In a further unexpected boost to their partnership with the MoD, Riverside ECHG’s services were singled out from over 300 other agencies as Finalists in the National Housing Heroes Awards, a major annual award in the housing field. Trevor Morris said: “Although the top prize eluded us, it was a major coup to reach the Finals. Our presence there was an important reminder to all the thousands of individuals and public agencies that take part, of the importance of continued support for those who have served in the Armed Forces.” Construction on The Beacon itself is going to plan, with the foundations laid and the eco-friendly timber frames going up. Completion will be March 2011 with the scheme fully operational by late spring 2011. The Royal British Legion has also announced it will provide capital funding towards The Beacon’s employment and education area and its health resource facility.

17

Behind Every Headline . . .

The tempo of operational duties means that many families and friends in the Armed Forces have been bereaved over the past few years. and help from a sympathetic and specially trained “stranger” can be very beneficial. We’ve also secured funding to train serving and ex-Service personnel and family members to be bereavement support workers. The Cruse course is highly regarded, externally validated and the work - unpaid as everyone is a volunteer - very rewarding. Identifying volunteers is now one of our priorities.”

Contacts

The need for bereavement support for members of the Armed Forces and their families is very real. Cruse Bereavement Care is the largest national charity providing this service for any member of the Armed Forces community who has Don’t be afraid to ask for help and support. suffered Meeting a loss.other young bereaved service parents

Department of Health website for use by health professionals.

The Cruse website has a dedicated section for the Military Family providing guidance and contact information. The project is also using social media as a way to raise can be very reassuring. Each service has a widows’ awareness and understanding with association for the partners of people who die in service. Their details are below. podcasts of personal stories in ITS bereavement support services are Cruse has been helping bereaved people and their free to anyone who needs them: from children for more than 50 years – our services are freedevelopment. to bereaved people. support, group one-to-one individual How to contact Bereavement Cruse is looking to expand support to work, a helpline andCruse support via Care National helpline: 0844 477 9400 Serving Personnel and their families as e-mail. Information and leaflets can Email: helpline@cruse.org.uk Cruse young people’s helpline: 0808 808 1677 also be downloaded from the website. Cruse website: www.cruse.org.uk (with a section forJenny Green, Project Manager, military families) Cruse young people’s website: www.RD4U.org.uk explains: As part ofCruse its Armed Forces Project, Central Office Telephone: 6,000 0208 939bereavement 9530 “We want to work closely with units, many of Cruse’s Fax: 0208 940 1671 regiments and welfare staff. We’ve support workers have now received Email: info@cruse.org.uk provided every HIVE with Cruse additionalCruse training the special Northernin Ireland Knockbracken Healthcare Park leaflets containing advice both on circumstances of families who Saintfield Road, Belfast BT8 8HB Telephone: 028 9079 2419 supporting bereaved adults and experience a “death in Service”. The www.cruseni.org.uk helping them support their grieving training provides awareness of the Cruse Wales children. particularTyissues Energlyn that might Gwrt Llanfabon, Caerphilly, CF83 2TP complicate the grieving process. Cruse Bereavement Care Scotland The challenge is to make sure that this Riverview House Road, Perth PH2 8DF information is distributed widely, so The DVD, Friarton Behind Every Headline is www.crusescotland.org.uk that personnel on active duty know Heartache, launched in 2009 provides Service Widows Associations that bereavement support is freely valuable training not only for Cruse Army: www.armywidows.org.uk Naval & Marines: www.rnrmwidowsassociation.org available to them and that it is not a volunteers, other organisations RAF:but www.rafwidowsassociation.org.uk sign of weakness to seek help. At that have contact Sponsored with Service by a grant from The Soldiers’ Charity difficult times, our coping families. An editedABFten minute mechanisms are stretched to the limit version is to be placed on The

18

if you would like further information or get involved in supporting bereaved Service Families visit www.cruse.org.uk and click onto the Military section. Alternatively, email Jenny Green, Armed Forces Project Manager, Cruse Bereavement Care jenny.green@cruse.org.uk

The final resting place A new Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery became the final resting place for 250 soldiers in a dedication ceremony led by The Prince of Wales

THE dedication of the new Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery began when the coffin of the last soldier, who was representative of all those killed at the battle, was carried out of Pheasant Wood, location of the original graves, on a First World War Mark X General Service Wagon pulled by horses from the Kings Troop Royal Horse Artillery. The procession journeyed through the village of Fromelles, joined by The Prince and Her Excellency the Governor- General of Australia Quentin Bryce, along with Chief of the General Staff Gen Sir David Richards, Lt Gen Ken Gillespie, Australian Chief of Army, and soldiers from the British and Australian Armies.

Jon Garrett / CWGC

On 19 July, 94 years to the day since thousands of men died at the Battle of Fromelles, the last of 250 First World War soldiers, recently discovered in communal graves, was laid to rest in a new, purpose-built, Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery.

Aerial view of the cemetery on the morning of the ceremony.

“The service was attended by hundreds of people from British and Australian families�

Search continues for next of kin The search is still on for the families of those British and Australian soldiers believed to have been killed at the Battle of Fromelles on 19-20 July 1916.

Anyone who may be related to an Australian soldier should visit www.defence.gov.au/fromelles for more information or call 00 61 1800 019 090 Issue 17 September 2010

Jon Garrett / CWGC

Anyone believing they may be related to a British soldier who may have died at the battle should contact: Historic Casualty Casework, Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre, Service Personnel and Veterans Agency, Imjin Barracks, Gloucester GL3 1HW, Fromelles@spva.mod.uk or 01452 712612 x 6303/7330. The cemetery is dedicated by The Prince of Wales. The service was attended by hundreds of people from British and Australian families, whose relatives were killed in the battle. Many took part in the service, reading extracts from letters

and diaries from those they lost. The coffin was borne by soldiers from the British and Australian Armies, and a joint Firing Party fired three shots, followed by a one minute silence.

19

A new home for Shaun Haig Housing Trust has provided a disabled veteran with a newly renovated and specially adapted home, with the help of some friends.

Family support: pictured from left Shaun’s cousin Diane Bowers, his aunt Barbara Ingram, Shaun and his uncle John Ingram

Shaun Bowers, a physical training instructor in 3PARA, had been seriously injured in a traffic accident in December 2007 and is now confined to a wheel chair. He is partially brain damaged and requires three social service visits a day. Ironically, Shaun had recently returned unscathed from 3PARA’s first tour in Afghanistan during which the Battalion had seen intense action. FOLLOWING his accident, Shaun spent most of 2008 and 2009 in Headley Court and Banstead Clinic where he was treated for his injuries. Later he was transferred to Rookwood Hospital, Cardiff, before being medically discharged from the Army in April 2010. On his discharge from hospital, Shaun moved into an adapted bungalow in Rhydyfelin, near Pontypridd, provided by his local council Rhondda Cynon Taf.

20

Unfortunately, the accommodation proved to be too far from Shaun’s friends and the home of his aunt Barbara Ingram, his principal family carer, who as a non driver was faced with a series of impractical daily bus journeys. In late 2009, Haig Housing Trust (HHT) was alerted to Shaun’s case by Bill Billington, the Army’s 5 Division Sickness Absence Management officer. HHT, established by Haig Homes in 2008, provides individual housing solutions for members of the ex-Service community in housing need, especially those with serious injuries or illnesses arising while serving. HHT complements the traditional Haig Homes service of providing homes for members of the ex-Service community in housing need on well kept estates throughout the UK.

HHT subsequently found, purchased and renovated a suitably extended property in Porth, close to Shaun’s family and friends. They have completely transformed the house; the downstairs bathroom has been converted into a wet room and the upstairs opened up. Two bedrooms have been knocked into one and a through-floor lift, funded by Rhondda Cynon Taf Social Services has been installed. A further bedroom is available for a carer or visitors. Working in partnership with ex-Service organisations and Social Services has made this a success story. While HHT funded the house purchase and renovations, adaptations for the house were funded jointly by The Airborne Forces Security Fund and ABF, The Soldiers’ Charity. SSAFA Forces Help and SPVA Veterans Welfare Service have also helped Shaun with advice on benefits entitlement and charitable support. Shaun will inevitably face challenges

Rory Ingleby-MacKenzie (HHT) joins the family in the kitchen

in the years to come, but is thrilled to be able to meet them from the security of his well adapted home in familiar surroundings and close to his family and friends.

Contacts for further information on HHT call 0208 685 5777 or visit www.haighomes.org.uk

The power of mutual support A new association for bereaved families of the Naval community.

start up a group myself. I’ve met with some amazing people who’ve got involved in the group development. The RNRM Children’s Fund and The Naval Families Federation are two of our greatest supporters and helped us pave the way to a relatively smooth start.

‘Lesley-Ann (centre) with founder members Jan Hibbet (LHS) and Liz Chapman (RHS)

How one woman turned a personal tragedy into positive support for others . . . “MY name is Lesley-Ann; four years ago tragedy hit my family when my husband Cdr Stephen Taylor died suddenly from asphyxia due to aspiration of food. I cannot begin to explain the pain as you watch your husband choke and die in front of you and the events that follow such misery.

“We don’t have a magic wand but we do know the pain of loss and we are here to listen”

Issue 17 September 2010

We were an average naval family looking forward to spending time together after three years of Stephen being based in London and my son and I in Southsea. That night is such a blur and I sometimes wonder how I got through those dark days. However with support from Naval Personnel and Family Service (NPFS), family and friends, my faith and a lot of counselling, I survived! But to just survive is not enough. I can hardly remember the first year and after about 18 months I needed to find others within the Naval community who had suffered the same tragedy. I needed to talk! This was the beginning of The Royal Navy Royal Marines Widows’ Association. I discovered that the Royal Navy and Royal Marines did not have a widow’s support group unlike our counterparts the Army and RAF. With support from Gill Grigg, Chair person War Widows Association, I decided to

Starting something from scratch is interesting and a great learning curve. Our membership is small but it is early days and we are here to stay. Our aim is to bring support, friendship and comfort to those widowed and to give them a voice. We work closely with the MOD, the Army and RAF Widows’ Associations on many issues affecting our widowed community. We hope we will be instrumental in helping to improve the support offered to all those who are bereaved. We don’t have a magic wand but we do know the pain of loss and we are here to listen. We can never underestimate the power of mutual support.”

Contacts Tel: 023 92654374 Email: rnrmwidowsassociation@hotmail.com Or visit http://www.rnrmwidowsassociation.org

21

Over a century of care The Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen & Families Association (SSAFA) – Forces Help is celebrating its 125th anniversary in 2010 with a packed calendar of events. Established in 1885 to help the families of the Second Expeditionary Force to Egypt, SSAFA provided practical and financial assistance to our servicemen and women throughout the 20th century and continues to be a vital source of support to troops serving in Afghanistan today.

Sergeant Reg Green of the Black Knights Parachute Team and Nell McAndrew after the SSAFA Big Jump 2009

SSAFA has 800 staff based wherever the British Forces are around the world as well as 7,000 trained volunteers. They provide practical and financial assistance, emotional support and a wide range of services to serving personnel, veterans and their families. More than 50,000

people a year are helped by SSAFA. SSAFA recently opened two ‘homes from home’ for the families of Service personnel with serious and life-threatening injuries. The SSAFA Norton Homes, which are near to the main military treatment centres at Selly Oak Birmingham and Headley Court, Surrey, allow families to stay near to their loved ones when they need them most. So far more than 1,000 mums, dads, partners, children, grandparents, aunts, uncles, brothers and sisters have stayed at the homes.

SSAFA125. “We are very proud of our life-long commitment to our servicemen and women. As our Armed Forces, once again, face difficult and challenging times, SSAFA’s work is more important than ever before and it is vital that our troops know they can rely on us to provide direct practical support when they and their families need it.”

The Association also runs Family Support Groups for those dealing with loss, or serious injury to a loved one who is serving in the Armed Forces. The group gives relatives the opportunity to share information and advice and offer mutual support to people who have been through similar experiences. Major General Andrew Cumming, SSAFA Forces Help chief executive, said: “2010 is a really special year for SSAFA Forces Help and we hope many of our friends and supporters will get involved and help us celebrate

Neil Fox launching the Big SSAFA Quiz

Since the celebrations launched at Chelsea Hospital in February, a number of events have been held to mark the 125th anniversary year, helping to raise funds and awareness of all that SSAFA do for the Armed Forces Community. One of the last events of 2010 is the Big Brew Up campaign where you are encouraged to get together with friends or colleagues and put the kettle on to raise funds for SSAFA125.

Contacts Volunteers from RAF St Mawgan at the SSAFA National Collection Day and Big Jump earlier this month

22

For more information about SSAFA125 visit www.ssafa125.org.uk

Changing the way you face disfigurement The UK’s leading disfigurement charity is here to support the Armed Forces Community

THE charity specialises in the psychological and social impacts of disfiguring conditions because they know how difficult it can be to live a full confident life in today’s appearance-conscious society. It is keen to raise awareness that they are available to support veterans on appearance-related matters. James Partridge, Founder and CEO of Changing Faces explains: “We work with many groups and organisations supporting those with these conditions and are keen to support veterans of armed conflict and their families, to resource the professionals who work with them, and to inform policy makers.” “Living with a facial disfigurement is a very public experience. You are the

Living with a facial disfigurement is a very public experience. James has first hand experience of living with a disfigurement,

Photo courtesy of Piers Allardyce

Changing Faces is a charity supporting and representing the interests of some 1.5m people in Britain who have significant facial and body disfigurements acquired at birth or through trauma, accidents, cancer treatments, skin and eye conditions or facial paralysis.

object of unwanted attention – staring and furtive looks being par for the course. In effect, you lose that sense of ‘civil inattention’ that most people take for granted. And, in our look-perfect world, your disfigurement is quickly associated in the public eye with being on the margins – ‘no chance for you, mate’, ‘ damaged goods’ or ‘you might get a part in a horror movie’ are commonplace (if rarely admitted) reactions.

James Partridge, Founder and CEO of Changing Faces

“As an 18 yr old, I turned over a Land Rover and it blew up leaving me with deep burns and, even after much reconstructive surgery, I lost the looks I had so prized. Not until years later did I discover that the difficulty I had in accepting and adjusting to this were shared by many others with other types of disfigurement – cleft lips and palates, skin conditions like psoriasis, facial paralysis, scarring and asymmetry after cancer surgery. None of us find it easy but, crucially, most can and do adjust very successfully, as I did, and live happy fulfilling lives.

“Living with a facial disfigurement is a very public experience.” Issue 17 September 2010

I set up Changing Faces to enable everyone with a disfigurement to get the best help possible. “Changing Faces has pioneered a unique and effective package of help which empowers individuals and their families to gain control over their adjustment to disfigurement. You can get the package in many formats including through our self-help guides which are downloadable from our website.”

Contacts For more information: visit www.changingfaces.org.uk call 0845 450 0275 or email info@changingfaces.org.uk

23

Veterans World Interview

Information Service highlighting local needs and sharing information. Jobcentre Plus Champions and their employer engagement colleagues are also working closely with the MOD Directorate of Resettlement to assist individuals in their transition from the Armed Forces into a civilian career.

In the last issue, Veterans WORLD reported on the launch of the new Jobcentre Plus ‘Champions’ for the Armed Forces. We spoke to Hylton Edmondson, the first ‘champion’ based in Colchester, to find out the story so far. Hello Hylton, you’ve been in post for a couple of months now, can you give us a few examples of the type of issues you have been dealing with? In Essex, a couple of advisers from our Colchester office are working with the Colchester Garrison Army Education Centre team to deliver a regular programme of information sessions for Army personnel who are about to leave the Service. These sessions are designed to ensure that all such leavers are fully aware of how Jobcentre Plus can help and support them in the transition back to civilian life. The information provided offers details of what support Jobcentre Plus advisers can give on looking for work and the national and local labour market and on how to make a claim for benefit and benefit advice. It is really important members of the Armed Forces and their families are not disadvantaged in any way as a

24

result of serving their country as they move from the Services to civilian life. I also work within Jobcentre Plus ensuring staff are aware of the issues that face families and those leaving the armed services. What’s the feedback been from your Armed Forces customers? Both nationally and locally, the response has been very positive. Service personnel and their spouses/partners were largely unaware of the support available from Jobcentre Plus and so a great deal of work has been going into raising awareness, through presentations, meetings and publications. Personally I have received positive feedback from my contacts at the Garrison on the relationship that Jobcentre Plus has with the Armed Forces locally in Essex and the value of the sessions that we jointly run and the feedback from the soldiers involved. How are you building links with the local military establishments? Are you working in partnership with any other organisations? The Armed Forces have agreed to have single points of contact within their organisations and contact details have been shared with the Jobcentre Plus Champions. We Champions have also been building contacts with local Career Transition Partnerships and the HIVE

At Jobcentre Plus, we are also working closely with other partners, providers, and external organisations to ensure these customers are aware of and have access to the support available to them as appropriate. How can members of the Armed Forces Community request this service? Really our role is as a link between Jobcentre Plus and the Armed Forces and ensuring staff in Jobcentre Plus are aware of the issues facing the Armed Forces. Each of the three Services have focal points who will form a link with the relevant champions within their area, your Unit welfare staff will know who this is. The Service focal point raises matters to the relevant Champion on behalf of Service personnel and families. Members of the Service community who wish to bring an issue to the attention of their local Champion can do so via their nominated Service focal point, their HIVE information service or their local Jobcentre Plus office. Members of the Service community who wish to find out where their nearest Champion is based can do so via their nominated Service focal point, their nearest HIVE or their local Jobcentre Plus office.

Contacts There is a lot of useful information available on Directgov www.direct.gov.uk including hints and tips about looking for work, access to the Jobcentre Plus jobs database, and a search facility that helps you find your local Jobcentre

SPVA News

The regular feature providing you with updates from the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency from address changes to the latest Social Media releases . . .

Building an online veteran’s community Have you visited our website lately? www.veterans-uk.info was relaunched in February this year; the site provides interactive databases to support you in your work and is developing its online Veterans Community section, as well as information about SPVA services. The site houses the following databases:

The Armed Forces Memorial Roll of Honour - the first national memorial dedicated to the men and women of the United Kingdom Armed Forces (Regular and Reserve) killed on duty or as a result of terrorist action since the Second World War. Keeping in touch

Support across the UK. The SPVA Veterans Welfare Service has now completed the roll-out of the five new Welfare Centres, providing advice and support across the UK. The contact details for each office are:

StartHere - links you to a wide range of national and local services that can help when you have a problem. It covers a broad range of issues including health, caring, families, education, employment, benefits, well-being and welfare rights - giving a brief summary of the topic and signposting to hundreds of national, and thousands of local organisations, mostly providing free services.

The Veterans Knowledge Map - an interactive directory of contact information for veterans focusing on Money Matters, Welfare and Employment EDITORS NOTE: Another part of our website service is the National Events Calendar which is a great opportunity to advertise your event free of charge. See page 26 to find out more. Issue 17 September 2010

SPVA has launched social media products over the past few months. Podcasts, online videos, Twitter and the SPVA blog are the new ways to find out what’s going on at SPVA. All social media products can be accessed easily via your PC and are available on the SPVA Social Media Hub www.veterans-uk.info/social_media.html

Change of address The MOD Medal Office has moved, their new address is MOD Medal Office G36, Innsworth House Imjin Barracks Gloucester GL3 1HW

Norcross (based near Blackpool) Tel 01253 333494 Email SPVA-VWSNorcross@mod.uk Kidderminster (based in Worcester) Tel 01562 825527 Email SPVAVWSKidderminster@mod.uk Centurion (based in Gosport) Tel 02392 702232 Email SPVAVWSCENTURION@SPVA.mod.uk Imjin (based in Gloucester) Tel 01452 510825 Email Vws-innsworth@spva.mod.uk Glasgow Tel 0141 2242709 Email VWS-Glasgow@spva.mod.uk If you are supporting a veteran and need further advice, contact our Welfare Service to see if we can help too. To locate your nearest Veterans Welfare Centre call our freephone helpline 0800 169 2277.

25

Veterans World Noticeboard

This new feature page will highlight new, updated or existing websites that can help keep you informed of issues affecting the Armed Forces Community . . .

Free Advertising

Are you already planning Armed Forces Day 2011 or an event or meeting that will be of interest to Veterans or the organisations that help them? THE Service Personnel and Veterans Agency has a free and ideal way of advertising your event on a site that is frequently visited by veterans and the Service community. The National Calendar of Events holds details of activities to be held across the UK, such as reunions, advice days, air shows, in fact any event to do with the Armed Forces and the veteran’s community. To advertise your event on the calendar simply log on to: www.veterans-uk.info click on Veterans Community and then on Events Calendar. Access, complete and submit the on-line application form, the details will then be entered onto the calendar.

Our website also holds a wealth of information for in-Service and ex-Service personnel so don’t just stop at the Events Calendar - keep exploring. If you don’t have access to the internet and wish to either submit an event or find out what’s happening in your local area please call our FREE veterans Helpline 0800 169 2277.

New Forces news website goes live A brand new hub for Forces news, the British Forces News website, went live in August. BRITISH FORCES NEWS is on the hour on British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS) Radio, and has a flagship half-hour news magazine on BFBS TV every weeknight. But now you can access the stories at any time on the British Forces News website. News stories will be posted throughout the day so you can go to the website at any time to get up-to-date Forces news. Alan Rook, Head of News at BFBS, said: "The new website is a fantastic portal for all Defence news. As well as our own news-gathering, we aim to be an important hub for information and news about all three Services, and local community news at garrison, airbase and dockyard level." British Forces News online will be rich in video and audio, and has the scope to host longer-form versions of interviews, podcasts, and useful links to further information. BFBS has tri-medial reporters, who can file for radio, TV and now online, based in eight countries around the Forces world, including the UK, the Falklands, Germany, Cyprus, Gibraltar and Afghanistan. In fact, BFBS is the only broadcaster with video-journalists permanently based in Helmand province. And, of course, they report from Her Majesty's ships at sea, from exercises,

26

and anywhere British Forces are operating. Nick Pollard, Chief Executive of Services Sound & Vision Corporation, said: "The new website gives us even more opportunity to get news and information about the Forces out there. Not just to our Forces audience, but to the wider community of veterans, families, Forces' charities, and the general public." Visit the website to find out more www.bfbs.com/news EDITORS NOTE: In this new style issue we are developing this page and are planning to highlight the websites of ex-Service charities or those who offer help and advice to veterans and their families. If you would like to feature on this page please email your details to SPVA-VeteransWorld@mod.uk.

速 Raising awareness of the range of help and advice available to veterans

SUBSCRIBE NOW TO Veterans WORLD Please AMEND* / ADD* / DELETE* my details *delete as appropriate NAME: POSITION: DEPARTMENT/UNIT ORGANISATION: ADDRESS: POSTAL TOWN: POST CODE: TEL: FAX: Essential for our * online edition!

E-MAIL: ORGANISATION WEBSITE: I would like to receive Veterans WORLD by the following method: E-Newsletter

Hard Copy by post

To amend our records, we need to hold your personal details on a computer. To comply with data protection rules, we have to ask for your agreement to do so. In signing this form, you are agreeing that we may hold your personal details and use these to send future information to you. You can ask us to remove your details at any time by sending a fax to the above number. Your details will not be passed to other organisations. The way in which we address you may differ from the information you give us due to data protection rules.

Signature:

Date:

RETURN BY FAX TO 01253 332219 or post to Veterans WORLD, Room 6303, Service Personnel & Veterans Agency, Norcross, Blackpool FY5 3WP. Or email your details to SPVA-VeteransWorld@mod.uk

Aerial view of Fromelles Military Cemetery See page 19


Veterans World issue 17