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Issue 21 September 2011 MINISTRY OF DEFENCE

Veterans help children map out a brighter future


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 IN THIS ISSUE

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30 years on

® September 2011 Issue 21

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Commemorative year for Falklands Conflict begins

8-9 The road to recovery Update on the Personnel and Recovery Centres

10 Community Spirit First of the Community Covenants launched

15 Standing ‘Shoulder to Shoulder’ Veterans mentoring project provides opportunities

22 Get ‘Smart’ to protect war memorials New campaign aims to combat theft, to protect and preserve memorials

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

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Front cover: Military to mentors, page 14 The content of Veterans WORLD is provided to raise awareness of help, advice and support available to the veterans community. Publication of articles on services provided or developments affecting the veterans community does not mean that they are endorsed by Veterans WORLD or the Ministry of Defence.

For advertising opportunities please contact: SPVA-VeteransWorld@mod.uk Veterans WORLD is distributed to those work in an advisory role. 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 Email: SPVA-VeteransWorld@mod.uk or by calling: 01253 338816 © Crown copyright 2011

Issue 21 September 2011

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News in brief

New Employment Alabaré extends Model help for veterans As part of the recent Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR), the Government has committed to developing a New Employment Model (NEM) for Service personnel. The Ministry of Defence recognises and agrees that the current employment model has changed little in the last 40 years and requires improving to meet the needs of the Armed Forces of today and the future. At the heart of the NEM is the desire to promote greater stability in Service life at the same time as optimising operational capability. Where mobility is required for Service reasons, it is recognised that the appropriate support and compensation must be available. An extensive survey of factors including terms and conditions of service, training, education and accommodation requirements has already commenced and the NEM team will report their findings before the Defence Board in the summer of 2012. It is expected that implementation will begin in 2014/15 with some measures taking up to ten years to complete in full.

Alabaré is looking to expand its work supporting exService men and women by opening a new Home for Veterans in Gosport, near Portsmouth. The homelessness charity, which already runs successful Homes for Veterans in Plymouth, Bristol and Weymouth, is now looking to expand further across the South in a bid to help those who are at risk of homelessness and are struggling to cope since leaving the Armed Forces. The proposed new supported housing project will provide a safe and supportive environment for four ex-Service men or women, hopefully extending to seven or eight in the future. The house will enable them to make life changes and work towards living independently again and staff will offer advice and guidance on employment, education and housing matters and can provide life skills training where needed. Alabaré is currently looking for volunteers to help support its projects. If you would like to find out more please contact Jo King on j.king@alabare.co.uk or go to www.alabare.co.uk

The Legion in its 90th year The Prime Minister paid tribute to the work of the Legion, commending the charity for its role in supporting Serving and ex-Service personnel, and their families, through nine decades of charitable work. He said: "This anniversary year is a time for us to remember just how much The Royal British Prime Minister David Cameron met Chelsea Pensioners at Legion do to care for The Royal British Legion's 90th Anniversary party. our Armed Forces and Formed in 1921, The Royal British Legion is marking its their families, from those who served in the two world 90th anniversary year with an ambitious fundraising wars to those who are serving now in Afghanistan. target to raise £90 million. “While their needs have changed over that time, the need A key part of the fundraising activities has been the Great for the British Legion has not – the care and support they Poppy Party Weekend, held in June, where the Legion provide is as vital now as it was in 1921 and I’m delighted encouraged people to organise a party for their friends, to support their work.” family and community with the aim of raising £1 million. Each year the Legion helps with 160,000 cases assisting Prime Minister David Cameron hosted a Poppy Party at 10 members of the Armed Forces Community. Its support is Downing Street on 10 June for the Armed Forces to available to all those serving in the Armed Forces today, all celebrate the Legion’s Anniversary and in support of the who have served in the past, and their dependents. charity’s Battle Back Centre. www.britishlegion.org.uk/

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Veterans’ organisations merge to create UKwide poppy charity Scottish Armed Forces charity Poppyscotland and The Royal British Legion (TRBL), which operates in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, have merged to create the largest Armed Forces charity in the United Kingdom. Under the terms of the merger substantial additional investment will be committed to Scotland to make significant improvements to the support services for veterans and their families living north of the border. Poppyscotland will continue to operate as a distinct, separate charity within the TRBL group of charities. The Poppyscotland brand will not change and the Scottish poppy and Scottish Poppy Appeal will remain in place, with funds raised from the campaign being used exclusively to support the Armed Forces and veterans’ community in Scotland. The manufacture of Scottish poppies at Lady Haig’s Poppy Factory in Edinburgh will also continue. www.poppyscotland.org.uk

Charity Merger One of Britain’s oldest charities has merged with leading military charity SSAFA Forces Help. The Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA) Forces Help has taken on the charitable objectives and assets of The Royal Patriotic Fund Corporation which has supported Britain’s Forces and their families for 156 years. The Royal Patriotic Fund Corporation was established by Queen Victoria in 1854 for the families of those killed in the Crimea War. The Fund raised money for the relief of widows and orphans of sailors, soldiers and Marines who died on active service. Two years ago, a decision was made to close the Royal Patriotic Fund, with its remaining assets to be administered by SSAFA Forces Help in accordance with the Fund’s objectives. www.ssafa.org.uk

Joint UK and US Task Force An American and British Task Force on Service personnel and veterans issues which will share experience and best practice in a number of areas vital to improving the lives of Service personnel, including those who are wounded, injured or sick, veterans and their families is being established following a meeting between US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister David Cameron. The Task Force will also share experiences on how best to support transition to civilian life for those leaving the Services and how to support Service personnel, veterans and their families, in particular linking them to local communities. The two leaders announced that the US Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, Dr Clifford Stanley, and the UK Minister for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans, Andrew Robathan, will jointly lead the Task Force.


Armed Forces Day Over 200 events were held in the UK to celebrate the third annual Armed Forces Day in June. An estimated 100,000 people supported the national event in Edinburgh, where activities took place over the weekend. Celebrations took place up and down the country for Armed Forces Day including Plymouth, Cardiff and Manchester. At Plymouth, Armed Forces Minister Nick Harvey announced that Plymouth will host the fourth Armed Forces Day on 30 June 2012. www.armedforcesday.org.uk

New Jubilee Medal Picture: Crown Copyright/MOD 2011]

Members of the Armed Forces will be presented with a medal to mark Her Majesty The Queen's Diamond Jubilee in February 2012. The commemorative medal designed to mark the Queen's 60 year reign on the throne will be awarded to members of the emergency services, Prison Service and the following Armed Forces personnel: •

• •

members of the Armed Forces (Regular and Reserves) who have completed five full calendar years of service on 6 February 2012 living holders of the Victoria Cross and George Cross members of the Royal Household.

The MOD will issue detailed qualifying criteria applying to their personnel later this summer. Designed by Timothy Noad, the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal depicts a formal image of the Queen on one side, while the reverse shows a hexagon with a crown and royal cipher, inscribed '1952 to 2012', commemorating Her Majesty's reign, and finished off with a red ribbon and white/blue stripes.

New Collection Advice Booklet

War Widows’ Association celebrates 40th anniversary From its small beginning of a gathering of 14 widows in 1971, in 2011, its fortieth year, the War Widows’ Association of Great Britain has a membership of more than 4,000. The 2011 celebrations commenced with all members receiving a 40th Anniversary Commemorative booklet outlining the Association’s history. Throughout the year, special lunches are being arranged by regional organisers, so the anniversary celebration can be enjoyed by as many members as possible.

In June, the Association’s Patron, The Prince of Wales joined members for a Service of Commemoration at the Guard’s Chapel followed by a Reception at Central Hall, Westminster. The War Widows Annual Service held in July in the Anglican Cathedral Liverpool held special significance for members celebrating the Association’s 40 years of existence. Later in the month, members gathered at the National Memorial Arboretum for the dedication of a Memorial at the War Widows’Wood. The War Widows Association is a pressure group which exists to improve the conditions of War Widows and their dependants and to ensure War Widows are represented at Remembrance events. It works with all government departments and maintains close links with ex-Service organisations and the Service widows' associations. Through their network of regional organisers, the Association is able to offer support and friendship to War Widows of all ages. www.warwidows.org.uk

Little book proves big success Published using funding from the Veterans Challenge Fund, a new information handbook of Service organisations has become an essential guide for the Armed Forces Community.

the specific needs they cater for, with a page devoted to each organisation. More than 2,000 books have been issued and the online version has received over 1,000 visits a month.

The Confederation of Service Charities (COBSEO) launched its 2011 handbook of Members. There are around 180 member organisations ranging from the larger charities, The Royal British Legion, SSAFA FH, Seafarers UK, ABF-The Soldiers Charity and the RAF Benevolent Fund, through the medium sized charities including St Dunstan’s’, BLESMA, Combat Stress, Help for Heroes, Forces Pension Society, Officers’ Association, Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity and Royal Air Force Association to smaller charities and Regimental Associations.

The online version of the handbook can be found at http://www.cobseo.org.uk/our-members/memberorganisations/ and there is a web-based search engine which enables users to easily search and access the handbook, using keywords or phrases. For example, if an individual searches for help with housing, the search engine will provide those member Service charities which could provide that specific help.

The handbook is designed to be an easy and complete reference identifying COBSEO’s member organisations, contact details and scope of operation. It provides information on what each member organisation does and

For further information, or to request a copy of the handbook (£5 each to cover production costs, including postage and packaging) please contact Sophie Lucas on 0845 504 6633 or email officemanager@cobseo.org.uk or website www.cobseo.org.uk

The Charities’ Charity Alexandra Rose has produced a new Collection Advice Booklet. As the first charity to carry out street collections, the new booklet draws from nearly 100 years of experience. After a charity has obtained a collecting permit or licence, the booklet can offer a step by step guide on the best way to organise a collection - advising on street collections, local authority badges, supermarket collections, station collections, London underground collections and house-tohouse. It also suggests how to generate more donations, write a press release and many other aspects of successful fundraising. The new booklet is free and available from the charity, www.alexandrarosecharities.org.uk

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A child’s part in military history The Army Children Graves Register launched Throughout the centuries, Army families have accompanied British soldiers on active service across the British Empire. When the child of a British soldier died overseas burial was usually in that country and therefore the resting places of numerous Army children can be found in such far-flung countries as Malta, Hong Kong and India, where they had often died of indigenous diseases. THE Army Children Archive is unique in its focus on the lives and times of British Army children from the seventeenth century to date, the Army Children Graves Register www.archhistory.co.uk/taca/gravesregister is the only record dedicated to tracking the graves and memorials of the children of British soldiers, wherever in the world they may have died. Set up in May this year, in response to requests for help from relatives searching for

Army children’s graves, and to aid researchers, the aim of placing on record, the children commemorated on gravestones and memorials (which are always at risk of weathering and destruction) is to ensure that they will not vanish into obscurity. Although the register already contains hundreds of names from military cemeteries at home and abroad, thousands more remain unlisted. TACA welcomes additions to include on the Register. Making its debut alongside the Army Children Graves Register is the ‘Army children’s graves’ webpage www.archhistory.co.uk/taca/graves - which includes advice from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and Ministry of Defence on how to locate an individual Army child’s grave, along with images of Army children’s graves in the UK and abroad, personal stories, and some useful links.

Chronicling British Army children’s history The Army Children Archive (TACA) was established in 2007 by writer Clare Gibson to collect, record, preserve and share details of the unique aspects of growing up as the child of a soldier serving in the British Army, from the seventeenth century to present day. As well as chronicling British army children's history, TACA, which is a virtual resource, aims to support current Army children by spreading awareness of the challenges that the military lifestyle imposes on them. www.archhistory.co.uk

Erskine’s sensory garden Opens Veterans’ charity Erskine has recently opened new sensory gardens at its dedicated dementia home, Erskine Park, in Bishopton with the aim of offering veterans with dementia an increased quality of life. DEMENTIA requires stimulation of activity which comes in many forms. The physical action of gardening is suitable for many sufferers, while others like to just sit and relax in the garden. Designed to benefit veterans with dementia, the gardens have many features including key areas and mapping points that can be easily remembered, such as seats, shady locations and simple walkways. The Dementia Services Development Centre at the University of Stirling worked closely with Erskine to ensure a dementia-friendly environment, which could be enjoyed and used all year round by the ex-Service men and women of Erskine, was created.

Contacts For further information about Erksine visit www.erskine.org.uk/

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Miss Moira Goudie, Chair of the Board of Trusteesof the Glenniffer Home Trust, who provided a funding gratuity to develop the gardens


Falklands veterans groups launch commemorative year remember those who gave their lives. The Falklands Memorial will be distinctive, with a curved wall of rugged stone facing a rock from the Falklands and two benches, creating a restful space for contemplation by visitors. The memorial will be dedicated on 20 May 2012 to commemorate the 30th Anniversary of the Task Force landings at San Carlos. SAMA 82 began its existence on April 2, 1997; the fifteenth Anniversary of the uninvited arrival of Argentine forces in the Falkland Islands and became a charity in April 2007. Its purpose, amongst other things, is to support holders of the South Atlantic Medal, their families and to promote awareness of the 1982 conflict.

From left to right - Steve Dawkins, Robert Nicholls (Chairman SAMA Wales) Simon Weston OBE, Steve Liversage BEM (Standard Bearer) Steve Hopkins & Mark Baker.

In June, Simon Weston OBE who was badly injured during the Argentine bombing of RFA Sir Galahad, together with other South Atlantic Medal Association 1982 (SAMA 82), SAMA Wales and Falklands Veterans Foundation members, all veterans of the 1982 Falklands Conflict, launched the 30th anniversary commemorative year of the conflict.

Fundraising and remembrance will mark the thirty years since the Conflict, as Simon Weston explained at the launch:

DURING 2011, SAMA 82, which support veterans and their families will be organising many fundraising events, the main fundraiser being a sponsored walk up Pen Y Fan, Brecon, held on Saturday 13 August, 2011.

From now until the anniversary in June 2012, will be a busy year for the Falklands veterans’ charities. Many events are being arranged to raise money for the memorial and pilgrimages to the Falklands, with our main fundraising event being a sponsored walk up Pen Y Fan, Brecon in August.”

“During the 30th anniversary, we will not only be remembering those who died in the Falklands but also those who have died since. Our new Memorial will provide a peaceful place where remembrance can be given to those we have lost.

Return visits to the Falkland Islands are also being organised for veterans, including a pilgrimage next year for up to 50 veterans and family members of those killed in action during the conflict.

2012 will mark the 30th anniversary of the Falklands conflict

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The charity has also commissioned the construction of a memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire to honour the South Atlantic Task Force and

“Our new Memorial will provide a peaceful place where remembrance can be given to those we have lost.” On June 14 1982, a Task Force was assembled in Great Britain and dispatched to the South Atlantic in order to restore Her Majesty’s Sovereignty. On June 14th 1982, Major General Jeremy Moore was able to announce to the world that the Falkland Islanders were once again living under the Government of their choice. Seventy-four days of occupancy had elapsed. Over 700 British were wounded; three Falkland Islanders died in the fighting and 255 members of the Task Force did not return home . . .

Contacts For further information call 01495 791592 visit www.sama82.org.uk/

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Tedworth house turns into a multi

The Ministry of Defence, Help for Heroes and other service charities working together to h Once renovation work at Tedworth House is completed in Spring next year and, when fully open, the centre will be able to provide comprehensive support and residential accommodation for up to 50 wounded, injured and sick personnel from all three Services in the south of England. Private Josh Campbell, 21, from 23 Pioneer Regiment Royal Logistic Corps, was injured in Afghanistan when the vehicle he was travelling in struck an Improvised Explosive Device (IED). He said: “It’s been really tough since I was injured in 2009 but the treatment I received at Selly Oak and Headley Court has been brilliant and the support I get from the Personnel Recovery Unit has been fantastic. I am also grateful for the assistance I’ve received from Help for Heroes and I’m really looking forward to taking advantage of all the great support facilities Tedworth House has to offer.” Bryn Parry, CEO and Co-Founder of Help for Heroes, said:

From left: Rifleman Linden Woodford, aged 21 from 3rd Battalion The Rifles, Major Peter Norton, and Private Josh Campbell, aged 21 from 23 Pioneer Regiment, outside Tedworth House

The first injured personnel have moved into Tedworth House, the newest of the Army’s Personnel Recovery and Assessment Centres. Key facilities such as temporary residential accommodation, classrooms, catering facilities and a gymnasium were up and running, which will allow up to 26 recovering Armed Forces personnel to move in during July. TEDWORTH HOUSE, set in the heart of Tidworth Garrison, Wiltshire, one of the Army's largest Garrison towns, will provide comprehensive support to wounded, injured and sick personnel and their families; for life. Help for Heroes have committed £32 million to the renovation and running of Tedworth House, which will be one of five Personnel Recovery Centres (PRCs) across the UK that make up the Army Recovery

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Capability (ARC). These centres will, within a military environment, deliver co-ordinated support to recovering personnel from across the Armed Forces. The Ministry of Defence (MOD), as the lead for recovery, has also committed £93 million up to 2020 to provide support to all wounded, injured and sick personnel. This includes the provision of military and civilian personnel to co-ordinate, manage and deliver the Army Recovery Capability, plus staff for each of the Personnel Recovery Centres.

“I’m really looking forward to taking advantage of all the great support facilities Tedworth House has to offer.”

”When I think back to October 2007 when we first started in the Tidworth Tin Hut, the thing I always remember is driving past Tedworth House on the way to work and thinking, wouldn’t it be great if that could be a recovery centre for the guys and girls. It’s been an incredible effort on all fronts to get it ready in such a quick space of time but to know that in a few days, the first residents will be in is fantastic. It’s a truly awesome moment for myself and Emma and everyone who has worked so hard to make this moment possible.” Brigadier Mike Griffiths, Director Personnel Services (Army), said: "This is a great achievement in the delivery of the Army Recovery Capability and one which pays tribute to the strong relationships that have been forged between the MOD, Help for Heroes and The Royal British Legion. The Army Recovery Capability represents a significant enhancement to the way we care for our wounded, injured and sick personnel from across the Armed Forces it ensures that our personnel have access to the right care, support and resources at the right time to enable them to either return to duty or transition to an


i-million pound home for recovery

help Britain’s wounded, injured and sick Servicemen and women or she needs whatever the issue. It is hoped that the ‘Corridor of Charities’ at Tedworth will mean that whatever stage they are at in their recovery, no one will slip through the net. Tedworth House is just one centre in the network of five The information technology and computer facilities at Tedworth Personnel Recovery House Personnel Recovery and assessment Centre Centres that form part appropriately skilled and supported civilian of the Army Recovery Capability, a joint life. multi-million pound venture between the MOD, Help for Heroes and The Royal British “Tedworth House, will be the first Personnel Legion. These centres will, within a military Recovery and Assessment Centre to be environment, deliver co-ordinated support delivered and its facilities will provide the to recovering personnel from across the support that enables our personnel to focus Armed Forces. on their recovery. It is ideally located as it allows our recovering personnel to take advantage of the full range of facilities already available from within the Garrison, including welfare, medical, rehabilitation and education, which are vital in aiding the recovery process." Help for Heroes also introducing a pathfinder ‘Support Hub’ at the Personnel Recovery and Assessment Centres, the first in Tedworth House followed by one in the Catterick Centre. The Hubs will provide an ongoing welfare and specialist support centre for wounded, injured or sick soldiers after they transition to civilian life. Tedworth House will be trialling the groundbreaking concept of a ‘One Stop Welfare Shop’. As well as the MOD, Army and Help for Heroes offices, there will be a large office where the specialist delivery agencies, local social services and charities can provide a joint solution to the individual’s needs; a so-called ‘Corridor of the Charities’, each contributing their specialist skills and services. This will mean that the residents can receive everything they need in one place, whether advice on marriage, financial issues, housing or help with prosthetics, it can all be obtained at Tedworth House. With this range of specialists all under one roof, the intention is that an individual seeking help can just show up, or make one phone call, to get the specialist support he

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Rifleman Linden Woodford, is one of the injured Service personnel who will make use of the facilities at Tedworth House

As well as Tedworth House, the Army’s pathfinder centre opened in Edinburgh in August 09 and construction work has started at the Centre based at Colchester. Centres will also be based in Catterick Garrison and Normandy Barracks in Sennelager, Germany. Chris Simpkins, Director General of The Royal British Legion, said: "The Royal British Legion stands shoulder to shoulder with all who serve, so the Legion's support for the Army Recovery Capability is central to our welfare strategy in this our 90th year, and well beyond. "We are delighted that we will be contributing to the operating costs of PRC

Tidworth, and providing welfare support and advice to residents. We support the men and women who have given so much for our country – whether they return to duty or move into civilian life. That is what the Legion has been doing for 90 years. "The wounded, injured and sick deserve nothing less. The Royal British Legion will continue to support them, and their families, for the rest of their lives.” Each of the centres will be created in partnership with Help for Heroes and The Royal British Legion, with both charities providing funding for different elements of the centres. Help for Heroes has committed a total of £70 million directly in support of the Army Recovery Capability. This will fund building or refurbishment works to create centres in Colchester, Catterick and Tidworth Garrison. The money will also fund Individual Recovery Plans and a Quick Reaction Fund to provide individual donations for personnel injured in training or wounded in action since 9/11. The Royal British Legion has committed £50 million over ten years to the Army Recovery Capability. This is the largest single donation in the 90-year history of The Royal British Legion. The money will be used to establish and run the Defence Adaptive Sport and Adventurous Training Centre in the Midlands. The remainder will fund the running costs of the Personnel Recovery Centres in Edinburgh and Colchester and the Personnel Recovery and Assessment Centre in Catterick. The Royal British Legion will fund the Personnel Recovery Facility in Germany in its totality at an additional cost of £500,000. Other charities, such as ABF: The Soldier’s Charity, will provide £3 million funding in support of the Individual Recovery Plans that will be utilised by the serving personnel during their recovery. The charity also administers the Quick Reaction Fund set up by Help for Heroes. Army Personnel Recovery Centres (PRCs) will be created across the country and in Germany. They can be used by wounded, injured and sick personnel from all three Services.

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Armed Forces Community Covenant Scheme launched £30 million of government fund allocated to support new scheme

Picture: CPL Gary Kendall UK MOD Crown Copyright

Representatives for each service and Local Council members at the Catterick Garrison Leisure Centre to sign the Armed Forces Community Covenant

The first Community Covenants, a voluntary statement of mutual support between a civilian community and its local Armed Forces Community, have been launched in Oxfordshire, Hampshire, Vale of Glamorgan and North Yorkshire. IN May this year, the Defence Secretary, Dr Liam Fox, published the Armed Forces Covenant which expresses the moral obligation owed by the Nation and the Government to the Armed Forces, veterans and their families. The Armed Forces Covenant defines the principles of removing disadvantage and allowing special provision in some circumstances in the access to public and commercial services. This has set a framework for policy making and delivery across Government and will improve the support available for the Armed Forces Community.

government has allocated £30 million over the next four years to support the scheme. The launch of the first community scheme in Oxfordshire was followed by launches in the Vale of Glamorgan, Hampshire and North Yorkshire and is due in Portsmouth in the near future. Leaders of Councils in England have been encouraged to adopt the Community Covenant scheme in a letter sent jointly by Andrew Robathan, Minister for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans and Grant Shapps, Minister for Housing and Local Government. The intention is that as many areas as possible should adopt Community Covenants. The aims of the Community Covenant include: • •

One of the key measures within the Armed Forces Covenant package announced in May was the launch of an Armed Forces Community Covenant scheme. The aim of the Community Covenant is to encourage local communities to support the Service community in their area and promote understanding and awareness amongst the public of issues affecting the Armed Jock Hutchinson (front) andthe RM Forces Community. In addition

Jay Hare out on the trail

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to encourage local communities to support the Armed Forces Community in their areas, and vice versa; to promote understanding and awareness amongst the public of issues affecting the Armed Forces Community; to recognise and remember the sacrifices made by the Armed Forces Community; and to encourage activities which help to integrate the Armed Forces Community into local life.

Andrew Robathan, Minister for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans, said: “The launch of the Armed Forces Community Covenant is a significant step forward in encouraging the whole country to show that they back their Armed Forces. What is most important is that this is the local community supporting their local personnel, both past and present, and their families. "This is about making Service life a central part of life in the community and improving the bond between the Armed Forces and the people they serve."

“This is about making Service life a central part of life in the community . . .” Contacts For further information visit www.mod.uk/covenant or email covenant-mailbox@mod.uk


Helping veterans help themselves A supported employment scheme aims to match disabled veterans with future employers

In June, The Poppy Factory announced plans to help 500 wounded, sick and injured ex-Servicemen and women from the UK Armed Forces into mainstream employment, over the next five years. FOR the past few years, The Poppy Factory has been piloting a Supported Employment Scheme and has successfully managed to place more than 60 disabled ex-Service personnel of all ages in jobs around the UK. Focusing on boosting employment prospects, The Poppy Factory has found and matched employers with clients and part-funded their clients’ first year’s salary in a number of cases, to allow for a period of flexibility, enhancing training and development into their new role. Continued guidance is given to both the employer and employee to ensure the veteran’s smooth transition. “Ex-Service men and women have a fantastic work ethic, are disciplined, trustworthy and used to performing within a team,” explained Melanie Waters, Chief Executive of The Poppy Factory. “Many have qualifications that are invaluable for companies today. However,

“There are a number of employers all over Britain, who could offer these men and women a lifechanging job.” 12

Left to right: Melanie Waters, Chief Executive of The Poppy Factory; Ewan Stewart, supported by The Poppy Factory and now working for Challenge4Change in Manchester; David Djordjevic, Chief Executive of Challenge4Change and Chris Whiteley, Project Coordinator at Challenge4Change.

an injury or delayed illness can shatter their lives. We want to help them regain their self-respect and confidence in order to earn a living, so that they can feel a valuable member of society again. This enables them to support themselves and their families and enjoy the next phase of their lives. Having valiantly served their country, we think they deserve it.” “There are a number of employers all over Britain, who could offer these men and women a life-changing job.” Melanie continued. “We have spent the last four years learning about individual issues, differing conditions, range of skills and expectations. We have developed relationships with companies and likeminded charities, but there is so much more scope for other businesses to open their doors to a new employee, who may require a little more consideration in the beginning, but will reward that support with long term commitment. So far, we have used our own funds and will continue

to do so. However, for this new five-year plan to help 500 more ex-Service men and women back to work, we need to raise £4 million.” Since 1922, The Poppy Factory has been employing wounded, sick and injured ex-Service personnel in its factory. It was founded by Major George Howson MC as ‘The Disabled Society’ in 1922 in the Old Kent Road, London with the sole purpose of providing work for severely wounded veterans from the First World War. In 1925, The Poppy Factory moved to Richmond, Surrey and continues to make Remembrance poppies, Remembrance Crosses, sprays and wreaths for The Royal British Legion’s annual Poppy Appeal, Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day (including wreaths for The Queen and other members of the Royal family). It is also responsible for organising and hosting the annual Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey.


“The Poppy Factory initially funded Ewan's part-time position, but it has been so successful that he now works for us full-time."

Ewan’s story

aerial runway over 35 feet off the ground, a high ropes training course and a low level obstacle course. The charity provides learning through fun and makes a real difference. It teaches effective communication skills, team skills, inspires confidence and motivation and enables people to overcome their perceived barriers in order to progress. C4C raises their aspirations and works with those members of society who are in most need. Chris Whiteley, Project Director at Challenge 4 Change, said:

Ewan Stewart served with the Royal Signals for nine years. He was wounded in Service, which resulted in the loss of his leg. After leaving the Services, Ewan started his own business and then studied law at Manchester Metropolitan University. Following the loss of his leg, he was in touch with BLESMA. Through the charity, he was introduced to the Challenge 4 Change Charity. The Challenge 4 Change (C4C) Centre is the only indoor training centre of its kind in the North of England. Based in Trafford Park, the Centre combines training and conference facilities with a 13 station

Issue 21 September 2011

"We wanted to research how we would be compliant for disabled people, so approached the Armed Forces and invited BLESMA to look at our venue for the day. Ewan was one of the people who did the assault course twice as quickly most. "Ewan has added a different dimension and quality to the powerful programmes we already deliver. The Poppy Factory initially funded Ewan's part-time position, but it has been so successful that he now works for us full-time." It’s made a difference to Ewan’s life too, he said: "I have finally found something I think I can progress for the rest of my life."

Contacts For further information call 0208 940 3305 or visit www.poppyfactory.org

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Military to Mentors Education charity expands training and employment opportunities

“The funding will help expand our programme, providing more employment opportunities for ex-Service personnel.” our work with disadvantaged young people and our programmes effect positive and permanent change in their lives. The funding will help expand our programme, providing more employment opportunities for ex-Service personnel. We are seeking to employ more of the wounded, injured and sick as well as those who are able bodied. I would encourage those seeking a career in education to consider contacting us.”

More than 40,000 young people have completed a Skill Force programme.

Using a £1.5 million government grant, Education charity SkillForce are developing programmes that will fasttrack ex-Service personnel into schools using the skills and experience gained on the frontline to help young people achieve.

requirement to find qualified and experienced instructors, especially those with the Defence 'Train the Trainer' qualification for the Main Stream Instructor programme which is a full-time salaried post.

The new programme - 'Military to Mentors' SKILLFORCE is an educational charity - has been created following funding from working with young people in schools. Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, as Its front line workforce predominately part of his Troops to Teachers programme. comprises former Service Personnel. For The instructional requirements for this are The crew vagaries of the Cornishthe weather many thisenjoyed may bethe their first job outside lower but require an individual with military. empathy and high levels of emotional intelligence who can work with young It has two training and employment people on a one-to-one basis. At the opportunities. As it expands its moment this is a training opportunity but operations, there is a constant the charity is seeking funding opportunities to turn this into a paid role.

‘Military to Mentors’: ex-Service personnel will be trained to work as mentors for young people in and out of schools across England.

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For both opportunities, SkillForce is seeking to employ more ex-Service personnel as Peter Cross, Chief Executive explained: “We’re delighted to be able to expand

SkillForce works primarily with disadvantaged young people aged 14-16. Since the charity began ten years ago, over 40,000 young people have completed a SkillForce programme. It is currently working with over 8,000 young people in 150 schools in England and Scotland. What Skillforce has to offer SkillForce offers a unique opportunity for those resettling from the Services to work in a small team environment to make the most of many of the skills learned during their service. It provides employment opportunities for those who wish to work with young people as a second career, perhaps as a stepping stone before becoming a qualified teacher. It also has a proven track record of helping and employing those that have been wounded, injured or sick and have left the Services early.

Contacts SkillForce is looking to expand over the coming years and offers an outstanding stepping stone into civilian life for those interested in teaching and learning. Vacancies are advertised on the website at www.skillforce.org as well as through the Career Transition Partnership website. Anyone interested in joining SkillForce is recommended to arrange a visit to one of the teams and call 01623 827626 to get contact details.


Veterans take ‘time’ to help others New mentoring project provides opportunities for veterans to ‘give back’ to the Armed Forces Community

For some ex-Service men and women, mental health problems can be a very real issue. Getting clinical treatment is the first step to recovery and helps their transition back to civilian life. TO support the transition, National volunteering charity TimeBank, is running the London-based mentoring project, Shoulder to Shoulder. What’s it about? TimeBank match volunteer mentors who are either ex-Service men or women who have made a successful transition to civilian life (or someone who has an understanding of the issues through family connections) with an ex-Service man or woman recovering from mental health problems. Mentors support their mentees, helping them to adjust to life after clinical treatment.

Mentors support their mentees, helping them to adjust to life after clinical treatment.

learnt it takes to see the benefits from other mentoring schemes. Mentees get an induction and mentors get trained. It’s flexible too, once they’re matched; they can meet when it suits them. Andy Elliott, Shoulder to Shoulder Project Coordinator explained:

Charlie, a mentor on the project, explained why he got involved:

“The project gives the kind of support someone recovering from mental health problems may not find elsewhere. It’s the chance to spend time with someone who’s not involved with their care or knows their entire life story, and most importantly, someone who will listen to what they have to say without judging them – offering practical support and friendship.”

“I think about things that happened to me while I was in Iraq almost every day. You learn to live with it but I understand that without good support networks it can be extremely difficult for some people to deal with after leaving the Services – that’s why I wanted to be a mentor on this project.”

How does it work? Mentors and mentees meet one-to-one, for five hours a month for around six months to a year. This is how long TimeBank has

Issue 21 September 2011

“. . . but I understand that without good support networks it can be extremely difficult for some people to deal with after leaving the Services – that’s why I wanted to be a mentor on this project.” Contacts Want to get involved? If you live in London and want to become a mentor or simply want to find out more go to www.timebank.org.uk/shoulder-toshoulder or ring Andy Elliott on 020 3111 0735 or email shoulder@timebank.org.uk Shoulder to Shoulder is the first known peer mentoring project which supports ex-Service men and women recovering from mental health problems.

“It’s the chance to spend time Editor’s Note: A Shoulder to Shoulder with someone who’s not project is now being developed for the Birmingham area and is due to open involved with their care or this Autumn. Veterans WORLD will knows their entire life story . . .” update you on progress in a later issue. 15


New Awareness course helps veterans Manchester charity provides new mental health service for veterans User-led mental health charity, Self Help Services launched a new course helping Veterans cope with various mental-health struggles triggered by traumatic and stressful experiences. The Veterans Stress Awareness Course is the outcome of a partnership between Military Mental Health CIC and Self Help Services.

© UK MoD Crown Copyright

THE free six-week course is funded by the Increasing Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) initiative through the NHS. Courses will be held every three months have been held in Manchester and is due to start in St Helens this autumn. Richard Williams, registered Mental Health Nurse and Armed Forces veteran from Military Mental Health said: “The Veterans Stress Awareness Course is a unique six week intervention aimed specifically at Armed Forces Veterans who want help on coping with a range of challenges including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Anger, Low Mood, Adjustment problems and Alcohol Awareness. It is facilitated by professionally qualified and registered veterans who have experienced these challenges.” Charlotte Cooke, Community Services Manager at Self Help Services said: “The IAPT scheme in the North West has made the delivery of veterans’ services a priority and this is being addressed through the provision of services such as The Veterans Stress Awareness Course. We’re pleased that Self Help Services is helping to make services to veterans more accessible. “ "I have gained a great deal from this course and now have a greater understanding of the problems I have. Pity it’s taken over 40 years to get this far. I am confident this course will set the criteria for others in the same boat as myself and you are in effect making history initiating it within your organisation, prepare for the flood gates to open, and praise will not be enough." A veteran who has recently finished the course in Manchester.

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“The IAPT scheme in the North West has made the delivery of veterans’ services a priority . . .” Self Help Services is a user-led mental health Charity that delivers psychological and self help services across the North West. The charity is part of The Big Life group of social businesses and charities. Self Help Services believes in having a choice in mental health care. The services provided include one-to-one therapy, computerised cognitive behavioural therapy, self help groups and courses, and complementary therapies to people suffering from mental ill health and social exclusion.

Military Mental Health CIC is an organisation founded by veterans, run by veterans to benefit veterans. It aims to support veterans who experience psychological and social challenges and raise awareness of those challenges. The Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme is based upon the commitments the previous Government made in their General Election manifesto 2005 and was launched in 2007. It aims to investigate ways to improve the availability of psychological therapies, especially relating to people with depression or anxiety disorders. It also aims to promote a more personcentred approach to therapy.

Contacts For more information on the course or to receive a referral form please call 0161 226 3871 or email communityservices@selfhelpservices.org.uk.

People can self-refer or be referred by their GP or other agencies.


‘Fighting Fit’ How the Government is investing in veterans futures

. . . mental health professionals will help veterans feel more confident in accessing mental health services, and to overcome stigma on these issues. with specialist Service knowledge. This unique service is being developed for use by veterans, service personnel, and their families. www.bigwhitewall.com The Big White Wall is being launched early autumn

It can seem as if independent reviews into aspects of healthcare are muchtrumpeted by the media, only then to disappear off the radar. So It’s great for Veterans WORLD to report on health initiatives the Government are taking forward for the veterans community, following the recommendations in Dr Andrew Murrison’s review - ‘Fighting Fit’. LAST October ‘Fighting Fit’, an independent review into mental health provision for Serving personnel, and veterans, was published. Focusing on what could be done to improve existing provision across Britain, as well as the recommendation of dynamic new initiatives designed to make a real difference. The really good news is that Government not only accepted all of the recommendations but also pledged £7.8 million per year, in England, over the next four years, to make things happen. Extra community mental health professionals Dr. Murrison recommended that 30 community mental health professionals

Issue 21 September 2011

should be dedicated to helping veterans with mental health problems, in each Local Authority area. This promises to be a major step forward in providing support. They will work alongside staff from Combat Stress, and other charities, to ensure that every area has services geared to local veterans’ needs. This will ensure that mental health professionals will help veterans feel more confident in accessing mental health services, and to overcome stigma on these issues. Work is underway with the Armed Forces Networks in England, to deliver this capability. The Big White Wall One of the specific recommendations coming out of the Murrison report was for the pilot of an online counselling service. The Big White Wall is a secure, online space where individuals can post thoughts and feelings, receive peer support and access online self-help. All content is monitored by trained counsellors and, for the Forces-specific pilot, by professionals The Big White Wall is a secure, online space where individuals can post thoughts and feelings, receive peer support and access online self-help.

A first point of contact There have also been related projects, running alongside Dr Murrison’s specific recommendations. The Department of Health contracted veterans’ mental health charity Combat Stress to work with Rethink, the national mental health membership charity, to deliver a 24-hour helpline – 0800 138 1619. It’s designed as a first point of contact for veterans and their families for any queries/ concerns they may have in relation to their health, both physical and mental. Initial figures are a success; since its launch in March, the helpline has received over 3,000 calls from around the UK. Improving education Another key priority for the Department of Health is education. The Department has worked closely with the Royal College of GPs to develop a training programme, whose aim is to educate GPs as to the specific issues they may face when treating veterans. The programme will form part of the College’s core online training modules, and will sit on their website, accessible to GPs at all times. The programme’s official launch date is likely to be in Autumn this year.

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Baking bread and cut grass The sweet smell of success for homeless veterans there are future employment opportunities. “We are delighted to have already secured partnerships to run a training bakery with the Clervaux Trust Artisan Bakers, as well as a landscaping business in partnership with Groundwork, a national training and employment agency.” The Beacon will offer temporary housing, training and employment opportunities to thirty-one single ex-Servicemen and women who have been assessed as being at risk of becoming homeless.

The new housing and training centre is pioneering the development of social enterprise.

Visitors to The Beacon, a groundbreaking new national housing and training centre for Veterans coming online this autumn, will notice some unexpected but enticing smells when they arrive. BASED in Catterick and run by housing association, Riverside-ECHG, The Beacon is pioneering the development of social enterprises – such as bakery and landscaping – in order to provide training and future employment opportunities for ex-Servicemen and women who have faced homelessness.

Its development is the result of a unique partnership between a range of Armed Forces and civilian organisations including the Ministry of Defence, who gifted the land on which the scheme is being developed and provided funding from the Veterans Challenge Fund, as well as the Homes & Communities Agency, Communities and Local Government, Royal British Legion, Church Housing Trust, Richmondshire District Council and North Yorkshire County Council. Now that The Beacon is reaching the final stages of its development, the RiversideECHG team who run the national SPACES housing advice service will be starting to assess applications for the first residents to move into The Beacon. For more information call the SPACES Advice Line. In the meantime, plans are afoot to develop and market a range of ‘Veterans Cookies‘ from The Beacon once the facility and its bakery are fully up and running in the

“. . . we will be able to offer our ex-Servicemen and women valuable training in trades where they can gain skills and accreditation and where there are future employment opportunities.” autumn. From initial consultations with the public and ex-Services residents at other Riverside centres, Trevor Morris is enthusiastic about the future possibilities: “Our veterans are already really behind us on this. And we strongly believe that the public will support the idea of our Veterans using their own hard work and skills to produce something that not only opens up future job opportunities for them, but that also raises money to help others in the future.”

Contacts For further information; contact Riverside-ECHG SPACES advice line (Single Persons Accommodation Centre for the Ex-Services) on 01748 833797 / 872940 / 830191 or visit www.spaces.org.uk

Riverside’s Area Manager, Trevor Morris, said: “One of the main features of The Beacon will be the range of social enterprise partnerships we are establishing with local and national businesses. “Social enterprises are businesses which are driven at their heart by social purpose and their profits are reinvested back into achieving that purpose. At the Beacon what this means is that we will be able to offer our ex-Servicemen and women valuable training in trades where they can gain skills and accreditation and where

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A standard training kitchen at “The Beacon”


The Royal Caledonian Schools Trust Supporting Scottish Service children in education

The Trust makes over 300 grants a year to children of current and former Scottish Service personnel. with the funding of part-time teachers or play therapists who can support Service children in school especially in relation to deployment. In certain circumstances, it has been possible to make grants towards creating a dedicated space within a school where children, parents and teachers can meet to share ideas and ways in which to cope in difficult circumstances such as before, during and after deployment.

Admiring a new room, which the Trust has provided as a dedicated space for Service families.

The Royal Caledonian Schools Trust has served the educational needs of the children of current and former Scottish Service personnel since 1815. It is very proud that the Queen is Patron of the Trust. HERE are two ways in which the Trust provides support for Scottish Service children.

uniform) and after school activities for the two young children of a Scottish veteran who had been significantly disabled during his deployment. For the family of another Scottish veteran who has suffered long term injury on deployment, the Trust has been able to provide ongoing help with a grant for after school activities for his two children as well as school clothing and school trips.

Grants for individuals The Trust makes over 300 grants a year to children of current and former Scottish Service personnel. The grants help support access to education especially where the families are facing severe challenges, which may not become apparent until after parents have left the Armed Forces. Grants have funded the purchase of school clothing, after school clubs and training, books and equipment, as well as living expenses for those who have entered further and higher education. For one family the Trust were able to provide grants for clothing (school

Issue 21 September 2011

Working with Scottish schools The Trust also helps in other ways. It has developed an Education Programme in Scotland. The Education Programme supports a number of the children of Scottish Service personnel while they are at school in Scotland. This is done by working with schools, teachers, the military, the Scottish Government, Local Authorities and other charities in focusing attention on the needs of these Service children especially concerning Service mobility and deployment. The Trust, through the Education Programme, has also helped

The Trust’s Education Programme is now well established in Scotland, supporting and answering the needs of Scottish Service children.

"I have been funded for my next academic year by the Trust. I am exceptionally grateful and it will help me pay my living costs in a very busy year where I shall be unable to work to earn any extra money.� Student supported by the Trust.

Contacts For more information on The Royal Caledonian Schools Trust: call 01923 215350, email: admin@rcst.org.uk or visit www.rcst.org.uk

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Inside Right Regular football, specialist knowledge and shared experiences used together to provide social opportunities The scheme provides a regular time each week to play sport and socialise with a peer group who understands the experiences that young veterans will have had. The programme offers a range of other opportunities including: • • •

Access to coaching qualifications Match day opportunities Help develop ex-Servicemen and women’s Veterans’ Leagues

Each club has a local steering group who will provide a local infrastructure to refer people into the programme, and provide information and access to further services. Every club has access to specialist knowledge via the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency Welfare Team, Combat Stress and local community Mental Health Services and The British Legion. Inside Right aims to use the hook of football to provide a regular healthy environment and time spent with peers in a positive team environment

Chelsea and England Captain, John Terry, heralded it as, “Football’s way of helping Servicemen and women return to civilian life.” Former England Manager, Graham Taylor, praised the initiative as, “Helping to recognise the sacrifices our military personnel make on our behalf.” INSIDE RIGHT is a mental health and wellbeing programme part-funded by the Football Foundation. Using the hook of football and the appeal of professional football clubs, Inside Right offers regular football and social interaction to improve health and well-being through access to on-going support and services. It is aimed at ex-Service men and women who are vulnerable, isolated, on low income

or unemployed. In particular, the project is aimed at younger ex-Servicemen and women, aged between 20 and 50. The programme has also received funding from the MOD’s Veterans Challenge Fund which decided to support the Inside Right Project because the Programme met one of the Fund’s aims; to support the successful transition from Service to civilian life of Service personnel. It was felt that the scheme offers an interesting combination of support through playing football and offering advice and signposting service. Initially a three-year pilot, the programme will be delivered by five clubs: Chelsea, Colchester United, Everton, Lincoln City and Portsmouth.

Lucy Mann, Inside Right Programme Manager, said: “We hope that individuals involved with Inside Right will also shape the programme in each area, becoming more involved in engaging people. Football clubs do much more than play football and we hope that ex-Servicemen and women will tell us what they want.” Inside Right is a unique partnership. The funders are The Football Foundation, The Royal British Legion, Comic Relief, The MOD (Veterans Challenge Fund), ABF The Soldier’s Charity and the RAF Benevolent Fund. The Mental Health Foundation, The Royal British Legion, The Everton Foundation, the MOD and Combat Stress form the Central Steering Group.

Contacts Health Professional and welfare officers are able to refer people to the football clubs, using a referral from which can be found here: http:/bit.ly/Inside_Right

Graham Taylor launches Inside Right at Lincoln City

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For further information please contact: lucy.mann@footballfoundation.org.uk


Riding high The benefits of horses for people with disabilities

RDA activities are available to people of all ages with a range of disabilities, offering benefits to those with immediate physiotherapy needs, or to those with long-term difficulties. Crucially for disabled Service personnel and veterans who like a challenge, riding offers an element of risk - often denied to people who have been affected by an accident or serious illness. Contact with horses offers the chance to regain mobility and a sense of achievement, not to mention the opportunity to regain freedom of movement.

RDA activitities are available to people of all ages with a range of disabilities

“RDA has made a significant impact on my rehabilitation and self-confidence that were severely dented post-injury.” Founded in 1969, Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) offers opportunities to horse ride and carriage drive to over 28,000 people at 500 groups across the UK and Ireland. FROM its humble beginnings, when a handful of pioneers started to realise the therapeutic benefits of riding for people with disabilities, the Association has developed into a nationwide institution (with affiliated groups across the globe). RDA delivers outstanding levels of instruction and physiotherapy, not to mention fun - and is run almost entirely by its army of 18,000 volunteers.

Issue 21 September 2011

Whether riding, carriage driving or even vaulting, RDA’s activities are designed to be therapeutic, with special benefits to those requiring physiotherapy for an injury or disability. It has a network of specialist Physiotherapists who ensure that rides are tailored to suit the needs of each participant. The charity works closely with ACPTR (The Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Therapeutic Riding), keeping up to date with the latest techniques to help riders achieve their goals. Major Phil Packer lost the use of his legs during an attack in Basra in February 2008 and is learning to carriage drive with RDA. He said: “RDA has made a significant impact on my rehabilitation and self-confidence that were severely dented post-injury. I cannot praise the Association enough for its tremendous work with the disabled community.”

Contacts

Major Phil Packer is learning Carriage Driving with RDA

RDA has 500 centres across the UK (including two very close to Headley Court) providing both riding and carriage driving. To find your nearest centre call 0845 658 1082 or visit www.rda.org.uk

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National Campaign to Reduce Campaign to locate, log and protect thousands of war memorials across the UK, using cutting edge forensic technology has been launched

The Shrewsbury Railway Station War Memorial was the first to be marked for the ‘In Memoriam 2014’ project. Many of the nation’s estimated 100,000 war memorials are under threat from thieves and vandals attempting to steal metal from monuments. It is estimated that on average one war memorial a week is being targeted by thieves looking to illegally remove bronze, copper or other metals to sell on for scrap. ‘In Memoriam 2014’ is a partnership between War Memorials Trust and the SmartWater Foundation. The partnership, which is working towards marking the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War in 2014, seeks to offer greater protection to war memorials across the UK. It aims to prevent any more

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communities witnessing the desecration of their memorials. To combat the threat of theft, as many “at risk” memorials as possible will, with their owner’s agreement, be forensically marked with SmartWater, assigning them with a state-of-the-art forensic signature that can only be seen under UV light. Once applied SmartWater is virtually impossible to remove and can withstand burning, sand blasting and long term exposure to UV. Furthermore if a thief attempts to remove SmartWater they risk inadvertently spreading forensic evidence onto their clothes and any tools they are using. This can be used by Police to link them directly to the crime scene.

The War Memorials Trust works for the protection and conservation of war memorials in the UK. They provide advice and information to anyone with a war memorial enquiry as well as running grant schemes for the repair and conservation of war memorials. It is a registered charity which relies entirely on voluntary contributions to undertake its work. For further information visit www.warmemorials.org or telephone 0300 123 0764.


War Memorial Theft War Memorials Trust’s Director, Frances Moreton, said:

“In Memoriam 2014 is a very special project to protect war memorials in communities across the UK. War Memorials Trust seeks to both protect and conserve this unique part of our national heritage and it is delighted to be involved. The Trust encourages everyone to take an active interest and ensure the custodians of your local war memorials are taking advantage of this wonderful opportunity to protect war memorials free of charge.” Sir Keith Povey QPM, Chairman of the SmartWater Foundation, said: “As the centenary of the First World War approaches, ‘In Memoriam 2014’ encourages communities to reconnect with their local war memorials and remember the sacrifice that so many people made for their country. The SmartWater Foundation is pleased to be partnering with War Memorials Trust in this project and I hope that the community will embrace it by taking an interest in locating and preserving these symbols of our commemoration.”

“The Trust encourages everyone to take an active interest and ensure the custodians of your local war memorials are taking advantage of this wonderful opportunity to protect war memorials free of charge.”

‘In Memoriam 2014’ have been working closely with the Royal British Legion and the War Memorial Officers at local councils to ensure that they are aware of the project and making SmartWater available to those memorials which may need it. As part of the ‘In Memoriam 2014’ project, War Memorials Trust are hoping to identify the custodians of war memorials across the UK so that they can be contacted if War Memorials Trust needs to. The SmartWater Foundation Ltd is a not for profit company established and funded solely by SmartWater Technology Ltd. The Foundation provides charitable donations of equipment and services to the UK law enforcement agencies in support of local crime reduction initiatives within hard-pressed communities.

Many war memorials do not have a custodian; they were erected by public subscription and it was assumed that communities or organisations would look after them. Part of the project will be to make people aware of their local memorials and, if no custodian can be identified or found, find someone to take on that responsibility. Some local councils have already taken custodianship as well as individuals and various organisations such as the Royal British Legion. Memorials located within churches or schools are generally looked after by those authorities.

The SmartWater Foundation is donating a unique SmartWater forensic solution for the exclusive use of the ‘In Memoriam 2014’ project at no cost and is also funding the cost of creating the national database.

Metal theft is currently estimated to be costing the UK economy in excess of £700 million every year.

Issue 21 September 2011

Smartwater is applied to the memorial

“I hope that the community will embrace it by taking an interest in locating and preserving these symbols of our commemoration.” 23


A point of contact New regional advice and support centre aimed at helping ex-Service men and women adjust back into civilian life opened

Representatives from the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association, the Royal British Legion and Help for Heroes were all present at the opening in July, when the doors were officially opened, after the ribbon was cut by the Mayor, Cllr Neil Phillips.

Based in Nuneaton and Bedworth Town Hall, the Veterans Contact Point will provide help and support to anyone who has previously served in the Armed Forces, bringing together the organisations that are able to help. THE project was driven forward by Warwickshire Probation Service, and has seen the centre set up in the heart of Nuneaton to support all veterans and Serving Personnel from across Nuneaton, Bedworth, Coventry and Warwickshire. Cllr Neil Phillips, Mayor of Nuneaton and Bedworth said: "Nuneaton and Bedworth has a close relationship with the Armed Forces and this has been demonstrated a number of times through the number of parades that have taken place.

“. . . I hope veterans throughout the county will use the service to gain access to the service available to them.” 24

"I welcome the opening of this service. A lot of hard work has been done to get it up and running and as a Council we will be doing as much as possible to support it." Volunteers will be on hand to work with veterans who need help and support whether they are finding out about the benefits they could be entitled to, accessing grants to set up a business when leaving the Services or looking for support to get back on track after committing an offence, the centre is there to help. Jason Wilkins, a veteran himself and also a volunteer at the centre said: “I am passionate about my role in the Veterans Contact Point. As a veteran myself I know how difficult it has been to get the support I needed when leaving the forces. I am committed to helping other veterans get the support they need as soon as possible, so I would urge anyone out there who has previously served in the forces to give us a call or come along to the Town Hall to see how we can help.” Cllr Dennis Harvey, Leader of the Council said: “I would like to take the opportunity to wish the organisers and volunteers every

The Mayor of Nuneaton and Bedworth, Neil Phillips opens the Veterans Contact Point with the Lord Lieutenant for Warwickshire Martin Dunne and volunteer Jason Wilkins

success in this initiative, and I hope veterans throughout the county will use the service to gain access to the service available to them.” The project has been funded through the Coventry and Warwickshire branch of SSAFA Forces Help and European funding awarded to the Warwickshire Probation Service for the project.

Contacts For further information on the Veterans Contact Point: call 024 7637 6129, visit www.veteranscontactpoint.org.uk or contactus@veteranscontactpoint.org.uk


SPVA News

Business as usual for SPVA Service Personnel & Veterans Agency The regular feature providing you with updates from the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency FROM 16 June, SPVA ceased to be an Executive Agency of the Ministry of Defence (MOD) in a move, requested by the Agency, and agreed by the Minister for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans. SPVA will remain a distinct business unit and continue to be known as the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency from a customer perspective and report, as before, to the Deputy Chief of Defence Staff (Personnel & Training) in the MOD.

"The important thing is that we will still be delivering our essential and high quality services to our customers."

There's no change to the name or the services SPVA delivers but the change in status will reduce administration costs previously incurred by having Agency status. SPVA Deputy Chief Executive, Cdre Ross Albon explained:

“This has not been an easy decision. We looked long and hard but decided that in

Issue 21 September 2011

the current financial climate, we had to prioritise funds on maintaining and improving the services we deliver to our customers, rather than on ourselves. The important thing is that we will still be delivering our essential and high quality services to our customers. It is a case of ‘Business as Usual’ for SPVA." Although no longer an ‘Executive Agency’, SPVA will keep its identity and logo which helps maintain its association with exService charities and organisations. This will avoid the unnecessary expenditure associated with re-branding. From Tudor times to present day The fifth SPVA video was released, which looks at the history of the War Pension Scheme. In this release, SPVA Presenter Don Goldie looks at the history of the War Pension Scheme. Now running in conjunction with the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme, the original scheme can trace its roots back to Tudor times.

Almshouses provided food and shelter for injured veterans. They were often funded by benefactors

The first formal scheme to compensate battle casualties and their families was conceived during the reign of Elizabeth I over 400 years ago. Then, an ordinary soldier wounded in battle could expect to receive around £10 per year for his injuries, now in the reign of the second Elizabeth, a streamlined organisation administered by SPVA ensures a comprehensive package of welfare and pension services encompassing the wider Veterans Community. The video is available to view on the Veterans-UK website, www.veterans-uk.info and on the SPVA YouTube channel.

Sir Bill listening into a call on the Veterans Helpline

Sir Bill Rollo visits the Agency DCDS Pers Lt Gen Sir Bill Rollo visited the SPVA’s Blackpool offices in May. Sir Bill is the Deputy Chief of Defence Staff responsible for MOD personnel. During his time at the offices, Sir Bill visited the Veterans Helpline, met with staff working on the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme and discussed veterans welfare with the Officer in Charge of the Veterans Welfare Service. During his visit to the Helpline, Sir Bill had the opportunity to talk to staff from the Helpline and Customer Services Teams about their work, learn about the types of enquiries received and how staff build up their skills to become helpline operators. While on the tour, Sir Bill was able to listen in on a call to the helpline. Podcasts update Since the last issue, there have a been a couple of podcast releases – a three-part series to the changes to the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme, a podcast supporting Armed Forces Day and an interview with the MOD’s Directorate of Media and Communications about the MOD’s Online Security Awareness Campaign (see page 26). To listen to the podcasts visit the Social Media Hub at www.veterans-uk.info . The podcasts can be downloaded direct from the website or iTunes.

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Veterans World Noticeboard

Think before you sha

The MOD’s personal online security awareness campaign for the Armed Forces

“We do not wa Service person and veterans a certainly do no to stop using s If you use social media as a way to communicate and share information, then an MOD campaign might help you stay safe online . . . THE Online Security campaign was launched to encourage Service personnel and MOD civilian staff to carefully consider possible repercussions before posting information on social networking sites.

We want our men and women to embrace the use of sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube, but also want them to be aware of the risks that sharing too much information may pose. You don't always know who else is watching in cyberspace. "The MOD Headquarters has its own Facebook, YouTube and Twitter feeds and we see no reason to stop our personnel from tweeting or posting on their own walls. But the MOD has a responsibility to warn personnel of the risks they could be exposing themselves to, hence the launch of this campaign."

“Social media has enabled our personnel to stay in touch with their families and their friends no matter where they are in the world.”

The campaign introduced new guidance ‘Think Before You . . .’ - for personnel using social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, which advised them not to put themselves or others at increased risk by releasing too much information about themselves or other operational details. With YouTube films and great tips of updating your privacy settings and the use of geo-location applications, the guidance could easily be of use to anyone using social media.

The campaign is not to discourage personnel from using Social Media, as Major General John Lorimer, the Chief of the Defence Staff's Strategic Communications Officer, explained: "Social media has enabled our personnel to stay in touch with their families and their friends no matter where they are in the world.

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'Think Before You...' is a reminder that personal and operational security should be a primary concern and that social media merely provides a different context where sensitive details can be found. Major Gen Lorimer added:

"We do not want to scare Service personnel, families and veterans and we certainly do not want them to stop using social media. We are not here to gag people because we acknowledge the ubiquity and significant benefits that social media offers to people and the MOD. I am a big fan of Facebook and Twitter and I use them on a regular basis. These channels are vital to communicating in a digital age."

Contacts For further information visit www.blogs.mod.uk/onlinesecurity/ Editor’s Note: In one of our latest podcast releases, we interviewed Pippa Norris, Assistant Head of Online Engagement to find out more about the campaign. To listen to the podcast, visit our Social Media Hub at www.veterans-uk.info


are . . .

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ant to scare nnel, families and we ot want them social media.� Risks to Service personnel - and potentially their families - include posting details and locations of troop movements, operational events, locations and travel details of ships or aircraft, as well as people's home addresses. If inadvertently released, information such as this could give the UK's enemies the upper hand.

Issue 21 September 2011

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Veterans go back to school


Veterans World - Issue 21