Armed Forces - General advice and support

Find out about the charities and organisations that provide a range of support for the Armed Forces community and other general advice.

Organisations providing a range of support

ABF The Soldiers' Charity

The British Army's national charity provides lifetime support to soldiers, veterans and their immediate families when they are in need.

It is there for those who find themselves lonely or isolated, and supports families with:

  • bereavement
  • housing
  • education
  • training
  • employment.

Find information on the Soldiers' Charity website or call 020 7901 8900.

Army Families Federation (AFF)

This organisation is the independent voice of Army families and works hard to improve the quality of life for Army families around the world. It offers confidential advice on any aspect of the Army lifestyle.

Find general information on the AFF website and access support for those preparing to transition out of the forces.

Armed Forces Community Hub

Based in Hull, the Hub supports veterans and their families with a wide range of issues including:

  • employment
  • homelessness
  • social isolation
  • family support
  • welfare advice.

For further information, email or call (01482) 534483.

You can also visit the Hub’s Facebook page.

Army Welfare Service (AWS)

AWS is the Army's professional welfare provider; it delivers a comprehensive and confidential welfare service responsive to the needs of individuals, families and the Chain of Command in order to maximise the operation effectiveness of service personnel. This includes personal support such as:

  • domestic abuse
  • child and adult safeguarding
  • bereavement
  • relationship difficulties
  • stress and anxiety management
  • emotional wellbeing
  • signposting.

It also provides community support which includes learning and personal development opportunities for military personnel and their families wherever they are living. It offers non-formal education opportunities to children and young people including activities during school holidays and offsite residential experiences.

The local AWS office is based in York and provides support to the Defence School of Transport, Leconfield.

Find out more on the Army Welfare Service website, call (01904) 882053 or email

To find out more about the local youth services provided by the AWS at the Defence School of Transport, Leconfield, call (01964) 561743.

HIVE information centres

The HIVE service provides information on behalf of the chain of command to the service community and offers help and support to:

  • serving personnel
  • dependants
  • partners
  • extended families
  • the wider military community including veterans and Ministry of Defence civilians
  • Non-UK Nationals (Foreign and Commonwealth).

An extensive range of information is available, focusing on:

  • relocation information
  • local area information
  • education
  • accommodation
  • employment and training opportunities
  • childcare
  • travel.

The local Army HIVE is in Leconfield at the Defence School of Transport.

Leconfield HIVE Blog is an online noticeboard and resource, which signposts to a wide range of support services and offers information on varied topics. It is for the wider military community and primarily for use by the community based at Defence School of Transport, Leconfield. To receive regular updates or to be added to the mailing list or to share information on the blog, email or call (01904) 665253 / 07971 890523), call (01904 665253) or email

Find information on the Army website.

Search the RAF website for details of their nearest HIVE.

Search the Royal Navy website for local support.

Hull 4 Heroes

Hull 4 Heroes is an East Yorkshire based charity assisting ex-service personnel, with the aim of ensuring that veterans' transition back into civilian life and regular employment is as seamless as possible. Its network of support creates homes, provides education and sources employment for veterans.

Hull 4 Heroes provide a drop-in service and comprehensive support package for the local Armed Forces community. The charity works closely with a number of organisations in the region to deliver support and consider new ways to support veterans and develop activities. On average, the charity supports in excess of 500 veterans every year.

Hull 4 Heroes have also organised and been actively involved in a number of sporting activities, which focus on alleviating stress and improving mental health and well-being, whilst improving community engagement.

If you are a veteran requiring assistance, or you know someone you think could benefit from our support, you can make a referral by completing the online form on the Hull 4 Heroes website or call (01482) 534483.

National Gulf Veterans and Families Association (NGVFA)

NGVFA supports those affected by Gulf War 1, Gulf War 2 (Iraq), Afghanistan, and all future desert conflicts. It aims to improve the quality of the day-to-day lives of all veterans of desert conflicts and their families, partners and carers, through support, information, advocacy and counselling.

Find more information on the NGVFA website or call 0845 257 4853.


Op NOVA supports those who have served in HM Armed Forces who may be vulnerable, socially isolated or need support to live a law-abiding life. This includes support for Merchant Navy personnel who served in operational theatres alongside HM Armed Forces.

Case workers carry out a holistic needs assessment for each individual and put in place specialist support from a network of military charities, and other organisations and statutory services. Op NOVA then maintain contact with the veteran, coordinating support along the way.

Locally, Op NOVA works in partnership with Humberside Police and other associated specialist organisations, who refer veterans to the service.

Call Op NOVA on 0800 917 7299 or email

RAF Benevolent Fund

The RAF's leading welfare charity supports all serving and former members of the RAF as well as their partners and dependent children.

This includes:

  • welfare breaks
  • grants to help with financial difficulty and getting about inside and outside the home
  • specialist advice on benefits
  • support with care needs
  • support for young people.

Find more information on the RAF Benevolent Fund website.

RAF Families Federation (RAFFF)

The RAFFF provides all RAF personnel and their families - regular and reserve, single or married - with timely and professional support, assistance and an independent voice regarding issues or concerns that they may have.

Find more information on the RAF Families Federation website.

Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity

This is the principal charity of the Royal Navy. It exists to support sailors, marines and their families, for life.

Support covers:

  • loneliness and isolation
  • care in old age
  • families and relationships
  • times of need
  • serving and deployment
  • transition and employment.

Find more information on the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity website or call 023 9367 1568.

Service websites

Find information and support on the individual Services' websites:

Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA)

SSAFA's support covers both regulars and reserves in the Royal Navy, the Royal Marines, the British Army and the Royal Air Force and their families, including anyone who has completed National Service.

They are all entitled to lifelong support from SSAFA, no matter how long they have served. SSAFA helps the Armed Forces community in a number of ways, though its focus is on providing direct support to individuals in need of physical or emotional care.

Find more information on the SSAFA website, or call Forcesline, a free and confidential helpline on 0800 731 4880.

The Royal British Legion

The Royal British Legion supports members of the Royal Navy, British Army, Royal Air Force, veterans and their families. Support starts after one day of service and continues through life.

Find out about the wide range of advice and support available on the Royal British Legion website or call 0808 802 8080.

Veterans Gateway

The Gateway puts veterans and their families in touch with the organisations best placed to help with the advice and support they need. They work with people on a one-to-one basis, connecting them with the right support as soon as possible.

Find details on the Veterans Gateway website or call 0808 802 1212.

Veterans UK

Veterans UK provides free support for veterans and their families, including a helpline, Veterans Welfare Service and injury/bereavement compensation scheme payments.

They help veterans get appropriate support from:

  • government
  • local authorities
  • independent bodies
  • the charity sector

Find more information on the GOV.UK website or call 0808 191 4218.

Transition to civilian life

Army - transition guidance

The Army runs a programme of Transition Individual Planning and Personal Development (IPPD), which aims to ensure that service leavers are given all the relevant information needed to make an informed choice allowing a smooth transition into civilian life.

Find information on the Army website and additional advice and support on the Army Families Federation website.

Defence Transition Services (DTS)

DTS is run by the Ministry of Defence's Veterans UK. It provides information and support for those service leavers and their families who are most likely to face challenges as they leave the Armed Forces and adjust to civilian life.

They deliver a full range of transition support for service leavers or family members and provide tailored information and guidance.

DTS facilitates access to support from:

  • other government departments
  • local authorities
  • the NHS
  • trusted charities.

Find more information (including how to make a referral) on the GOV.UK website.

Future for Heroes (F4H)

This charitable organisation offers support to service leavers and veterans who may find their transition to civilian life a challenge. It works alongside veterans to help them make the necessary positive steps.

F4H provides a free-to-the-delegate, residential, personal change programme held over four days. The course develops skills and introduces techniques and coping mechanisms to manage the dramatic change experienced after leaving the services. Spouses/partners also may attend where appropriate.

Find more information on the F4H website or call (01452) 505686.

Royal Air Force Families Federation - transition guidance

The RAF Families Federation provides guidance for those transitioning to civilian life.

Find more information on the RAF Families Federation website or call (01780) 781650.

Royal Navy - transition guidance

The Royal Navy provides helpful advice and guidance to support the transition from life in the Naval Service.

Find more information on the Royal Navy website and advice and support on the Naval Families Federation website.

Service leaver's guide

This guide offers information and advice prior to and after leaving regular service.

Find the guide on the GOV.UK website.

Proof of service

Military service records

You can apply for your own service records if you are or have been, a member of the Armed Forces. You can also apply for the records of someone who is deceased if you're eligible.

Find more information on the GOV.UK website.

Veterans ID card

A roll out of a new ID card for veterans, which will help them access specialist support and services, is currently underway. The card will allow veterans to easily verify their service to the NHS, their local authority and charities.

Find more information on the GOV.UK website.

Veterans badge

You can apply for an Armed Forces veterans badge if you've served in any of the UK Armed Forces. There is no fee.

Download the application form on the GOV.UK website or call 0800 085 3600 to request a paper application form.

Help us to help you

When accessing services such as healthcare, housing and benefits, it is important to let professionals know that you are a member of the Armed Forces community if you feel able to.

This will make sure you can access certain services or support specifically aimed at members of the Armed Forces community.

What other support and advice is available?

A wide range of services and support is available to help you, whatever your needs.

These pages are also useful if you support members of the Armed Forces community as part of your job, or as a friend, carer or family member.

Community and relationships

Employment, education and skills

Families, children and young people

Health and wellbeing


Money advice

Supporting the Armed Forces community

Armed Forces Covenant

If there is something that you need help with that is not listed, or any information needs updating, please email or call (01482) 391426.

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