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Supporting the Armed Forces community

Find out how you can support your local Armed Forces community either as an employer, as part of your job, or as a friend, carer or family member.

Show your support as a local business or employer

There are many different ways you can show your support for your local Armed Forces community as an employer, through supporting members of the Armed Forces community working in your organisation and also those in the wider community.

Sign the Armed Forces Covenant

Businesses and charitable organisations can sign the Armed Forces Covenant to publically make their own promises of support.

Examples of pledges include:

  • promoting the fact that you are an Armed Forces-friendly organisation
  • supporting the employment of veterans young and old
  • working with the Career Transition Partnership (CTP) to establish a tailored employment pathway for service leavers
  • supporting the employment of service spouses and partners
  • offering flexibility in granting leave for service spouses and partners before, during and after a partner's deployment
  • supporting your employees who choose to be members of the reserve forces (read the Reservist employer toolkit on the GOV.UK website), such as, by accommodating their training and deployment where possible or offering additional paid leave
  • supporting your local cadet units, either in your local community or in local schools
  • actively participating in Armed Forces Day and Reserves Day
  • offering a discount to members of the Armed Forces community

Ideas and best practice for your pledges can be found on the GOV.UK website.

The Reserve Forces' and Cadets' Association provides employers with the information and support required to employ a British Reservist.

For general enquiries, email the RFCA Yorkshire and the Humber at yh-info@rfca.mod.uk or call (01904) 623081.

If you would like to speak to a team member about employer engagement, the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme or supporting a reservist, please email yh-empsp@rfca.mod.uk.

All Armed Forces Covenants are to be signed by a person in authority who can ensure that commitments are implemented and maintained within the organisation, such as the CEO or HR director. Covenants can also be co-signed by a member of the Armed Forces.

Find more information and download the template on the GOV.UK website.

Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (DERS)

An employer can be recognised by the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) award after signing the Armed Forces Covenant.

The scheme offers bronze, silver and gold awards for employers that pledge, demonstrate or advocate support to defence and the Armed Forces community, and align their values with the Armed Forces Covenant.

Find more information on the GOV.UK website.

Review your hiring strategy

The 'Veterans Work' report has been produced by Deloitte, the Officers' Association and Forces in Mind Trust. It highlights some of the challenges faced by UK veterans entering employment, and the significant ways organisations can benefit from recruiting veterans.

Veterans Work challenges employers to look beyond rigid hiring criteria and recognise the value that service leavers can bring to business.

The Veterans Work website includes a series of short films which explain why veterans can be great employees.

The Career Transition Partnership, the Ministry of Defence's official provider of Armed Forces Resettlement, can support you to connect with ex-military talent.

Find out more on the Career Transition Partnership website.

Ask the question

When delivering your services, where appropriate, consider asking the question 'Have you ever served in HM Armed Forces?'

When accessing services such as healthcare, housing, benefits, and other support services, it is important to know an individual is a member of the Armed Forces community, to make sure they can access certain services or support that are specifically aimed at them.

You might want to extend this question to 'Have you or a member of your family ever served in HM Armed Forces?'

Promotional material

A poster and leaflet have been developed by the East Riding Community Covenant Delivery Group to help raise awareness of the Armed Forces Covenant and promote the services and support available to the Armed Forces community.

Your organisation can download and use them to help promote awareness of the support available.

Email community.covenant@eastriding.gov.uk or call (01482) 391426 to request paper copies of the leaflet or poster.

Armed Forces Covenant - Leaflet (pdf 2.1mb)

Armed Forces Covenant - Poster (pdf 633kb)

Volunteer
Become a Cadet Force adult volunteer

If you can give up one or two evenings a week and want to do something different with your free time, why not consider becoming a cadet force adult volunteer? Email yh-empsp@rfca.mod.uk for information.

Volunteer with Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA)

Volunteering opportunities are available locally with SSAFA - you'll have the chance to meet some truly inspiring people, with stories you'll never forget. You'll also gain new skills and experiences, but most importantly, you'll make a difference in the lives of those who have dedicated themselves, often at great sacrifice, to protect and serve our country.

Find out about opportunities to volunteer locally on the SSAFA website.

Volunteer with The Royal British Legion

There are many ways to get involved and you don't need to be a member or have any links to the Armed Forces to volunteer with us.

Find out about opportunities to volunteer locally on The Royal British Legion website.

Youth Clubs at Defence School of Transport

A variety of youth club sessions, provided by the Army Welfare Service, take place at the Defence School of Transport, Leconfield. If you would like to volunteer to help out at these sessions, please call (01964) 561743 for more information.

Training
Armed Forces Mental Health First Aid training

Mental Health First Aid courses teach people to spot the symptoms of mental health issues, offer initial help and guide a person towards support.

Armed Forces Mental Health First Aid is tailored to the unique culture and mental health needs of the military community. It is aimed at serving personnel, veterans, their families and support organisations.

Find more information on the MHFA England website

The Military Human

The 'Military Human: understanding military culture and transition' training sessions provide front line staff in council, community, health and social care and other professions with understanding of Armed Forces composition and highlight good practice and inequality.

Find more information on the York St John University website

Policy and research
Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT)

The Trust works to provide an evidence base that will influence and underpin policy making and service delivery in order to enable veterans and their families to lead successful civilian lives.

FiMT award grants that aim to improve the transition process for veterans and their families and commission research. There are a wide range of reports available which offer helpful insights from this research.

Find more information on the FiMT website

Veterans and Families Research (VFR) Hub

The Hub provides access to a wide range of research about veterans and their families, in relation to themes such as:

  • health
  • employment
  • housing
  • education.

Find more information on the VFR Hub website.

Veterans Factsheet

Key facts and data about veterans in the UK are included in this Veterans Factsheet on the GOV.UK website, focusing on employment, health, housing and the justice system.

Living in our Shoes - Understanding the needs of UK Armed Forces Families

This report outlines the findings of a review commissioned by the Ministry of Defence, into the impacts of repeated relocations on children's education and partners' employment, long periods of family separation while serving personnel are on deployment, disruptions in healthcare and the many challenges UK Armed Forces families cope with every day.

Download a copy of the report from the GOV.UK website.

Funding
The Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust

The Trust supports the Armed Forces Covenant by delivering funding programmes that create real change to Armed Forces communities across the UK. Grants are awarded through specific programmes, and each programme has an aim, which describes the change that they would like the funded projects to achieve.

Find more information on the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust website.

Veteran Friendly Accredited GP Practice Scheme

The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) are working together with NHS England and NHS Improvement to roll out the Veteran Friendly Accredited GP Practice Scheme. The scheme is a voluntary initiative which encourages GP practices to become 'veteran friendly'.

Being accredited means that a practice can better identify and treat veterans, referring them where appropriate to dedicated NHS services. Members of the Armed Forces community should not face any disadvantage when accessing health services and should receive priority care for military attributable conditions, subject to clinical need.

Find out more on the RCGP website.

The RCGP website also has a Veterans Healthcare Toolkit.

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

Housing

Money advice

General advice and support

Armed Forces Covenant

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

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