Successful bid from Armed Forces Covenant FundSafer Stronger North Somerset
North Somerset Council is part of a group of councils which has made a successful bid for funding which will strengthen support and raise awareness of the armed forces community across the region.
Almost £200,000 funding from the Armed Forces Covenant Fund has been awarded to the councils led by Wiltshire Council alongside partners North Somerset, Cornwall, Somerset, South Somerset, Plymouth, Devon and Gloucestershire.
The £190,291 awarded will help identify members of the armed forces community who are most in need, equip public, private and non-service voluntary organisations to meet those needs, and identify preventative measures.
It will also raise awareness of the Armed Forces Covenant across the South West region with an emphasis on training frontline staff and sharing good practice.
The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise from the nation that those serving or have served and their families are treated fairly. The covenant works with businesses, local authorities, charities and community organisations to support he forces through services, policy and projects.
The funding will be used for: •training frontline staff – becoming armed forces champions or experts within their own service areas. North Somerset Council together with Gloucestershire will be leading in producing the training package •researching a Forces Friendly Quality Mark through a pilot scheme which recognises local authority and partners along with businesses and other organisations as being forces friendly. This could become a national scheme •an awareness campaign encouraging armed forces veterans and dependants to identify themselves and offering advice on support •a film to highlight issues around needs, mental ill-health and ‘hidden wounds’ • events across the South West to promote the covenant to the public, community and voluntary sector groups and businesses. This would help raise the number of private companies adopting the Armed Forces Covenant for business •researching a regional needs assessment to ensure the covenant is being delivered fully. A report on the underlying causes of need will be produced from this •a regional web portal signposting veterans to services in their local area.
North Somerset Council’s Armed Forces Champion, Cllr Peter Bryant, said: “This funding means we can introduce a range of measures which will ensure we work closer together across the region to support our armed forces community and help increase knowledge, awareness and action across the South West.
“It’s important we all work together to ensure our veterans and their families are supported and their voices are heard.”
North Somerset Council’s work with the Armed Forces community was recently recognised with a silver award being presented in The Employer Recognition Scheme.
North Somerset Council signed the Armed Forces Covenant in June 2013 and launched it as part of Armed Forces Day. The covenant, commits the council, businesses and public and voluntary sector organisations to work with the military bringing their knowledge, experience and expertise to provide help and advice to the armed forces community.