A new and unique mobile Veterans Outreach Support service is making its first ever deployment to Salisbury on Wednesday 18 December 2019.

The mobile van, which contains a wealth of information and support for Armed Force Veterans, will be available at Salisbury Market Square from 10am to 3pm.

The van is part of a wider regional partnership project to raise awareness and encourage engagement in the Armed Forces Covenant – a promise by the nation that those who serve or have served, and their families, are treated fairly. The covenant aims to raise awareness and promote understanding to benefit military communities and invites all communities, including businesses and charities, to participate.

The partnership project led by Wiltshire Council involves the partner authorities of Bristol City, Devon, Cornwall, Gloucestershire, Somerset and North Somerset. The partnership won £190,000 MOD Covenant Fund Trust funding in 2016 to improve delivery of the Armed Forces Covenant and an extra £150,000 early in 2018 to fund veterans’ outreach.

The new van, which has been funded by the project, has been designed to take outreach into areas where it is limited or non-existent. Other partnership initiatives so far include a website and film that raises awareness of the covenant and provides information on services available.

Working alongside the partner local authorities, the Covenant Outreach team and Wiltshire Council Veterans representative from the Housing Options team will be accompanied by representatives from Salisbury Medical Practice, Defence Medical Welfare Service, SSAFA, and the Armed Forces and Veterans Breakfast Club to offer advice information and support to the military community.

Cllr Philip Whitehead, Leader of Wiltshire Council, said: “We are very proud of our military community here in Wiltshire and we recognise the importance of this project.

“This is a great asset that has the potential to make a huge difference to how the military community is supported. The mobile nature means that we are not limited in where we can go and the opportunity of improving existing and forging new relationships at a local level between the public authorities, military charities and the MOD can only create greater efficiencies in the provision of support. It also provides an opportunity to collect information across the region, which can be used to better understand the needs of the military community and how those vary across the region.”