Delivering the Armed Forces Covenant

About Forces Connect South West

What is Forces Connect South West?

Forces Connect South West is a developing regional partnership that aims to improve services and support to the military community. It is comprised of organisations from the four pillars, which are:

  • Public Authority bodies – Councils, NHS, Police, Ambulance and Fire.
  • The Ministry of Defence – regular and reserve units of the RN, RM, Army and RAF
  • Military Charity and support organisations
  • Business, commerce and industry

The initiative has been established with Funding from the MOD Covenant Trust Fund and it aims to improve the experience of the military community. To help them access, better understand and navigate all public services as well as support them during their transition on leaving the services.

It also intends to ensure that after their service, veterans and their dependents who need help are known; that public, private and non-service voluntary & community sector organisations coordinate to provide appropriate support when, where and how it is needed and identify underlying causes of issues and implement preventative measures.

Who is in the military community?

The Military Community is made up of:

  • Regular personnel – Individuals currently serving as members of the Naval Service (including Royal Navy and Royal Marines), Army and Royal Air Force
  • Reservists – Volunteer Reservists, who form the Royal Navy Reserve, Royal Marine Reserve, Territorial Army and the Royal Auxiliary Air Force, and Regular Reservists who comprise the Royal Fleet Reserve, Army Reserve and Royal Air Force Reserve
  • Veterans – Those who have served for at least a day in the HM Armed Forces, whether as a Regular or a Reservist
  • Families of Regular Personnel, Reservists and Veterans – The immediate family of those within the above categories
  • Bereaved – The immediate family of Service Personnel and Veterans who have died whether or not that death has any connection with the service

How did Forces Connect South West start?

Following several MOD Covenant Trust Fund grants to a local authorities across England Scotland and Wales, Wiltshire Council led a partnership to commence a project involving councils in the South West. 

The two-year project set out to improve the experience of the military community, to help them access, better understand and navigate all public services as well as support them during their transition on leaving the services. 

It aims to ensure that after their service, veterans and their dependents who need help are known; that public, private and non-service voluntary & community sector organisations coordinate to provide appropriate support when, where and how it is needed and identify underlying causes of issues and implement preventative measures.

The project had six outcomes, which were:

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Enhance local understanding of the Armed Forces community and formally contribute to local strategic needs assessments via increased identification of those who receive additional support and what their needs are

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Upskill through training and awareness campaign more LA front line staff to better support their military community needs

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Creation of an accredited forces friendly national network of champions, and options for developing a Forces Friendly Quality Mark

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Engagement and gain commitment of other public authorities, providers, private and third sector organisations to work collaboratively with LAs for the benefit of the SW regional military community

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Widen understanding of Health front line staffs in Foundation Trusts, Community Hospitals and General Practice Staff for the identification, understanding of needs treatment of spouses of current serving, former personnel and their families

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Progressing towards consistent access, support and prevention mechanisms across the region underpinned by a South West web portal

Our role

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Support the military community

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Promote the Armed Forces Covenant

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Raise awareness and understanding of those that deliver and receive services

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Coordinate the inter-operability of Local Authorities, MOD, Military Charity and support agencies, and businesses

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Deliver a better Armed Forces Covenant