The South West totals some 9000 square miles and is home to many regular and reserve military personnel and families across all services, from RNAS Culdrose and RAF St Mawgan in Cornwall to the Garrison areas around Salisbury Plain and many other stations and units across the counties.
Serving in the South West means that many settle and seek employment here and currently it is estimated that there are 320,000 veterans living in the South West.
This places considerable pressure on resources to support the military community and following a project to raise awareness of the Covenant and the needs of the military community, a consortium of Local Authorities formed to pool its resource and share good practice.
One new initiative that Forces Connect South West provides, is a Mobile Veterans Outreach Support service, which started to operate Summer 2019.
As a new initiative, the service will evolve to establish an initial view of where outreach is required and will gather information on other areas where outreach requirements are identified. In addition to providing a region wide outreach capability for veterans, it will also allow much needed intelligence to be gathered, to better inform the service.
When and where will it operate?
The outreach service operates across the South West and is currently establishing locations and developing local partnerships. Unfortunately, due to the current pandemic, the outreach service ceased March 2020. Depending upon developments for 2021, Forces Connect South West plans to re-launch the outreach initiative from 2021 (Covid-permitting). Planned locations and dates for the Mobile Veterans Outreach Support service can be viewed here.