Hampshire teams up with DMWS Training to deliver Covenant funded courses

Members of all three services gathered at Kandahar Air base to pay their respects during a service of Remembrance in November 2014. As the nation gathered to pay its respects to the Fallen of the two World Wars, and conflicts throughout the decades since, UK forces in Afghanistan held poignant services as the UK combat mission drew to an end in 2014. On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918, the First World War Armistice was signed. Every year since we have remembered those who have given their lives for peace and freedom. Today at eleven o’clock International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) personnel and civilians gathered for Remembrance service Kandahar.

Hampshire County Council and its partners have secured funding from the Armed Forced Covenant Fund to encourage support to the Armed Forces community and strengthen local government’s delivery of the Covenant. The Council decided to use part of the fund for staff training delivered by the Defence Medical Welfare Service (DMWS) to increase understanding and awareness of the Armed Forces.

The Armed Forces Covenant Fund funds projects that support military communities. With around 20,000 serving personnel and 60,000 veterans currently living in Hampshire, the county has one of the largest military communities in England. Due to this significant high number of residents with a military background, Hampshire County Council identified the benefit for further funding to train staff on different aspects of service life.

The funding received supports a two year project that sees DMWS Training deliver Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) – Armed Forces Community training to local authority staff, particularly housing teams, benefits teams and reception staff, community sector, and health and military partners. The training aims to reduce stigma around mental health, to improve access to services and reduce inequalities in health for Armed Forces personnel and veterans.

DMWS Training was chosen as the ideal delivery partner due to our location and background. We are an Andover based charity who has been providing medical welfare service to the Armed Forces community since 1943. Our Welfare Officers offer practical and emotional support to ensure no family goes through the worry of illness alone. In 2012, we took our knowledge and experience and developed our Training arm of which MHFA is one of the courses we deliver.

The two-day MHFA course is specially designed for people from the Armed Forces Community or those who are working with them. Over the next two years, training will run in various locations across the county, to make it easier for staff to attend. The first two courses have already been successfully delivered in Test Valley and at Worthy Down Camp and we are proud of the encouraging feedback we have received:

“A good course; anyone who works in and with the military would benefit”

“I have come away with skills and knowledge that I feel confident to use, and the safety of knowing where to signpost people for professional help and self-help”

“I feel this course has made a positive impact on how I would react. Everyone should do it!”

DMWS is delighted to be Hampshire County Council’s chosen delivery partner for this valuable project to achieve a common goal: “To support those who serve”.

ENDS

Notes to editors

For immediate Release

For further information on DMWS please contact Christine Pilbeam, Marketing and PR Manager on 01264 774 270 or email mfo@dmws.org.uk

Registered Charity in England and Wales (1087210) and in Scotland (SC045460)

About St John and Red Cross Defence Medical Welfare Service (DMWS)

The St John and Red Cross Defence Medical Welfare Service (DMWS) has been providing a person-centred medical welfare service to the Armed Forces Community since 1943. In that time we have supported over 1,000 000 patients and their families, ensuring that no one goes through the worry of injury and illness alone. Our highly trained welfare officers provide practical and emotional support to those receiving medical treatment. Recent new projects with organisations such as the police, the NHS and the probation service demonstrates the broad appeal of the organisation and its application to a wide set of frontline services. We are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. www.dmws.org.uk

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