Financed by the Ministry of Defence’s Armed Forces Covenant Fund, the project aims to increase understanding of the Armed Forces community within Local Authorities
In May, Surrey County Council, in partnership with Kent, East & West Sussex and Hampshire county councils was awarded £321,000 from the Armed Forces Covenant Fund to promote understanding and awareness within public authorities and related sectors, including health, of the issues which affect the Armed Forces Community. It also aims to strengthen local government delivery of the Covenant in the South East.
The project, which is funded for the next two years, will involve educating and briefing Armed Forces champions, covenant officers, social care teams and helpdesk staff across the South East so that the needs of Armed Forces personnel, veterans and their families can be better understood by local authorities. SSAFA branches in Surrey, Sussex, Kent and Hampshire are key partners in the project, together with 11 Infantry Brigade, and will be the next point of reference should statutory help be inappropriate or unavailable.
The new funding has already allowed Surrey County Council to recruit a dedicated project officer with training processes for staff and Councillors, a new electronic platform to share information and additional support for Service Leavers and Reservists seeking employment to follow. It is anticipated that the project will lead to a significant increase in the number of referrals to SSAFA in the region, and subsequently to the grant-giving members of Cobseo.
Further information can be obtained from Bob Crawley OBE, Chairman of SSAFA Surrey: firstname.lastname@example.org / 07455 916071