There are lots of examples around the UK of projects, spear-headed by local councils and Armed Forces Champions/Project Officers, that are aiming to fulfil commitment to upholding the Armed Forces Covenant, provide support for the Armed Forces Community and raise awareness, within both AF and civilian communities, of what good transition out of the Armed Forces means.
We’ve recently watched presentations, attended training and been made aware of many great initiatives around the UK. Many people involved with these projects have also offered to share their ideas, resources and how they have improved their AF provision.
What are you doing? Are you involved with some aspect of local delivery of the Covenant somewhere in the UK?
If you have resources/information about a Covenant project you would like to share with others, or you would like to share your contact info publicly so others can get in contact with you for further info, please feel free to post a reply to this thread.
We’ll also post information on any projects we come across during our travels…
Forces Connect South West are in the process of launching their new outreach project, led by Wiltshire Council.
The Forces Connect South West Project is due to launch its outreach service on the 28th June. Ahead of this, the team, led by Wiltshire Council (UK), have launched the digital media they are using to both support and raise awareness of their project, including a new website and film, as well as a short intro video that provides further explanation of the film.
The film is called ‘Change Step’ and seeks to raise awareness of the Armed Forces Covenant, outline some of the potential transition difficulties that Service personnel can face and provide information on available support for the Armed Forces Community.
As part of the South Yorkshire Local Authorities Armed Forces project, York St John University runs ‘The Advantage’ suite of training courses and as part of this offer, ‘The Military Human‘ study days are proving very popular across the UK.
Within the South Yorkshire region, Sheffield City Council, Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council, Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council and Doncaster Council have all committed to the Armed Forces Covenant and are active in their work with the AF community.
As you know at York St John University we have been delivering the evidence and researched based Military Human: Understanding Military Culture and Transition CPD training for 4 years now and have been working with around 15 Local Authorities delivering the training to their staff and other community based teams across England and Wales. The training has also been delivered for NHS England, NHS Trusts, MOJ (England & Wales) and NHS Veterans TIL staff. In total around 2800 staff have attended the full 1 day training course and have acquired an in depth understanding of the military journey, armed forces covenant and how to support the armed forces community utilizing the extensive handbook and support guide provided. The Military Human approach takes a radically new person centered approach into the military journey and provides an insight into the response most non military organisations experience and hear i.e “civvies don’t understand” which can hinder engagement with community services as you know, and also incorporates the ask the question process to assist identification of members of the armed forces community. To provide an evidence base independent evaluation of the 2 year South Yorkshire Local Authority training project, Dr Kathy Albertson will be publishing the research and findings on the 31st July 2019 which will show the impact of the training in the community.This will highlight that the Military Human training has been rigorously tested and evaluated over a 2 year independent evaluation process.
I’ll update with a link to the research and findings when Dr Albertson publishes
As well as being involved with the NW VAPC, my ‘day job’ is Greater Manchester Combined Authority Armed Forces Programme Lead. GMCA is the sum of the 10 local authorities that comprise Greater Manchester and we are working towards a level playing field of Covenant delivery in all Boroughs. My role is to support the 10 local authority leads and embed the Armed Forces Community into Public Service Reform initiatives across GM, rather then reinvent the wheel and create isolationist projects that fall over when the funding does.
In terms of support, the Mayor of GM, Andy Burnham, is a huge advocate of the Programme and I also have a Lead Chief Executive of one of the Local Authorities who champions support to the Armed Forces Community in senior strategic meetings. In this way, the support and advocacy reaches out across GM at senior, middle and frontline levels.
There is much to do and it will be a long journey to achieve that level playing field. However, the Combined Authority has agreed to retain my post once project funding has run out (in April 2021). In that way, GM has committed to sustaining the Armed Forces Programme for good, rather than it being a short duration project.
Happy to talk specifics to anyone interested. We have a work in progress website at:
Thanks for sharing this info, Chris. We will definitely follow updates on your website to keep up with what you are doing in GM. I love the animation you folks have put together!! I think it’s a really engaging and humorous way to get the message out about the Covenant work. We will flag this via our social media etc.