Armed Forces Covenant
The Armed Forces Covenant sets out the relationship between the nation, the state and the armed forces and it establishes how they should expect to be treated.
What is the Covenant about?
The Covenant is about removing disadvantages so armed service personnel, past and present, get the same treatment and access to services as the civilian community. It is based on four themes:
- encouraging local communities to support their local armed forces community and vice versa
- promoting public understanding and awareness of issues that affect the armed forces community
- recognising the sacrifices made by the armed forces community
- encouraging activities which help integrate the armed forces community into local life.
We pledged our support in 2013 with a particular focus on respect and remembrance. We re-signed the Covenant on 23 June 2018. You can find out more about the Covenant using the quick link above.
Supporting the armed forces community in Leicester
We work closely with partners locally to recognise the sacrifices made by the armed forces community. This includes leading events and city-wide participation in Armed Forces Day and the annual Remembrance Day service.
We also work closely with local units including the Royal Lancers Regiment and Royal Anglian Regiment who both have freedom of the city of Leicester.
The armed forces community we support includes current and former service personnel; families and dependents, reservists and veterans.
Below is a brief summary of the main areas of support offered through our council services:
Customer services staff are aware of our commitments under the Covenant so please indicate if you are a member of the armed forces community when you make contact with us.
Priority is given to armed forces personnel within our Housing Allocations Policy (Part 4.34) and persons leaving the armed forces will be considered under this priority, if they make an application for housing within 5 years of their discharge from the service and do not have a home to return to.
The authority runs a “local scheme” for claimants of housing benefit who are in receipt of either War Widows Pension or War Disablement Pension.
This means that either of these incomes will be fully disregarded, when any entitlement to housing benefit is assessed.
The Admissions Code to which we follow gives additional rights in relation to allocation of places to children of UK service personnel, and exceptions can be made to class sizes in infant education in exceptional circumstances.
The needs of veterans are acknowledged and taken account of in the Joint Specific Needs Assessment for Mental Health Services prepared with the Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group.
Hate crime and domestic violence
We have commissioned domestic and sexual violence support specifically for veterans, and are committed to combating hate crime in all its forms and always tailor our response to meet individual need.
What is the Covenant Fund?
The Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust (the Trust) supports the Armed Forces Covenant by delivering funding programmes that create real change to Armed Forces communities across the UK.
The Armed Forces Covenant Fund has four broad funding themes now and in future years:
- Non-core healthcare services for veterans.
- Removing barriers to family life.
- Extra support, both in and after Service, for those that need help.
- Measures to integrate military and civilian communities and allow the Armed Forces community to participate as citizens.
You can find more information on current programmes at covenantfund.org.uk.
Useful websites and local groups
There are also a range of other local and national services who may be able to help members of the armed forces community.
- Veterans Gateway is a national website which puts veterans and their families in touch with the organizations best placed to help with the information, advice and support they need – from healthcare and housing to employability, finances, personal relationships and more.
- Career Transition Partnership helps service leavers find new careers through a resettlement support programme. In this programme, service leavers who complete between 4 and 6 years’ service are entitled to the employment support programme (ESP). The ESP programme directly supports job finding activity such as financial and career support.
- NHS Choices website has a special section on healthcare for veterans and their families.
- SSAFA provides information and support for those needing assistance with housing support for military families. The guidance they offer includes homelessness, housing benefits, accessing social housing and tenants’ rights.
- Ministry of Defense Enhanced Credit Scheme (ELC) promotes lifelong learning amongst members of the Armed Forces. This scheme provides financial support for service leavers who are in pursuit of higher level education.
- Royal British Legion provides care and support to all members of the British Armed Forces and their families. The legion offers career advice, financial aid in an urgent crisis and housing support.
- Soldiers Charity provides support to soldiers and veterans from the British Army, and their immediate families, when they are in need.
- Children Education Advisory Service (CEAS) are a national service that provides expert and impartial advice about the education of service children. They are experienced in advising service parents on a wide range of issues regarding the education of service children in the UK and overseas.
- Combat Stress is a leading charity for veteran’s mental health. They help former servicemen and women deal with issues like trauma, anxiety, depression and postdramatic stress disorder. They provide support on the phone or at their treatment centres.
- Help for Heroes Hidden Wounds Service provide free and confidential mental health support for Veterans and military families living with challenges such as excessive worry, depression, stress and alcohol problems.
- Phoenix Heroes is a veteran non-profit Community Interest Company (CIC). They support veterans, families and carers who are dealing with PTSD.
- Citizens Advice provides housing support for people leaving the Armed Forces, veterans and their families. This includes information to find out about the help available to you, depending on your situation.
- Age UK offers tailored support for older veterans to help with their independent living. For more information contact:
- Jill Bindley, 0773 963 0659, email@example.com
- Owen Jones, 0773 882 0948, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Veterans’ Mental Health Transition, Intervention and Liaison (TIL) Service is a free NHS mental health service for all ex-serving members of the UK Armed Forces and service personnel who are making the transition to civilian life including reservists.
For any enquiries about the Covenant please email us at AFCovenant@leicester.gov.uk.