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Gosport Borough Council

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The Armed Forces Covenant

ERS Silver Award

Gosport Borough Council recognises the contribution and sacrifice made by members of the armed forces community and the unique skills and attributes they bring to our workplace. We are proud to have signed the Armed Forces Covenant.

 

The Armed Forces Covenant is a voluntary statement of mutual support between a civilian community and its local Armed Forces Community. It is intended to complement the national Armed Forces Covenant, which outlines the moral obligation between the Nation, the Government and the Armed Forces, at the local level.
    
Hampshire County and the District Councils were among the first counties to sign up to the Community Covenant. Gosport, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth and Southampton councils have come together to adopt a partnership approach to delivering the Covenant within the Solent region of the wider county of Hampshire. The aim of this partnership is to:

  • raise awareness among serving personnel, reservists and veterans of the support they can receive from local authorities;
  • provide a broader understanding of the needs of the local veteran population as well as serving personnel during transition to civilian life;
  • evaluate the impact of these initiatives. 

 

The Solent Armed Forces Covenant Partnership Board representing Gosport, Portsmouth and Southampton aligned to the Isle of Wight Civil Military Partnership Board was refreshed in 2017. This Board provides strategic governance for local delivery of the Covenant alongside the Hampshire Civil Military Partnership Board.

 

 We estimate that 76,207 adults and children are part of the Solent Armed Forces community. The Solent Armed Forces Covenant Partnership have worked together to understand the needs of this community and produced a needs assessment.

 

 This info graphic provides some headline information from the needs assessment.


Gosport Borough Council is very proud to be recognised as a Forces Friendly Employer and to receive the Silver Award from the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme in 2019.

                                                     

  

 Help and Support

 

 The Covenant focusses on helping members of the Armed Forces Community have the same access to government and commercial services and products as any other citizen. This support is provided in a number of areas including: 
  • education and family wellbeing
  • having a home- find information about local Housing options here
  • starting a new career- find information about employment and support options here
  • accessing healthcare

 

The Council is working with our partners and members of the Armed Forces Community to develop a local Covenant offer which complements and builds on the National Covenant Pledges. If you want to find out more about this work or have a question about local delivery of the Covenant, please email mandy.baggaley@gosport.gov.uk  



The Armed Forces Community in Gosport


Below are some interesting facts about the Armed Forces Community in Gosport:
  • Gosport has five military sites where approximately 1,750 serving personnel are based.
  • Gosport is home to five cadet units.
  • 1,384 members of the Royal Navy have registered a home address in Gosport.
  • There are a further 807 service accommodations across eight sites in Gosport with a capacity to hold a total of 2,324 people.
  • 4,275 veterans have registered Gosport as their home address for the purposes of forces pension and or compensation payments.
  • As of January 2019, there were 1,172 service pupils in Gosport, approximately 10.8% of the total schoolaged population in the Borough.

 

  There are over 76,000 children from Armed Forces families attending schools in England. Additional help is at hand to support these families to navigate the school admissions process through this helpful video link.  


The Veterans Gateway

 

The Veterans Gateway, launched in 2017, can put veterans and their families in touch with the organisations best places to help with the information, advice and support they need, from healthcare and housing to employability, finances, personal relationships and more. Information about local services is available on the gateway website and will be regularly updated. Find out more on Veterans Gateway website.


New Veterans Drop In Service in Gosport


The Solent Armed Forces Covenant Partnership has recently opened a veterans drop in service in Gosport open to former members of the British Armed Forces and Reserves and their immediate family members. The service is open on the last Friday of every month, from 10am to 2 pm at the Gosport Discovery Centre PO12 1BT.


The service provide social support and access to a wide range of welfare and mental health services. For more information about the Gosport service specifically ring 023 92583099 or contact the Veterans Outreach Support on  023 9273 1767 for  more information about all of the veterans drop in services in the Solent region.   This flyer lists the details of all four current Veterans Drop in Services.  


Adjusting to Life Outside Resource Available Online


An e-learning resource to support service leavers, veterans and their families going through the adjustment process of living outside of the Armed Forces is now available on the Armed Forces Covenant website.


The package addresses the issues that are commonly experienced in the lead up to, and after leaving the Armed Forces, including acquiring accommodation, employment, finances, health, as well as personal, family and social adjustment.


Show Your Support


Over 2,000 businesses nationally have pledged their commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant. If you are a business or an organisation, you can find out you can show your support here.
Perks for the Armed Forces Community

The Defence Discount Service is the only official Ministry of Defence discount service for the armed forces, veterans and defence community. There are loads of online discounts available free and for a small fee you can also get a Defence Privilege Card, good for five years, which entitles you to a discount when presented in a wide range of High Street shops. Find out more here


Tickets for Troops is a charity whose aim is to to provide those who serve in HM's Armed Forces, those medically discharged post 2001 and the next of kin of those who have passed as a result of their service, with the opportunity to attend a variety of sporting, musical and cultural events with their friends and family when they are off work. The charity provides free tickets, though some restrictions apply. Find out more here


Gosport Armed Forces Day 2020- Saturday, 27 June


Plans are underway for next year's Gosport Armed Forces Day when the whole Borough can show its appreciation and support for our armed forces community on National Armed Forces Day, Saturday, 27 June.

Next year will feature even more military displays and vehicles, information, food, music and entertainment with a Victory in Europe 75 theme from 10am to 4 pm in Walpole Park. A flag raising observance will also take place in Lawrence Square at 11 am.

If your charity, community group, club, school, troop or business wants to get involved in some way, please complete and return the Gosport AFD2020  Expression of Interest form here. The Gosport AFD2020 Planning Group would love to hear from you.

   

Gosport Armed Forces Day 2019 webpage


 

Armed Forces Covenant Funding for Local Projects

The Covenant Trust fund gives grants to community projects that are mutually beneficial to the Armed Forces Community and the civilian community. The funding is for projects that respond to the local needs of the armed forces community and improve recognition of the Armed Forces Covenant. Projects range from building new nurseries in civilian ares which also have a high density of armed forces families, to funding military-themed community actvities that increase the understanding between the two communities.

 
Full details on how to apply for local Covenant grants up to £20k can be found here.

Coordination of local of bids is strongly encouraged to avoid duplication and help ensure specific local needs are addressed and supported. If you are a member of a Gosport organisation with a project in mind and are considering a bid for this fund,  you can contact Mandy Baggaley at Gosport Borough Council for information about other local projects or potential partners on 023 9254 5695.