Top
 

Armed Forces Covenant Tag

The Naval Families Federation has joined 11 other military charities in calling for the strengthening of the Armed Forces Bill which is currently going through Parliament.

 

The 12 organisations have signed an open letter urging the government and MPs to widen the scope of the Bill, delivering on the full promise of the Armed Forces Covenant.

 

A new Bill is introduced every five years to renew the Armed Forces Act, allowing additions and amendments to be made before each Bill become law.

 

One of the key elements of the latest Bill is the proposal to make it a legal duty for public bodies to consider the Armed Forces Covenant when creating policy or making decisions.

 

The Covenant, which was enshrined in law in 2011, is the promise by the nation that Service personnel, veterans, and their families will not be at a disadvantage as a result of military service.

 

While senior figures in the military charity sector broadly welcomed provisions in the new Bill they believe that it does not go far enough in covering the full range of day-to-day issues that affect the Armed Forces community and which are regularly raised by families contacting the NFF.

 

In particular, the new legal obligations introduced by the Bill would only apply to local councils and some limited public bodies delivering housing, health and education – the national government and devolved administrations would be exempt from this duty, which the charities identify as a “major gap” in the Bill.

 

The letter states that this is “compounded by the omission of important topics including employment, pensions, compensation, social care, criminal justice, and immigration from the Bill’s scope.”

 

The open letter to MPs has been signed by NFF Chief Executive Anna Wright, along with leading figures in the Royal British Legion, Poppyscotland, Cobseo (the Confederation of Service Charities), Veterans Scotland, SSAFA the Armed Forces charity, Help for Heroes, Combat Stress, the Forces in Mind Trust, the Army Families Federation, the RAF Families Federation and the RAF Association.

 

Read the full text of the letter here.

 

Published on: 14th July, 2021

On 8th February 2021, the Armed Forces Bill 2019-21 received Second Reading and was committed to the Armed Forces Bill Select Committee for consideration.

 

The Armed Forces Bill will enshrine the Armed Forces Covenant in law and help prevent past and currently serving personnel and their families being disadvantaged when accessing services like education and improve the Service Justice System for our personnel wherever they are operating.

 

Focusing on healthcare, housing and education, it will increase awareness among public bodies of the unique nature of military service, improving the level of service for members of the Armed Forces community, no matter where in the UK they live.

 

Quick overview

Since the launch of the Armed Forces Covenant in 2011, many businesses have committed to offering part-time or flexible working patterns to Reservists and military spouses/partners. Enshrining the Covenant in law also builds on a number of initiatives implemented over the past year to support Service leavers and veterans. These include the Defence Transition Services organisation, which was established to assist those facing the greatest difficulties successfully transition to civilian life after leaving Service.

 

The NFF are proud to be part of Forces Families Jobs, a collaborative project between the three Families Federations in conjunction with the MOD Relationship Management Team to support current serving military families and Service Leavers with employment and training opportunities.

 

The Bill will also make the complaints system more efficient by bringing the time given to personnel to lodge an appeal in line with timings offered in the private sector.

 

The Bill will also renew the Armed Forces Act 2006, following the Armed Forces Acts of 2011 and 2016.

 

Select Committee and their work

On 3rd March 2021, the House of Commons launched the Select Committee on the Armed Forces Bill, chaired by James Sunderland MP. 

  • NFF CEO Anna Wright attended an oral evidence session at 2.30pm on 4th March 2021. You can watch the session on Parliament TV here.
  • The Committee published a special report in April 2021. You can read the report here.
  • Based on feedback and issues raised by Service personnel and their loved ones, the Naval Families Federation submitted our observations on behalf of our community. You can find other written evidence here.

 

Further details
  • Please click here to read the news story.
  • Click here to find out more about the Bill and its other measures.
  • July 2021 – The NFF has joined 11 other military charities in signing an open letter which has appeared in several newspapers calling for the Covenant into Law part of the Armed Forces Act to be strengthened and to go further. Read the news story here.

 

Posted on: 11th February, 2021
Posted on: 14th July, 2021

The 2020 Covenant Annual Report is now available. The NFF was delighted to have the opportunity again this year to set out our Formal Observations on the report (p.13 onwards).

 

Further support delivered this year includes:Armed Forces Covenant Annual Report 2020 - Summary on a page
  • The MOD extended the Education Support Fund to the 2020/21 financial year
  • In addition to MOD investing £123 million in-year to Service Families Accommodation, the government committed £200 million to improve MOD accommodation
  • The Forces Help to Buy scheme was extended until December 2022
  • The MOD’s Wraparound Childcare pilot programme began making payments to families at the first pilot sites, RAF High Wycombe and RAF Halton.
  • The Living in Our Shoes report was published. This is an independent review of the support provided to Service families, commissioned by MOD and led by Andrew Selous MP.
  • The Defence Holistic Transition Policy, Joint Service Publication 100, to support Service leavers and their families to adjust to all aspects of the transition to civilian life, was published.

 

We would encourage you to read through the Report to learn more about the work being undertaken to support you and your family. If you have any comments on the Report, or would like to raise a concern which you believe falls within the remit of the Armed Forces Covenant, please get in touch with us via our website.

 

Posted on: 10th December, 2020

Thank you for sharing with us your wonderful creations. Entries are now closed. We will keep you updated once the final artwork is live. Watch this space!

Project aim

Time, on my watch promotional poster with quote and logos.The Naval Families Federation is currently running a creative project, funded by the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust, which is looking at the concept of time, as we think it means something different for our serving Royal Navy/ Royal Marines families.  This is an opportunity for you to think about how you spend your time. What do you enjoy doing together as a family? What do you miss when someone is away? How have you been filling your days during lockdown?

 

What you need to do

Don’t worry if you feel that you’re not very creative. We’re not looking for a perfect picture, we just want to give you the chance to say how you feel in a very different way. You might want to write a poem or draw a picture or take a photo of something that you enjoy doing, perhaps while you’re playing with your pet, or the view you love while you’re going for a run in the park. You could even show us what it looks like at home, when you’re trying to home-school and work at the same time. If you already have something made, like a piece of artwork that you spent time making with your family, that’s great – you don’t have to make something new, but you can if you want to.

 

Once you’re happy with your work, you need to send a photograph of it to us. You can do that by using the link below. We are working with a professional artist, Tim Mann, who is going to create an exhibition using all of the images that you send in, so you will be able to see your work on display as well.  You can be really honest about how you’re feeling too as the final exhibition will be anonymous. Take a look at our gallery below to see some of the photos that have already been sent in to us – we’ve had such a wonderful and diverse range of images already and we can’t wait to see what you send in too.

 

This isn’t a competition so we won’t be judging the photos that you send to us, but everyone who takes part will have their name put into a draw* – please read important details from the ‘further information’ section below.

 

Entries closed at 23:59 on 31st March, 2021.

Further information
Prize draw
Prize draw

Although this is not a competition – there are no winning entries or the like – the names of all those who enter will be put into a draw*, sponsored by Eurest Support Services (ESS). The winner will be able to select a prize from a range of options which includes access to a creative writing course, a Polaroid camera, an electronic tablet or a £100 Amazon gift voucher. 

 

*Please note you will only be entered into the prize draw if you submit at least one piece of work.

Photographic Consent Terms & Conditions
Naval Families Federation – ‘Time, on your watch’ Project
Photographic Consent Terms and Conditions

 

Thank you for taking part in the Naval Families Federation (NFF) ‘Time, on your watch’ project.

 

The photographs you have chosen to share with us will be used to form a larger work of art, which will be exhibited either live, virtually or in a printed book.

 

Any personal details shared with the NFF as part of this project will be retained by us in accordance with our Privacy Policy and will not be passed on to any third party without your prior consent.

 

We may use some of the images from the project to promote our work and our funders may use pictures from this project for promotional purposes.

 

By giving your consent for us to use these images, you are confirming that:

  • You give permission for the Naval Families Federation, Building 25, HMS EXCELLENT, Portsmouth, PO2 8ER, Tim Mann Artist and the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust to use and disclose your photograph(s) without restriction in any media or format
  • You will let the Naval Families Federation know if you wish to withdraw this permission.
  • Your permission allows the Naval Families Federation, Tim Mann Artist and the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust to use your photograph(s) for any publicity or advertising in connection with their work, and they are permitted to share your photograph(s) with other organisations (such as media and advertising agencies) for publicity purposes.
  • You have volunteered your photograph(s) and agree that you will not receive or request any payment, royalty or other form of consideration for your images, or participation in any project of the Naval Families Federation.

 

If the photographs that you choose to share with the Naval Families Federation include images of any individuals under 16 years of age, you must confirm that

  • Their parent, legal guardian or authorised legal representative has the lawful authority to give their consent for the image to be used.
  • Their parent, legal guardian or authorised legal representative has read, and understood, the terms and conditions and consents to the individual sharing the images with us on these terms and conditions.
Press release

Time. Art.

 

Big concepts, but also the universal threads that run through our lives.

 

The alarm in the morning, the drop-off and pick-up at school, the length of a ship’s deployment.

 

The book we relax with, the drama, soap or comedy we enjoy on TV, a striking image on Instagram.

 

We are so immersed in time and art we can easily overlook them in our day-to-day existence.

 

But your time is valuable, and if you stop for a moment (time!) you might reflect that your time seems to pass quicker than someone else’s. You are always rushing to keep up with your busy schedule while your sailor or Marine is away.

 

Or maybe the hours stretch out, waiting to be filled, and days crawl by as you wait for someone to return home.

 

You might doodle while you daydream. Capture a picture on your phone of a dramatic sunset. Pour out your heart in a diary entry. It’s all expressive; it’s all art.

And we would love to gather those thoughts, feelings, doodles, whatever, and create a large-scale work of art that reflects the lives of Royal Navy and Royal Marines families.

 

The Naval Families Federation has joined with artist Tim Mann to launch a project funded by the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust.

 

Called Time, On My Watch, the project focuses on the concept of time as we think it has different meanings for serving personnel and families. This is an opportunity for you to show that your time is valuable and that you matter too.

 

It is a chance to take a moment and realise that you can put yourself first, to reflect on how you feel and to let other people know. You can say what you like, in whatever medium you like, and maybe find that the honesty of the exercise brings some form of release.

 

Express yourself in a poem, a drawing, a painting, a photograph, a sculpture, a doodle, some craft work, or that diary entry.

 

Once you’ve finished, all you need to do is send a photograph of it to us. We’re working in this way because we want to make sure that everyone can take part, whatever current restrictions are in place regarding social distancing and lockdowns. By sending us your image via our website, you can participate from the comfort of your own home or unit.

 

You don’t have to be a Rembrandt, a Shakespeare or a Pepys – and the elements of the final work of art created by Tim will remain anonymous.

 

Your work will form part of an exhibition that will either be live, virtual or in the form of a printed book.

 

The project is exclusively for Royal Navy/ Royal Marines serving personnel and their families.

 

For further details of how to be part of this exciting initiative, see nff.org.uk/timeonmywatch

Meet the artist

Meet the artist

Meet our artist Tim Mann, Tim is an experienced, passionate and exciting artist. He is unremitting in his commitment to ensure that his artistic engagement is innovative, accessible, diverse and sustainable.

 

Quote from Tim Mann, artist of Time, On My Watch.

Videos

In this section:

  1. Short introduction to the TOMW project by NFF CEO, Anna Wright
  2. Short introduction to the TOMW project by Artist Tim Mann
  3. Conversation piece: Capt Gibbons (Captain of HMNB Clyde) & Tim (TOMW artist)

Posted on: 1st October, 2020
Updated on: 12th April, 2021

 

The 2019 Covenant Annual Report was published today (20th December 2019). The NFF was delighted to have the opportunity again this year to set out our Formal Observations on the report (p.15-17).

 

Further support delivered this year includes:
  • The Forces Families Jobs website has been launched, providing free access to employment and training opportunities to families in the Armed Forces
  • Introduction of flexible service allowing regular personnel to temporarily work part time
  • The launch of the Future Accommodation Model pilot, looking at how the accommodation offer for Service personnel and their families can be improved
  • Extension of the Forces Help to Buy scheme to December 2022, helping armed forces personnel to get on the property ladder

 

As set out in the Queen’s Speech this week, the Armed Forces Covenant will be further incorporated into law over the course of this Parliament. The legislation will seek to strengthen current arrangements to remove disadvantage and improve the consistency of Covenant outcomes for the Armed Forces community.

 

We would encourage you to read through the Report to learn more about the work being undertaken to support you and your family. If you have any comments on the Report, or would like to raise a concern which you believe falls within the remit of the Armed Forces Covenant, please get in touch with us via our website.

 

Posted on: 20th December 2019

The Naval Families Federation (NFF) listens to and learns from our Royal Navy and Royal Marines families, and takes the information provided to influence change.

 

As part of our work, each year we are asked to set out our formal observations about the Armed Forces Covenant Annual Report. Our Chief Executive Anna Wright was by the Defence Select Committee (DSC) to give evidence earlier this year to talk about the Covenant, its delivery, and any concerns on a range of areas that may affect Royal Navy and Royal Marines families.  You can watch the session from the video below (or click here), or read the transcript here.

 

 

The DSC has now published their observations in the Armed Forces Covenant Annual Report (2018).

 

We are delighted to see that the Committee has listened to the evidence presented by the NFF on your behalf. Examples include:

 

The impact of separation on family relationships

3.58 & 3.62: Anna Wright from the Naval Families Federation thought that there was little support for families in the community who have the added burden of separation from a loved one. She believed that this was taking a toll on family relationships and impacting on retention within the Armed Forces: “A part of the retention equation is lack of family time—that is a real concern for me”… In response to our report the MoD should clarify what data it has on the number of dispersed families within the Armed Forces. It should take steps to ensure that dispersed families are aware of and have access to support services. The MoD should also continue to monitor whether its flexible working initiative has a positive impact on dispersed families.

 

Service Pupil Premium

4.85 & 4.90: Anna Wright from the Naval Families Federation told us that there was a lack of transparency: “There is a perception that you have the Service Pupil Premium in England and then there is nothing in Scotland. However with GIRFEC [Getting It Right for Every Child] every child is taken care of.” … We commend the publication of the ‘Welcome to’ packs for families moving between devolved administrations. However, we are concerned that the key information contained in these documents is not reaching Service families. We are also concerned at the lack of data from devolved administrations about Service children presented in the Covenant Annual Report. In response to our report, the MoD, in coordination with the devolved administrations, should improve its outreach processes to Service families to ensure that they are fully informed of differences in the way support is provided for Service children across the devolved administrations. The MoD should ensure data from the devolved administrations is collected and incorporated into future Covenant Annual Reports.

 

The above are some of the tangible examples of how your feedback to the NFF can influence policies that affect families, to work and make improvements for our Royal Navy and Royal Marines families.

 

We would encourage you to read through the Reports to learn more about the work being undertaken to support you and your family:

  • Armed Forces Covenant Annual Report 2018
  • Defence Select Committee Report

 

We welcome your thoughts on the reports. Please do contact us: contactus@nff.org.uk

 

Note: To read about our work with the Armed Forces Covenant and Defence Select Committee in 2018, please click here.

 

Posted on: 26th September, 2019

Tri-Service research, Military Spouse/Partner Employment: Identifying the barriers and support required, conducted by the Warwick Institute for Employment Research resulted in a key recommendation, the need to create a central portal for employment and training opportunities for Service spouses, partners and family members.

 

Forces Families Jobs (FFJ) – ForcesFamiliesJobs.co.uk – has been produced through collaborative working between the three Families Federations in conjunction with the Ministry of Defence Relationship Management Team.

 

The overall aim of this employment platform is to create a free-of-charge site that bridges the gap and enables the link between spouses and family members on the one hand, and employers training providers, on the other.

 

There are two main sections on Forces Families Jobs – ‘Jobs’ and ‘Training and Career Development’. 

 

  • The Jobs section allows employers to advertise jobs suitable for family members of serving personnel, free of charge. All employers will be asked to identify how they are ‘Forces friendly’.
    Spouses will be able to search for jobs in similar ways to many other job  However, uniquely, all employers have committed to support Forces families. This is important as 45% of spouses interviewed in the research undertaken by Warwickshire University felt they had been discriminated against due to their connection to the Services.

 

  • The training and career development section will bring together all the excellent existing initiatives available for serving families into one place, making it easier for spouses and partners to find. There will also be a section for training and courses that have been discounted specifically for Forces families.
Eligibility
Who is eligible to use the site?
  • Spouses/partners and adult children (aged 18-25) of currently serving personnel (Regular and Reserves)
  • Spouses/partners and adult children (aged 18-25) of Service personnel who have left the Armed Forces within the last 12 months
  • Bereaved spouses/partners and adult children (aged 18-25) for up to two years, post-Service.
Success Stories

Take a look at the success stories from the Royal Navy and Royal Marines community as a result of using FFJ/ services provided by FFJ partners here.

Information for employers
  • Advertise your jobs to this audience free of charge.

    Click on this image to access a downloadable leaflet. (Employers information)

  • Search our candidate database and download candidate CVs free of charge.
  • Fulfil your commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant (AFC) and progress through the Employment Recognition Scheme (ERS) by demonstrating your commitment to Service spouses.
  • Have your own company profile where you can articulate your specific commitments to the Armed Forces Covenant and your ERS level.
  • This is not a paid for service but is provided free to those who have signed the AFC.

 

As a business you will be required to provide us with a link to your website, a logo and a few paragraphs about the support that you can provide to service families.

 

Please email help@forcesfamiliesjobs.co.uk for further information and to request a copy of the registration form for employers.

 

 

We recently held a webinar for employers providing more information about Forces Families Jobs and the benefits of using our site, take a look:

Information for training providers

Advertise your opportunities and courses to this audience free of charge, by completing a form and returning to us by email.

 

Within the training section of the site, have a summary of your own company profile where you can articulate your specific commitments to the Armed Forces Covenant (AFC) and the support services that you provide.

 

This is not a paid for service but is provided free to those who have signed the covenant.  

 

As a training providers you will be required to provide us with a link to your website, a logo and a few paragraphs about the support that you can provide to families.

 

Please email help@forcesfamiliesjobs.co.uk for further information and to request a copy of the registration form for training providers.

 

Who will be able to advertise opportunities?

The training and career opportunities section does not require the training provider to be a signatory of the Armed Forces Covenant or proof of Employer Recognition Scheme Status, but they will need to meet one of the following criteria to advertise on Forces Families Jobs:

  • Provide a FREE service to Armed Forces Families
  • Provide a discount or subsidised rate specifically for Service families
Information for spouses/partners and family members

Are you looking for a new job? Are you ready for a change in career? Forces Families Jobs is here to help. Forces Families Jobs is the go-to place for training and employment for family members of current serving UK Armed Forces personnel.

 

You can apply for jobs and access employment and training opportunities with companies and organisations who are Forces family friendly. You can use the website with confidence, knowing that all of the employers have signed the Armed Forces Covenant or are able to demonstrate their commitment to the Armed Forces. This is your gateway to accessing information about acquiring new skills, upgrading your existing skills or applying directly to employers who are understanding of the unique challenges that come with being a family member of a Serving Person.

We already have a whole host of specially chosen employers who’ve shown us that they celebrate military families and are waiting to employ someone like you! This site can give you access to hundreds of current, high quality jobs through its powerful search engine. By subscribing for job alerts you can pro-actively receive new job notifications directly into your inbox daily, weekly, or moments after the job is posted. To increase the ways through which you can find a job, you can upload your CV, create a profile and make your details searchable. This will make you visible in our candidate database, which will be searched by prospective employers looking to fill their vacancies, and which maximises your chance of finding a new job through Forces Families Jobs.

Webinars

Did you know that the FFJ team hold webinars to provide employers/jobseekers up-to-date information and top tips to help with your job hunt? Below are links to some of the recordings from the past webinars. For information on future events, please kindly visit FFJ homepage.

 

  • What is FFJ? Information for families – click here
  • What is FFJ? Information for employers – click here
  • CV writing with RFEA – click here
Further details
  • Listen to this podcast to find out more about the platform.

 

  • Forces Families Jobs launched on 17th September 2019. Please click here to read the news story.

 

  • If you have any questions, please get in touch with our Family Engagement Officer, Wendy Quinn at Wendy.Quinn@nff.org.uk.
Posted on: 21st May, 2019
Updated on: 30th June, 2021

 

Ministers have urged all UK universities to boost support for Armed Forces communities.

 

In a joint letter dated 18th April 2019, Tobias Ellwood, Minister for Defence People and Veterans, and Chris Skidmore, Universities Minister called on institutions to sign up to the Armed Forces Covenant.

 

Currently 57 out of 136 UK universities have signed up to the Covenant, including 3 of the 24 Russell Group universities. The Russell Group represents those universities with a shared focus on research and a reputation for academic achievement. According to research conducted by the University of Winchester, the participation for young people from Armed Forces families in higher education is 24%, compared to a rate of approximately 43% for the overall population.

 

This call came in light of the recent announcement from Department for Education which confirmed a £5 million funding to pay the tuition fees for eligible serving personnel and Service Leavers.

 

Universities can support the Armed Forces Covenant in a number of ways including ensuring admissions policies reflect the needs of the Armed Forces community, benchmarking Service experience and qualifications against course entry requirements or having a presence at local careers fairs for those leaving the Services. Universities which have already signed up to the Armed Forces Covenant are leading the way with support for military personnel and their families, pledging to support those who wish to serve in the armed forces as Reservists, and offering flexible leave before or after deployment to personnel and their partners.

 

The Ministers have also called on universities to establish Armed Forces champions within each institution, which would be empowered to uphold the commitments of the Covenant, and to act as a first point of contact for the Armed Forces community, Service charities, and local businesses.

 

Some universities have also included Service children as a target group in their Access and Participation Plans, which all English universities will be drawing up this year for implementation in 2020/21. This is an initiative which the NFF has been actively involved in.

 

We welcome your views. Please do contact us if you have any concerns or would like to share your lived experience.

 

Further Information

 

Posted on: 24th April, 2019

The 2018 Covenant Annual Report was published today (21st November, 2018). The NFF was delighted to have the opportunity again this year to set out our Formal Observations on the report.

 

Anna Wright, CEO Naval Families Federation, said:

“The 2018 Covenant Annual Report has been published today and once again, the Naval Families Federation has provided our Formal Observations on the content, in conjunction with our colleagues in the Army and RAF Families Federations; these can be found from page 17. We can only do this because of the issues and concerns that you raise with us – by taking the time to share your experiences, you have given us the evidence we need to inform and influence current, and future, policies which will directly impact upon our Naval Service families, so a heartfelt thank you. We were delighted to see that the MOD also included a piece about our work with the Pompey’s Military Kids Cluster Group – this scheme is going from strength to strength and we would love to see it expanding even further next year.

 

“In his Introduction to the Report, Rt. Hon. Tobias Ellwood MP, Minister for Defence People and Veterans, stated that: ‘To provide effective support, we need to recognise the contribution that spouses, partners and children of Service Personnel make, and reflect this in policy making, so that a stable family life supports our Service Personnel to thrive.’

 

“We couldn’t agree more and look forward to working with him and his team in 2019 to achieve this.”

 

We would encourage you to read through the Report to learn more about the work being undertaken to support you and your family. If you have any comments on the Report, or would like to raise a concern which you believe falls within the remit of the Armed Forces Covenant, please get in touch with us via our website.

 

Posted on: 21st November, 2018

The following is a brief overview of the Armed Forces Covenant. For more details about the changes that have already been implemented as a result of the Covenant, and how this can have an impact on you and your family, please visit the Armed Forces Covenant website for further information.

 

You can also watch a short video about the Covenant here, which has been put together by the RN Two-Six team.

 

What is the Armed Forces Covenant?

To those who proudly protect our nation, who do so with honour, courage, and commitment, the Armed Forces Covenant is the nation’s commitment to you.

It is a pledge that together we acknowledge and understand that those who serve or who have served in the Armed Forces, and their families, should be treated with fairness and respect in the communities, economy and society they serve with their lives.

It’s about making sure that you are not disadvantaged as a result of your service or your connection to the Armed Forces – giving you a ‘level playing field’.

 

The Covenant in the Community

The Covenant in the Community is a voluntary pledge of mutual support between a civilian community and its local Armed Forces community. Local authorities and the Armed Forces in your area are working together in order to:

 

  • Encourage local communities to support the Armed Forces community in their areas, and to increase understanding and awareness among the public of issues affecting the Armed Forces;
  • Recognise and remember the sacrifices faced by the Armed Forces community;
  • Encourage activities that help to integrate the Armed Forces community into local life;
  • Encourage the Armed Forces community to help and support the wider community, whether through participation in events and joint projects, or other forms of engagement.

 

Covenants in the Community may look quite different from one location to another; the nature of the support offered will be determined by need and capacity. The delivery of the Covenant is usually managed locally by an Armed Forces Covenant lead officer working within the local authority, in conjunction with a partnership board. Visit your local authority website for more details and contact information.

 

The Covenant in Business

This involves businesses and charitable organisations making a written and publicised voluntary pledge which expresses their support to the Armed Forces community, and demonstrates how they have committed to ways in which they can provide support.

 

These Covenants include a core statement of commitment, which covers the key principles of the Armed Forces Covenant:

 

  • No member of the Armed Forces community should face disadvantage in the provision of public and commercial services compared to any other citizen;
  • In some circumstances special treatment may be appropriate, especially for the injured or bereaved.

 

Each organisation is also encouraged to offer support in a way most appropriate to their situation. The pledge document includes a menu of options for organisations to sign up to, including; employment support for Veterans, Reservists, Service spouses and partners, support for Cadet Units, participation in Armed Forces Day, and offering discounts to the community. There is also an opportunity for organisations to add their own commitments based on local circumstances.

 

The Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS)  acknowledges employers who have provided exceptional support to the Armed Forces community and defence by going above and beyond their Covenant pledges.

Through a 3 tier approach of bronze, silver and gold awards, the scheme recognises the different levels of commitment provided by employers. This allows the Ministry of Defence to publicly thank and honour those organisations for their support.

 

You can nominate yourself for a bronze awardSilver and gold awards are bestowed to organisations meeting specific criteria.

 

The Covenant in Government

The Armed Forces Covenant is a cross-Government commitment which involves many central government departments, such as the Departments for Work and Pensions, Health and Social Care and Education, as well as the NHS.

Many topics covered are devolved matters i.e. education, and therefore the Devolved Governments of Wales and Scotland, and the Northern Ireland Executive, are responsible for their delivery.

 

Wales
The Welsh Government contributes to the Armed Forces Covenant Annual Report. It has appointed an Armed Forces Advocate to represent Wales on the Covenant Reference Group, and has established an Expert Group to consider the needs of the Armed Forces community in Wales. The NFF is part of this Expert Group. Click here for further information.

 

Scotland
In 2012, the Scottish Government published ‘Our Commitments: Scottish Government Support for the Armed Forces Community in Scotland’. This document illustrated how the Scottish Government was addressing the needs of its Armed Forces community. They then revisited their Commitments in 2016, with the publication of their Renewing our Commitments document. Furthermore, in response to the reports issued by the Scottish Veterans Commissioner, the Scottish Government then issued guidance which outlines the support that is being offered to the Armed Forces Community – click here to read this document.

The Scottish Government contributes to the Armed Forces Covenant Annual Report, and has appointed an Armed Forces and Veterans Advocate to represent Scotland on the Covenant Reference Group.

 

Northern Ireland
In July 2013, the House of Commons Northern Ireland Affairs Committee produced a report that stated that the UK Government must identify any shortfalls in the provision of services to the Armed Forces Community in Northern Ireland, and report on how these will be met. The Committee called for closer engagement between the UK Government and Northern Ireland Executive on support for the Armed Forces Community. Click here for details.

 

Full details about all aspects of the Armed Forces Covenant can be found on the MOD website here.

 

Armed Forces Covenant Fund

The Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust run a programme which makes grants of up to £20,000 for local projects that support the Armed Forces Community.

Further information on the priorities, eligibility and application process can be found on the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust website. If you have any questions which are not covered by the guidance, you can contact the team at enquiries@covenantfund.org.uk

 

Posted on: 20th November, 2018
Updated: 18th March, 2019