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Located in New Forest National Park, the Poppy Pod Village is the Tile Barn Outdoor Centre’s legacy to Armed Forces personnel. These Pods are here in perpetuity to recognise and remember the sacrifices made and faced by the Armed Forces Community.

 

With the help of the Armed Forces Covenant, the Royal British Legion (Brockenhurst Branch) and Hampshire County Council, this project has been made possible.

 

In the campsite, you will find wooden camping pods, which are sustainable and environmentally friendly with solar panels. Inside each pod, you will find a fixed double bed/ seating area, two folding camp beds, USB phone charging socket, and LED lighting. The campsite is also fully equipped with toilets and showers, fridge/freezer, car park and more.

 

Adventurous activities run every Saturday morning for weekend bookings or Tuesday/Thursday mornings for week bookings. Visit this page for more information on their Adventure Days.

 

The Poppy Pod Membership for 2020 is now open for purchase. Serving personnel (Regular and Reservists) and Veterans can join this scheme via Hampshire County Council and use the facility for free, along with their family members, at weekends and school holidays.

 

 

Posted on: 18th July, 2016
Last updated: 18th December, 2019

There are several travel offers available for Serving personnel and their families. Whether you are travelling home, or planning a mini break, the following discounts may help reduce the cost:

 

National Express
  • Members of the Armed Forces can book their travel with a 60% discount with a MOD90 ID card or a Defence Privilege Card.
  • Spouses and partners of the Serving person and other members of Defence Discount Service can claim a 30% discount off with a Defence Privilege Card.

For more information on your eligibility and T&C, please visit here.

 

Virgin Atlantic
  • You can save up to 12% off.

This discount will expire on 5th September 2019. Please log onto your account on Discount Defence Service for more information.

 

Loganair
  • 10% off all return flights

This discount will expire on 30th April 2020. Please log onto your account on Discount Defence Service for more information.

 

EuropCar
  • You can save up to 20% off your UK car hire.
  •  Up to 35% discount for bookings made before 29th July 2018 and pick up before 30th September 2018 during their Summer Sale.

For more information and their T&C, please visit here.

 

Forces Car Hire
  • This site offers cheap car rentals around the world for members of the Armed Forces.

Please visit this site for quotes, bookings, and T&C.

 

Forces Travel Ferries
  • You could claim up to 15% off your travel with some of UK’s biggest ferry operators.

Please visit this site to plan your journey and claim your discount.

 

HM Forces Railcard
  • For £21 per year, you can save 1/3 on most rail fares throughout Great Britain within 12 months. This card is available to members of the Regular Forces and their spouse/ civil partner.

You can read about this discount here. Please contact your local UPO to apply for yours.

 

Enterprise Rent-A-Car
  • You can save up to 5% off.

This discount is for Defence Privilege Card holders. Read about their T&C here.

 

 

Other discounts

There is so much more available to the Armed Forces community and their family members. You can find out more about other discount services here to explore your options, and you can read about other holiday offers here.

 

Posted on: 13th July, 2018
Updated on: 17th July, 2019

 

Looking for some inspiration for your next trip? The Spring 2020 edition of our Homeport magazine includes a 12-page feature on special offers available to the Royal Navy and Royal Marines community. Whether you are after a budget break or a 5* spa weekend retreat, there is something for you:

 

Please click on this image to access the holiday pages.

Posted on: 12th June, 2017
Updated on: 9th March, 2020

O2 are offering a discount for Service personnel and up to 5 members of their family on their mobile phone contracts.

You can apply for two discounts at any one time, one on the Airtime Plan of a qualifying O2 Refresh phone contract, and one on an Airtime Plan of a qualifying O2 Refresh tablet or mobile broadband contract:

• 25% off Airtime Plans with 3GB data and above,

• 15% off Airtime Plans below 3GB.

To register you will need to a give a five character O2 Open company code, which for the Royal Navy and Royal Marines is NAV01.

For more details, please click here.

 

Vodafone are offering up to 30% off on plans for Service personnel and a maximum of 6 discounts that they can choose to share with their family and friends.  There is also an offer to save up to 20% off monthly price plans.

How to get the offer:

1. Buy an eligible Pay monthly plan or upgrade your existing one in a Vodafone store,

2. Apply for your discount by presenting your MOD ID or your DDS membership card.

Your application for discount must be made within 30 days of purchase to be eligible.

Whether you’re a new customer or an existing customer eligible to upgrade, you can make the most of their offers:

  • 15% off Pay monthly bundles when you buy a device
  • 15% off any Pay monthly phone, iPad or tablet bundle – including Vodafone Outlet offers,*
  • 30% off SIM only bundles
  • 30% off any Pay monthly SIM only bundles* The Vodafone Advantage discount can’t be used with any other promotional discount.

Please note that there is a £10 membership fee which applies to each connection.

You can also save 10% on accessories in store when you sign up to this scheme.

To find out more, please click here.

 

Posted on: 21st February, 2017

The Marine Society are now offering a discount on education courses, through their partnership with Greenwich Hospital.

 

They are offering GCSE, IGCSE, AS and A Level courses in a number of subjects at a 50% discount for all Royal Navy and Royal Marines spouses.

 

Subjects include: Biology, Business Studies, Chemistry, Economics, English, Geography, History, Maths, Physics, Law, Psychology, Religious Studies and Sociology.

 

For more information please email education@ms-sc.org.

 

Posted on: 7th December, 2016

Further education

Further education (FE) includes any study after secondary education that is not part of higher education (that is, not taken as part of an undergraduate or graduate degree).

Courses range from basic English and maths to Higher National Diplomas (HNDs).

FE also includes 3 types of technical and applied qualifications for 16 to 19-year-olds:

  • level 3 tech levels to specialise in a specific technical job;
  • level 2 technical certificates help get employment or progress to another tech level;
  • applied general qualifications to continue general education at advanced level; through applied learning.

You can find out more about types of qualifications, funding and financial support here.

You can find a course through the National Careers Service.

Links to information for Scotland can be found from Skills Development Scotland.

For information about courses in Wales visit Adult Learning Wales.

For information about courses in Northern Ireland visit Northern Ireland Direct.

 

Scholarships for children whose parent died in Service – Bereavement Scholarship Scheme

You can apply for help with the costs of further and higher education if all of the following are true:

  • one of your parents died as a result of their service in the Armed Forces;
  • your parent died on or after 1 January 1990;
  • you’re 16 or over and in full-time education;
  • you or a surviving parent receive bereavement benefits from the Armed Forces Compensation scheme, War Pension scheme or Armed Forces Attributable Benefits scheme.

You can’t apply if you were the foster child of the person who died.

You can use the money to pay tuition fees and your maintenance for:

  • a further education course of up to 3 years;
  • your first undergraduate course at a UK university or other higher education institution (such as a college or art school) – this can include study abroad if it’s part of the course;
  • a higher level technical education course at qualification levels 4, 5 or 6.

Find out more and apply here.

 

If you’re interested in learning new skills or starting a course, there are a range of educational opportunities open to you:

The Naval Education and Training Service (NETS)

The Naval Education and Training Service runs Learning and Development (LDC) centres at every Royal Navy and Royal Marines major Unit and Establishment. The aim is to promote and sustain a culture of continuous learning, and personal and professional development that maximises performance, growth and employability. The centres are set up for Service people, but spouses and partners can also access their functional skills, GCSE and other courses. Priority for spaces will go to serving people, but the centres do regularly provide courses to civilian partners. There will be an examination fee for GCSEs for civilian partners; tuition is free.

Contact your local NETS team:

NETS (East) – Portsmouth Naval Base

Enquiries Office:  023 92 725292

NETS (West) – Devonport Naval Base 

Enquiries Office:  01752 555300

NETS (North) – Clyde Naval Base

Enquiries Office:  01436 674321 Ext 3241

NETS (North) – Rosyth Naval Base

Rosyth Learndirect Centre: 01383 425775

 

The Open University

The Open University (OU) teaches through its own unique method of distance learning, called ‘supported open learning’. This is flexible, allowing students to work where and when they choose to fit in with jobs, families and other commitments. Find out about their courses here.

 

Learn Direct

Learn Direct are the UK’s largest provider of skills, training and employment services. They can help you to access qualifications in everyday skills like maths, English and IT, as well as vocational qualifications and Apprenticeships. Learning can be based in one of their centres, at work or online. Depending on what level you’re working towards and your age, your qualification could be funded by the government. For some qualifications, there might be a charge. If there is a charge and you’re 24 or over and on an eligible qualification, a 24+ Advanced Learning Loan could help. Find out more here.

 

Open Distance Learning Quality Council

Open or Distance Learning can be a good choice for Armed Forces family members. It is important to choose a reputable training provider. The Open and Distance Learning Quality Council (ODLQC) aims to identify and enhance quality in education and training, and to protect the interests of learners. You can find out if a training provider is accredited by checking on the ODLQC’s website.

 

Future Learn

Future Learn is a private company wholly owned by The Open University. They offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life. They have 145 partners from around the world. These include many of the best UK and international universities, as well as institutions with a huge archive of cultural and educational material, such as the British Council, the British Library, the British Museum, and the National Film and Television School.  They also work with a range of internationally renowned organisations – from professional bodies such as the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), to businesses like the BBC and Marks & Spencer, to the UK Government. Find out more here.

 

Enhanced Learning Credits (for serving people)

The MOD’s Enhanced Learning Credits Scheme (ELC) promotes lifelong learning amongst members of the Armed Forces. The scheme provides financial support in the form of a single up-front payment in each of a maximum of three separate financial years. ELC funding is only available for pursuit of higher level learning i.e. for courses that result in a nationally recognised qualification at Level 3 or above on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) (England, Northern Ireland and Wales), a Level 6 or above on the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) or, if pursued overseas, an approved international equivalent qualification with an approved learning provider. To check eligibility and find out more visit the ELC website.

 

DistanceLearningCentre.com

Provides Access to Higher Education courses, and is an approved learning provider for the MOD ELC scheme. Find out more here.

 

Posted on: 12th May, 2016

There are lots of offers available to Armed Forces personnel and their families:

 

Defence Discount Service

Here you can find discount vouchers for a wide variety of high street shops and restaurants for Serving personnel and their families.

 

Forces Discount

Exclusive Military discounts on a range of days outs, cars and stores.

 

Tickets Troops

Free tickets for members of the Armed Forces for a variety of sporting, musical and cultural events.

 

Forces Cars Direct

The largest online company specialising in tax free military sales, and special discounts on cars for those serving or have served in the Armed Forces.

 

Rewards for Forces

1,000s of National and local discounts for Serving members of the Military and their families.

 

Posted on: 29th April, 2016

It’s important to make a Will and keep it up-to-date, to ensure that your money and possessions are allocated according to your wishes. Failure to leave a Will can mean that family and friends have to make difficult decisions on your behalf when they are unsure of your wishes.

Click here, for an overview to how to go about writing a Will and how to ensure it is legal.

 

Free Will Month

Will Aid is a UK wide scheme which runs every November to offer free wills to people of any age. Will Aid teams up with over 1,000 solicitors to provide basic wills, you can visit their website to find out more here.

 

Power of Attorney

A Power of Attorney is a legal document whereby one person gives another person/persons the power to act on his or her behalf with regard to his/her health or financial decisions. Have you appointed a Power of Attorney?

 

Exemption from Inheritance Tax for Fallen Personnel

There is an unlimited exemption from inheritance tax for members of the Armed Forces, and former members, where active service was a contributory factor in their death, whenever it occurred. If you’d like to find out more please see section 154 of the Inheritance Tax Act which is referred to by the MOD and HMRC. To find out more information, please contact the Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre (JCCC) on 01452 519 951.

 

RNRMC ‘Make a Will’

The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC) and Forces Law have partnered up to waive fees for writing basic Wills in return for a donation to RNRMC. The suggested minimum donation is £100 for a single Will and £150 for a Mirror Will. This programme will run from July 2018 to July 2019.

Please visit this site for further information.

 

Free Will Writing Service 

The Royal British Legion (RBL) is a member of The National Free Wills Network. One of their missions is to help Service personnel to have their Will written, or updated. There is no obligation to donate for this service, but a gift to RBL being included in the Will is always appreciated. Please find their contact details and to sign up for the service here.

Posted on: 29th April, 2016
Last updated on: 18th September, 2018