The Somerset Armed Forces Covenant (SAFC) brings together charities, local authorities, other public sector organisations, businesses, communities, individuals and the military in a pledge of support between local residents and the armed forces community in Somerset.
The pledge was signed on 20 February 2012 and is available in the Downloads section of this page.
The Armed Forces Covenant
- encourages local communities to support their local armed forces community and vice versa
- promotes public understanding and awareness of issues that affect the armed forces community
- recognises and remembers the sacrifices made by the armed forces community
- encourages activities that help to integrate the armed forces community into local life
The Covenant is a promise from the nation to those who serve. It says we will do all we can to ensure they are treated fairly and not disadvantaged in their day-to-day lives. This includes offering injured servicemen and women and bereaved families extra support where appropriate.
You are part of the armed forces community if you are serving, or have served, in the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Army or Royal Air Force. The armed forces community also includes families and dependants, reservists, and veterans. A veteran is anyone who has served in the armed forces.
For more information about the national covenant visit www.armedforcescovenant.gov.uk
Armed Forces Covenant Fund
The Government’s new Covenant Fund, launched in August 2015, has a different focus from the grant scheme it replaces and the process for grant applications has also changed.
The Fund is an annual £10 million which is available in perpetuity. The Government will therefore keep the operation of the Fund under review to ensure its aims are delivered through a process of continual improvement.
Find out about current funds, priorities and funding windows
If you have specific queries about the fund or are unsure whether your organisation or your project are likely to be funded, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Useful contact information
For more information about the Somerset Armed Forces Covenant, please email email@example.com
Sources of Support for the Armed Forces Community – this booklet is a guide to the sources of support available for serving personnel, veterans and their families living in Somerset.
NHS Patient information for the Military Community
Veterans’ Gateway – phone 0808 802 1212 or text 81212
The Veterans’ Gateway service provides a first point of contact for veterans seeking support. It aims to improve access to welfare services and speed up the time it takes for veterans to receive the support they deserve.
The service is funded by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) from the Covenant Fund and will be delivered by a Royal British Legion-led consortium, comprising Poppyscotland, Combat Stress, Connect Assist, the Ministry of Defence and SSAFA – the Armed Forces Charity.
The 24-hour online chat, phone, and text message service is partly manned by veterans who have been trained to help a British Armed Forces community.
Veterans Shareline – 01752 816257
A free weekly hour-long telephone friendship and support group for injured armed forces veterans.
Combat Stress support helpline – 0800 138 1619 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
There is a free national helpline run by Rethink Mental Illness and funded by the Government to help veterans and their families access expert advice from people trained and experienced in dealing with ex-servicemen and women and their often complex mental health needs
The helpline provides
- round-the-clock support for veterans
- ways of accessing mental health support, including advice by phone, text, email and websites
- support to veterans’ families, whose lives can be affected because of mental health problems, with support to help them access local mental health services
- help to access advice about other social problems affecting veterans, including housing and employment advice
The Ripple Pond is a self-help support network across the UK for the adult family members of physically or emotionally injured service personnel and veterans.
Forcesline 0800 731 4880 (Monday to Friday 10.30am to 7.30pm)
Free and 100% confidential helpline that provides a supportive, listening and signposting service for serving personnel, former members of the Armed Forces and their families.
Samaritans 116 123 (available 24 hours)
Available 24 hours a day to provide confidential emotional support for people who are experiencing feelings of distress, despair or suicidal thoughts.
Big White Wall (available 24 hours) – Share what’s troubling you anonymously 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – join the Big White Wall network. Free for serving personnel, veterans, family members and carers.
Armed Forces and Veterans Breakfast Clubs These clubs help veterans, and serving Armed Forces personnel, by meeting face-to-face, in a relaxed, safe and social environment. There are several clubs that meet across Somerset.
SPVA Veterans Welfare Service 0808 1914 2 18
The GOV.UK website gives you information on claiming AFCS, Armed Forces Independence Payment, Medical Discharges and Pension Forecast
These resources have been produced to raise awareness of the Armed Forces Covenant and how you or your organisation can support it. They provide an understanding of the Armed Forces Covenant fund and more support available to the Armed Forces Community.
Understanding the Armed Forces Covenant and Covenant Fund
Armed Forces Covenant – Understanding
Armed Forces Covenant – Contacts and Support Available
E-learning for Service Leavers and Veterans With this free e-learning people can work through different aspects of the module, such as Housing, Employment and Adjusting
Forces Connect South West This website helps with identification, understanding and the pathways to accessing the right support when and where it’s needed. It also provides information and resources to help better understand the Armed Forces Covenant in the South West and nationally.
Somerset Intelligence – for available data about the Armed Forces Covenant in Somerset
The Somerset Wood – find out more about this partnership to commemorate the county’s fallen in World War One
For more information about the Somerset Armed Forces Covenant, please email email@example.com.
Somerset Community Covenant Pledge – a copy of the pledge that was signed in Feb 2012
Somerset Armed Forces Covenant – Partnership Plan– plan for how Somerset will deliver the Armed Forces Covenant until 2023
Covenant Fund Expression of Interest Template – for organisations interested in submitting a bid into the Covenant Fund
Somerset Armed Forces Covenant Directory – directory of key organisations within the Partnership
Briefing Note – The Somerset Armed Forces Covenant
Armed Forces Conference October 2022 – presentations from the Partnership Conference
Annual Report to Full Council