Strategy

There are a range of identified issues which we need to know more about. To understand these Suffolk Military Covenant may establish research groups to map existing local provision, understand local need, recognise gaps in services and make recommendations to the Working Group. For some of these identified issues practical action is currently being developed and delivered which we very much welcome. Suffolk Covenant issues / themes proposed (no particular priority order):

Theme

Action or Developing Action

Alcohol and Smoking Cessation (Service personnel)

OneLife Suffolk community health information services attendance at Unit Health Information Events

Armed Forces Commissioner Fund

Promote and manage the application and payment process

Community Support (to Armed Forces)

Links to community based charities and support organisations and project funding advice.  Broadband and Mobile Telecoms (Service personnel and families) Provided summary statement to RAF Honington Station, Wattisham Flying Station and Woodbridge Station on roll out of Suffolk Rural Broadband Implementation Plan and highlight DCMS Mobile Infrastructure Plan. Transport issues – presented Armed Forces Community Needs to Suffolk County Council Transport Policy Panel / Future Commissioning Needs.  Youth and Welfare training opportunities.  Suffolk Armed Forces Day annual event coordination.

Community Engagement (by Armed Forces)

Suffolk Show Military Village; Community Engagement Events - Enabling local community / schools to use on-station amenities and services, more recently RAF Honington swimming pool and climbing wall.

Drug and Alcohol Misuse

Supported the Matthew Project (charity) to extend their 'Outside the Wire' substance misuse service to support Veterans in Suffolk. (click)

Employment and Skills (Dependants)

Realise Futures (skills and training social enterprise) deliver National Careers Service workshops for service spouses.  CV and Job Search skills.  New enquiries from units welcome.

Employment and Skills (Service Leavers and  Veterans)

Support to East of England Energy Group (EEEGR) and their Military in Energy initiative.  Promotion of local job opportunities to service leavers via HIVE Information Officers blogs and Army Resettlement Service. Support the launch of VETS East initiative (www.vetseast.com) and reviewing Farming Opportunities pathways for Service Leavers.

Family Support Provision (service families)

Liaison with Unit Welfare Officers to understand the needs of service families, this includes links to non-military agencies / local charities / statutory services.  In order to help understand the challenges that military families face, the RAF Families Federation have produced a factsheet (click for pdf). Delivery of Support the delivery and continuaton of Better Together young mums befriending project.

Financial Advice (service personnel and families)

Local Citizen Advice Bureaus visit military stations (unit information events, spouses coffee mornings and hold regular 1-2-1 surgeries)

Forces Children Education

Promotion of MoD Education Support Grant programme and the Service Children’s Pupil Premium.  Developing links to Suffolk County Council 'Raising the Bar' education initiative.  Review policies for School Admissions and Education attainment.  Operation Camoflague summer activity programme.

First World War comemorations

WW1 community projects and VC paving slabs – see webpage above

Marketing and Communication (covenant)

Develop brand identity; develop promotional post cards, annual report and website to raise awareness of the Suffolk Armed Forces Community Covenant.  Attend Suffolk Show as main community engagement effort with the general public.

Mental Wellbeing

Support awareness of the new (April 2017) Veterans Mental Health service commissioned by NHS England.  Encourage NHS / CCGs on development of pathways to service.

Service Families Health

Liaison with Suffolk Public Health re: community service provision.

Veterans in Custody / Veterans in Prison

Project Nova: Walking with the Wounded, Regular Forces Employment Agency and Norfolk and Suffolk Police aimed at supporting and diverting criminal acts or behaviours linking to other services.  The Criminal Justice Liaison and Diversion service (CJLD) was launched in April by Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust (NHS Mental Health) working alongside partners Julian Support and Walking With The Wounded (military charity).

HMP Hollesley Bay – this is an open prison.  The St. Giles Trust (charity working with prisoners) and a representative from Project Nova (Regular Forces Employment Agency) meet with prison management re: transition issues / vocational learning.

HMP Warren Hill – organising a veterans information workshop – requested Project Nova and SSAFA Suffolk to supply information to prison staff

HMP Highpoint – highlighted Project Nova, in dialogue re: skills development opportunities.

Veterans - Homelessness

Liaison with Suffolk Housing Group and local authority housing teams and commissioned support services.

Veterans Housing

Requested Position Statement on Armed Forces Veterans entitlement and policy implementation.  Royal British Legion briefing to St Edmundsbury Borough Council Housing Team.

Veterans Population

Suffolk Armed Forces and Veterans Demogrpahic Profile published in July 2016 (click)

Military Community Research: The Royal British Legion pubishes its research into various issues related to the UK Armed Forces community (click)

Lord Ashcroft's report into Service Leavers Transition (click)