What we are doing - HAFCP annual review

Herefordshire Armed Forces Covenant Partnership has a strategic overview and identifies topic areas which address key areas of need. These include: housing, healthcare, mental health, schools, employment and training and the justice system. These areas of work are linked to an action plan underpinned by an Armed Forces Community Assessment.

Highlights 2022

  • As part of the Armed Forces Act 2021 we welcomed the new Covenant Duty announced in November 2022 by the Government. The legislation now calls on certain public bodies to have a legal duty to pay due regard and ensure consideration is given to specific needs of the Armed Forces community. 
  • According to the ONS Census 2021, 1.85m people in England and Wales reported that they had previously served in the UK Armed Forces, of those 9,600 are living in Herefordshire. This represents 6.1% of the Herefordshire population aged 16-plus compared to the national average of 3.8%.  11% of households in Herefordshire have at least one resident who is an armed forces veteran compared to the national average of 7%. Herefordshire also has the highest population of veterans (pro rata) of any local authority in the West Midlands. Further statistical information can be found at UK armed forces veterans: Census 2021 in England and Wales - Office for National Statistics (ons.gov.uk)


  • We are working with local NHS providers to improve signposting and overall awareness. 
  • The majority of Herefordshire GP practices have now gained veteran-friendly accreditation developed by The Royal College of GPs and NHS England.
  • We regularly attend Primary Care Network meetings across the county as well as linking up with Talk Community, Healthwatch Herefordshire and Herefordshire’s Community Partnership.
  • Through our commitment to improve dental access for serving families we are working with Healthwatch Herefordshire to improve access and treatment.
  • We now have a better understanding of veterans who are receiving local authority support in residential settings or home care.  We are improving our links with residential care providers by raising awareness of the additional support available to those with an Armed Forces background.  According to the ONS Census data, in 2021 there were 450 veterans in residential care across local authority and private care.
  • We are working with colleagues in Public Health and local NHS to ensure the Armed Forces are represented in the newly formed Integrated Health & Care System.

Mental health and wellbeing


  • We are improving ways to identify and capture Armed Forces data of those seeking housing on the social housing register. According to current data we have 25 Armed Forces families on the waiting list. Their position on the waiting list is assessed in line with the new Covenant Duty and their priority needs.
  • Herefordshire Council’s Housing Allocation policy has been updated to ensure it reflects the Covenant legislation and its statutory duty.
  • Herefordshire Strategic Housing and the Housing Solutions Team worked closely with the military charities and mental health teams to successfully re-house a number of single veterans living in unsuitable or poor accommodation.
  • In the past 12 months, three units have become available at Noden Mews, Leominster, formerly the veteran self-build project. These have been allocated directly back to new veteran tenants based on priority needs and as part of Herefordshire Council’s ongoing commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant.
  •  In addition to the Buchanan Trust conversion of North Farm Cottages 1-4 in 2021, Phase 2 was completed in summer 2022. This project comprises of two x 2 bedroomed properties of which one being fully DDA compliant. Funding was secured through a number of local and national funders.
  • We delivered an awareness session to the housing associations and registered providers in Herefordshire to improve their understanding of the Armed Forces Covenant and to promote a range of local charities and support available to any of their tenants with an Armed Forces background.

Schools and education

  • Representatives from Children & Families Directorate and from the local Garrison HIVE (military families’ information support unit), and third sector partners continue to meet termly.  Good relationships have developed through the year to support education and improve outcomes for children of Service personnel.
  • There was an increase in the number of military children benefitting from Service Pupil Premium (SPP), in 2022. The SPP is there for schools to provide mainly pastoral support for military children in recognition of the specific challenges they face due to Service life and as part of the on-going commitment of the Armed Forces Covenant.
  • Local military families are benefitting from the MOD's Wraparound Childcare scheme that offers up to 20 hours per week of free childcare before and after school during term time for eligible military parents with children aged 4 to 11 years. The scheme offers practical support to help combat the unique challenges faced by service families, such as frequent relocations that require military families to move home, find new schools and childcare provision, and adjust their lives. 
  • We are building on our relationships with schools by collating a list of nominated Armed Forces contacts in all our primary and secondary schools.
  • We are encouraging schools to sign-up to the Armed Forces Covenant as forces-friendly employers and as part of their community commitment to support the local Armed Forces community.
  • The Cart Shed continues to offer free school holiday activities for children from Serving and veteran families. ‘Escape to the Woods’ includes woodland fun such as den building and creating shelters, bush crafts, green woodworking, willow working and outdoor cooking.

Justice system

  • We are making reciprocal links with Hereford Magistrates to promote additional support available for members of the Armed Forces and their families. A new noticeboard has been installed at the Courts to display Armed Forces support literature.
  • YSS: Remember Veterans caseworker continues to work, where permission is granted, with military veterans who are currently in, or are at risk of becoming involved in the criminal justice system. The project is joint funded by the Armed Forces Covenant Trust, (through the Veterans’ Places, Pathways and People programme), and West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner Grant. 
  • In 2022, YSS: Remember Veterans accepted 33 new veteran referrals supporting them back into civilian life, offering them one-to-one practical and emotional support to overcome barriers and prevent re-offending.
  • Through the close working relationship Remember Veterans has with local police custody suites, courts, HM prisons and probationary services, we are capturing data and trends in arrest rates. Around 6% of all arrests in Herefordshire in 2022 were from individuals declaring they have an Armed Forces background. 

Employment and training

  • Veterans and Service leavers can access a range of bespoke employment and training support in Herefordshire including Landau Ltd, The Forces Employment Charity and Department of Work and Pensions Armed Forces work coaches.  Case workers regularly set-up sessions at Herefordshire’s Veteran Support Centre providing transitional support back into meaningful employment.
  • The Military 2 Business event hosted by NMITE, in partnership with Landau, was held during Armed Forces Week 2022. This annual event attracted over 50 local forces-friendly employers, training providers and charities who offer help and recruitment opportunities to local veterans, Service-leavers and family members.
  • NMITE continue to be outstanding ambassadors for the Armed Forces Covenant both in brokering new businesses to sign the Armed Forces Covenant but also offering a range of progression opportunities through their masterclasses and degree programmes.
  • Landau Ltd, provide a supported employment specialist programme for veterans. They will give unlimited time and work closely with individuals in finding meaningful employment. Landau host regular Job Fairs in Herefordshire where they promote the benefits of signing the Armed Forces Covenant to businesses and organisations. 

Herefordshire Veteran Support Centre

  • Working closely with the military charities and other service providers, the centre manager continues to provide a one-stop shop and streamline the level of support an individual or family member may need.
  • Whilst the HVSC gained charitable status in December 2020 Herefordshire Council continues to offer direct support and securing grants in partnership with its stakeholders.
  • Over the past 12 months the centre has seen over 36 organisations using the facilities to collaborate or meet clients. It has support 368 veterans and around 100 family members
  • Significant local fundraising initiatives have played a key factor in helping to improve the facilities at the centre, to continue to support the Veteran Brunch, and provide stability to initiate future projects.

Business and wider covenant

  • Information, advice and guidance for the Armed Forces Community has been improved, with better navigation at www.herefordshire.gov.uk/armedforces
  • The Talk Community directory now has dedicated information, advice and guidance for those with an Armed Forces background and several of their Community Hubs have veteran volunteers.
  • Bromyard & Winslow Town Council and Kington Town Council have now signed the Armed Forces Covenant resulting in all our market towns committed to the Covenant.
  • Armed Forces Day 2022 was hosted by Ross-on-Wye Town Council, supported by the local Royal British Legion branch.  Our thanks to Ross-on-Wye for organising such a successful family event with a range of attractions to mark our thanks to HM Armed Forces.
  • We are delighted that 29 new businesses and organisations in Herefordshire signed the Armed Forces Covenant in 2022 as forces-friendly employers, bringing our total to 118.
  • HS Infra Ltd achieved ERS Gold, the MOD’s highest employer accolade. Herefordshire’s medal haul includes: 6 ERS Gold Award holders and 13 ERS Silver Award holders.

Read our full Herefordshire Armed Forces Covenant Partnership Annual review 2022