Recent initiatives supporting our Armed Forces community

Initiatives in 2017-18

Helping with healthcare

  • The Mental Health working group continue to meet to exchange information on issues, chaired by 2gether Mental Health Foundation Trust
  • A dedicated Veterans Mental Health Support Worker has been based at the 2gether Mental Health Trust over the past year supporting veterans' mental health needs including depression, PTSD and alcohol misuse. There are plans the programme will be developed further to include effective outreach provision
  • The newly commissioned mental health provision to support and treat ex-armed forces - Transition, Intervention and Liaison Service (TILS) has been allocated to this region
  • The Defence Medical Welfare Service (DMWS) Project for aged veterans (65 and over), and their families and carers now have staff based at Wye Valley NHS Trust and within the council's Community Brokers Team. The project has enabled council staff to undertake 'Stepping Inside Dementia and Meaningful Engagement' training. Other delivery partners, including the Cartshed have been working with veterans, family members and carers, helping them learn new or regain old skills
  • Royal British Legion has funded another year of the Veteran Mentor post at the Cart Shed together with free workshops for veterans, including transport to the woodland site, together with support from an occupational therapist
  • Herefordshire hosted an Aged Veterans Health and Wellbeing Conference organised and facilitated by DMWS addressed by Kate Davies, National Director for Armed Forces for NHS England
  • Information for accessing local NHS dentists has been improved
  • The Buchanan Trust are developing a crisis recovery centre on their rural estate

Helping with housing

  • Facilitated a meeting with the registered social landlords in order to review policy and processes in connection with housing veterans
  • The Veterans' Self-build project in Leominster has now undergone public consultation together with land transfer from the council. A total of 19 accommodation units will be built. Clearance work on the site is due to start early in 2019
  • The Buchanan Trust continue to offer a range of short term accommodation units on their estate at Bosbury. Plans to build a residential training centre for veterans alongside further respite accommodation are underway

Helping with education

  • There has been an increase in the number of local service children and schools accessing the Service Pupil Premium (SPP), as a result of better liaison with schools. Schools have also been alerted to the Educational Support Fund

Business and community

  • Information provided at events to employers to raise awareness regarding deployment of reservists
  • Employment opportunities for veterans, spouses and partners promoted on council web pages and Armed Service and partner networks
  • Dedicated web pages in place on this website regularly updated
  • Active Twitter and Facebook page
  • Nine new Herefordshire based businesses and organisations signing the Armed Forces Covenant (29 in total)
  • Leominster Town Council signed the Covenant on Armed Forces Day in June and received a Bronze Award under the Armed Forces Covenant Employer Recognition Scheme
  • The Buchanan Trust have provided a range of land-based skills training
  • Business Solutions Hereford are overseeing the Unsung Heroes training scheme for veterans

Wider Covenant

  • Over 196,000 visitors viewed the Weeping Window poppy installation at Hereford Cathedral over the six weeks of the event
  • Leominster Town Council hosted Armed Forces Day with a week-long programme
  • Leominster Town Council also supported the Polish Remembrance Event in November and it is now a recognised event on the council calendar
  • Military Charities Helpdesk, located within the council's customer services and DWP, is continuing to provide a valuable service to the wider armed forces family
  • Assisted the Memorial Trust in securing funding for a bronze statue to honour Lance Corporal Allan Leonard Lewis VC that was unveiled in September in the city
  • Supported the Dean to raise funds for and install a commemorative plaque at the Lady Arbour, for children who had died in the Garrick House fire during a fund raising benefit for WW1
  • Hereford and Leominster Veterans Breakfast Clubs go from strength to strength with now over 100 members signed-up
  • Armed Forces needs assessment document will be finalised shortly, along with identifying the key priorities for CMTG
  • Herefordshire Council led on the delivery of the successful MoD bid, together with Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and Worcestershire Councils for Covenant Funding. The bid secured funding for the appointment of two Armed Forces Covenant Partnership Support Officers. One is to be shared between Herefordshire and Worcestershire and the other between Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin
  • Further funding has also been secured to deliver pilot veteran hubs in all four counties
  • Work is underway to open a Veteran Hub at a city centre location in the spring of 2019