Christmas is an exciting time of year for many but for some of us it can be one of the loneliest and most challenging.

At what can be a difficult time of year, especially as we continue to adapt to life due to the pandemic, help is on hand for our veteran and Armed Forces community who may be struggling with their mental health, loneliness or separated from loved ones.  Because of the unique obligations and personal sacrifices our Armed Forces make, a range of bespoke forces-friendly 24 hour helplines are on standby to assist throughout the festivities. 


Cllr Durkin, Herefordshire’s Armed Forces Covenant Partnership Chairman said:

“As many of our local charities and services take a short break over the festivities it is important that our Armed Forces community know that additional support is available around the clock.   It is essential that no-one should feel isolated, and whatever the issue might be please do reach out for help; there is someone who will understand”


National Helplines for the Armed Forces Community

Veterans Gateway

24 hours call: 0808 802 1212

Or download the Veteran Gateway App to your mobile device


Royal British Legion

Call: 0808 802 8080 - Available 8:00am to 8:00pm 7 days a week


Op Courage (NHS veteran mental health line)

24 hours call: 0300 323 0137


Samaritans (military & Armed Forces community support)

24 hours call: 116 123

Or download the Samaritans Veteran App to your mobile device


Combat Stress

24 hours call: 0800 138 1619


SSAFA Forcesline

Call: 0800 731 4880 - Available 9:00am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday


Local support is available either side of the festive break from our Armed Forces charities:

Herefordshire Veteran Support Centre, 19 West Street, Hereford

The centre will be closed from Thursday 23rd December until Wednesday 5th January with the exception of opening on Wed 29th December (9am to 5pm).  Please call 07792 881354/01432 260656

Normal opening times will resume from Wednesday 5th January (Mon/Wed/Fri)


SSAFA Herefordshire

SSAFA Herefordshire will respond as soon as practicable throughout the Christmas/New Year period – please call 01432 273932.


First Light Trust Café, 41-43 Broad Street, Hereford

The First Light Trust will be open for support during the following times:

24th December, 9am to 2pm

27th December, 9am to 4pm

28th December, 9am to 4pm

29th December, 9am to 4pm

30th December, 9am to 4pm

31st December, 9am to 3pm

4th January onwards – normal opening hours resume – visit

They are also contactable 24 hours a day via phone on 07342 080362


More information on local support available to veterans can be found on the Herefordshire Council website.

Published: 16th December 2021