As a member of The East Sussex Strategic Partnership, Wealden District Council has signed The Armed Forces Corporate Covenant (pdf) – a voluntary statement of mutual support between the civilian community and serving and retired members of the armed forces and their families.
In 2011 the Secretary of State published the Armed Forces Covenant, which sets out the moral obligation between the nation, the Government and the Armed Forces. The key principle is that no member of the Armed Forces or their families shall be disadvantaged by reason of being, or having been, in the Forces.
The Armed Forces Community Covenant (referred to as the Community Covenant or the Covenant) formalises the moral obligation at the local level. The intention is to encourage charities, local authorities, businesses, voluntary groups, community groups and individuals to work together with the military to offer support to service personnel and their families as well as reservists and veterans. The aims include:
- encouraging local communities to support the Armed Forces Community in their areas, and vice-versa;
- promoting understanding and awareness amongst the public of issues affecting the Armed Forces Community;
- recognising and remembering the sacrifices made by the Armed Forces Community; and
- encouraging activities that help to integrate the Armed Forces Community into local life.
The signing of the Covenant allows access to the community covenant grant fund, which will financially support local projects that strengthen the ties or the mutual understanding between members of the armed forces community and the wider community. Further details of the grant fund can be found on the Community Covenant Fund pages of the East Sussex Strategic Partnership website (external link).
The East Sussex Community Covenant will run alongside and support the NHS Sussex Community Covenant Pledge and the Sussex Armed Forces Health Network Covenant, which were signed in 2013.
The Council also funds the Citizens Advice Bureau in Wealden to provide financial advice for all Wealden residents, including services veterans. Online advice is available from the Wealden Citizens Advice Bureau website (external link) or by phone number on 03444 111 444 or by email through the East Sussex Citizens Advice Bureau (external link) website.
The following websites may be of interest and assistance:
- Armed Forces Covenant – Government Information (external link)
- Armed Forces Covenant Webpage (external link)
- Army Families Federation (external link)
- Naval Families Federation (external link)
- Royal Air Force Families Federation (external link)
- Soldiers and Sailors Families Association (external link)
- Veterans website (external link)
- Defence Discount Service (external link)
- Government advice on civilian housing for service personnel and families (external link)
- Veterans pensions and compensation advice (external link)