Support and advice for the Armed Forces community

Armed forces

Information for the Armed Forces community - how you can be supported by the Armed Forces Covenant

Benefits and financial advice

Benefits and Financial Advice for Armed Forces Community​​​

Whether you are currently serving, or have previously served in the Armed Forces, you may need some help with benefits and financial advice.

The Ministry of Defence has published a helpful guide on financial top tips for service personnel to ensure they get a fair deal when they need to access financial services.

The MOD have produced information on financial and pension advice and support services for the defence personnel and families.

For full details of benefit support available from your local Council, including recent changes to Welfare Benefits, please see the webpage: Council Tax and Benefits

Housing Benefit and Local Council Tax support 

War Disablement Pension, War Widow’s Pension or War Widower’s Pension will not be taken into account when calculating income for Housing Benefit and Local Council Tax support.

Universal Credit

www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk helps people find out what benefits they should be claiming, and provides more detail about how Universal Credit can help them move into, or progress in, work.

To Claim Universal Credit www.gov.uk/apply-universal-credit

Freephone Helpline: 0800 3285644

Council Tax discounts and exemptions

If you are a member of the Armed Forces and your property is deemed to be your sole or main residence, if your absence is a result of your service you will be eligible for a 50% job related discount.

To access support relating to benefits and financial advice, see the following links:

Discretionary Housing Payment - A fund aimed at helping people who find themselves in a crisis. If you're leaving or have just left the Armed Forces, and are moving in to new accommodation then the fund may be able to help with housing costs. DHP's cannot be awarded to help towards Council Tax liability or costs.

Moneyforce - The home of money advice for UK Service personnel and their families. It includes an innovative budget planner, car cost calculator and credit forecaster.

Joining Forces - Three credit unions working together to provide savings accounts and loans to the armed forces and their families.

The Royal British Legion -Offers a range of financial assistance services, including benefits and money advice, grants and loans. If you have a compensation claim arising from your Service the Legion can help you through the process under the War Pensions Scheme or the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme. The nearest Pop-In Centre is based at 133 High Street, Colchester, CO1 1SP.

SSAFA - A national charity that provides support to thousands of Armed Forces personnel and their families. The local branch can be contacted at Essex@ssafa.org.uk.

Citizens Advice - Provide guidance and advice on a whole range of issues.

The GOV.UK website - Provides a comprehensive list of potential benefits entitlement.

Veterans Gateway - Gives access to a network of organisations, making it easy for veterans and their families to connect with the help, advice and support needed from their first point of contact.

Veterans UK - Provides a full range of information for people injured, disabled or bereaved by the service, including details of the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme, War Disablement Pensions and Armed Forces Pensions.

The Army Families Federation (AFF) - Independent of the Army and offers confidential advice on a range of welfare issues including money matters and family life. AFF works at a local level directly with families and local command.

Other local organisations that can provide benefit and financial advice include: 

Christians Against Poverty - Service passionate about releasing people from a life sentence of debt, poverty and their causes.

Open Door, Colchester - A café-style drop-in centre which welcomes without judgement anyone who needs help or wants someone to talk to.

Colchester HIVE - Army Welfare Service: This blog aims to provide local information to all service personnel and their families.

How businesses are helping to deliver the Armed Forces Covenant

Here’s a useful summary of the businesses helping the Armed Forces community with mortgages, motor insurance, broadband, media packages and mobile phone contracts:   Businesses Helping deliver the Armed Forces Covenant

Defence Discount Service

If you are a member of the Armed Forces community you are eligible for a Defence Privilege Card, at a cost of less than £1.00 a year.   Visit the Defence Discount Service website to find out how you can start saving now on high street and online purchases.  www.defencediscountservice.co.uk

Health and wellbeing

Priority Healthcare for Veterans

“From 1 January 2008, all veterans should receive priority access to NHS secondary care for any conditions which are likely to be related to their service, subject to the clinical needs of all patients.”   (Source: NHS Choices, 2015)

Families and Veterans should not be disadvantaged when accessing health services.  Changes have been made to the NHS Constitution in England to embed the principles of the Covenant.  For example if on a waiting list in one area, and then reposted, that time already spent on a waiting list should be considered by the receiving health authority.  This applies to all treatment for physical, dental and mental issues under the NHS.

Whilst serving in the Armed Forces, the Ministry of Defence takes responsibility for general medical healthcare. Upon leaving the Armed Forces ex-service personnel will need to register with a GP on the NHS.

To access healthcare services, as well as local support for achieving a healthy lifestyle, see links below:

Urgent medical help

If you need urgent medical help but it’s not a 999 emergency, call the NHS on 111, which is available 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. 

Healthcare

NHS Choices provides healthcare information for the Armed Forces Community, including service personnel, reservists, families and veterans.

Essex Connects is the place to find local activities and to help you to get in touch with hundreds of local charities, voluntary groups, and community sector services across Essex including Braintree, Colchester and Tendring.

Mental Wellbeing

NHS Veterans Mental Health Transition, Liaison and Intervention Service (TILS) - Armed forces personnel approaching discharge can get treatment and support, and thereafter into their civilian life, whether it is months or years later. Midlands and East Veterans Service  (covering West Midlands, East Midlands, North Essex and East Anglia) - 01206 228774

Combat Stress is the UK's leading veterans' mental health charity providing free treatment and support 24 hours a day - 0800 138 1619. 

Help for Heroes Hidden Wounds provides confidential support delivered by psychological wellbeing practitioners, often over the phone or on Skype, so that you can easily access support from all around the country - 0808 2020 144. 

Mental Health Matters - 0800 107 0160

Big White Wall provides online mental wellbeing support 24/7.  Safe, anonymous and has Wall Guides (counsellors) available 24/7.  Free to serving personnel, veterans and their families - www.bigwhitewall.com - 0207 060 1677

Healthy Lifestyle

Livewell is a campaign that promotes healthy messages and aims to support residents to improve their physical and mental wellbeing.  Find out more about what is happening locally with information, local initiatives, campaigns and things to do that will benefit health.

Tom Harrison House is a specialist facility providing an addiction recovery programme exclusively to military veterans, reservists, serving personnel and their families.  12 week programme – supported accommodation for the programme duration in a dedicated recovery house.   Website:  www.tomharrisonhouse.org.uk   Tel:  0151 909 8481

Local - Further Help

North Essex Veterans Mental Health Network support for Veterans, cascading advice and treatment

Colchester Mind support for those who are stressed, depressed or in crisis.

Chavasse VC House Recovery Centre aims to inspire those who have been wounded, injured or become sick whilst serving our country, to enable them to lead active, independent and fulfilling lives. The Centre has been specially designed to offer the very best recovery atmosphere. It offers 27 single en-suite bedrooms and two family suites.  Centre promotes general wellbeing, and residents are encouraged to undertake their own recovery programme under the guidance of specialist staff. It may involve educational courses, work placements, medical appointments or sporting activities. These activities are designed to improve personal independence, raise morale, and develop camaraderie with others who have been injured or become sick.   Telephone: 01206 814880 | 01206 815838  Email: chavassevc@helpforheroes.org.uk

Respite Breaks

The Royal British Legion

The Royal British Legion provides families of serving and ex-Service personnel the chance to take a break and get away from the stresses and strains of everyday life.

The Legion owns and operates four Break Centres in England and Northern Ireland, and make use of Parkdean Resorts, Haven and Center Parcs holiday parks around the UK.   Follow link for criteria and how to apply:  Family Holiday Breaks

See also:   Veterans Support Directory further down this page.

Jobs, employment and skills

When posted overseas

When serving personnel are posted abroad, spouses may need to give up their jobs to move with them.

Spouses, civil partners and dependents can claim income based Job Seekers Allowance or Universal Credit as soon as they return to the UK after accompanying service personnel working abroad.  The rule requiring them to be resident for 3 months before being eligible to claim no longer applies.

The Government has now introduced an MOD NI credit scheme so that spouses/civil partners accompanying their spouses on an overseas assignment can claim Class 3 Contributions towards their state pension whilst they are abroad.

Department for Work and Pensions

If you have left the service within the last three years you will be able to volunteer for the DWP Work Programme . This provides support, work experience and training for up to 2 years to help people find and stay in work. Those receiving Employment and Support Allowance, Incapacity Benefit or Income Support are eligible. 

Find out how the DWP’s enhanced access to Jobcentre Plus services might affect you. Locally the Jobcentre Plus Armed Forces Champion is Neil Turner neil.turner@dwp.gsi.gov.uk

If you have been seriously injured as a result of service, you may be entitled to the Armed Forces Independence Payment

Jobs, employment and skills information

Information on jobs, employment and skills can also be found through the following links:

The Career Transition Partnership provides successful resettlement services for those leaving the Royal Navy, Army, Royal Air Force and Marines. They also act as an intermediary service for employers wishing to hire Service leavers.

MOD Enhanced Learning Credits Scheme - Promotes lifelong learning amongst members for the armed forces. Provides financial support for pursuit of higher level learning.

The Army Families Federation (AFF) is independent of the Army and offers confidential advice on a range of welfare issues including money matters and family life.

Regular Forces Employment Association - Helps men and women of all ranks, leaving the armed forces to find and to remain in employment throughout their working lives.

The Royal British Legion - Provides details of getting into work after leaving the forces including training, job vacancies, interview preparation and a guide to starting your own business

Recruit for Spouses - Help for military spouses to get into work or start their own business

SORTED - Provide employment related support and services for the Armed Forces Community.

Locally, Colchester Institute, a vocational college have launched Building Heroes which provides skills training to Military Veterans and support into employment in the building trades.

Bursary to get Veterans into Teaching

A government bursary of £40,000 is available for ex-service personnel to retrain as teachers. Courses are available at universities nationwide from September onwards for those who have left full-time employment in the British Army, Royal Navy or Royal Air Force within the last 5 years.  The bursary has been developed as part of the Department for Education’s commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant.  Undergraduate courses in biology, chemistry, maths, computing and modern foreign languages will be prioritised.

For further information: New Bursary to get Veterans into Teaching

Working for yourself

Enterprise Allowance - Jobcentre Plus has developed a new enterprise allowance to help people become self-employed. Applicants must be claiming Jobseekers Allowance for a minimum of 13 weeks and not be on the work programme.

Business is Great Britain - Start up loans scheme offers loans of around £2,500, as well as access to expert support to help develop a business plan.

GOV.UK - Can offer an on-line service to support new business start-up, and help existing businesses expand and improve. The website has many sources of information to assist businesses including links to training and seminars.

HM Revenue & Customs Tax guide - Support for people who are going self-employed.

Volunteering

Once you have left the Armed Forces you may be able to make time to volunteer. You can make positive changes to people's lives whilst developing your own skills at the same time.  Contact Community Voluntary Services Tendring to find out more.

Schools and education

Armed Forces Pupil Premiums

The National Armed Forces Covenant is working with the Department for Education to ensure the best use of the service children Pupil Premium of £300 that schools receive for each service child they have.

The money can be spent in a number of ways such as extra inductions or assessment support for Armed Forces children. For further information please get in touch with your child’s school.

School Admissions

The Covenant recognises that frequent moves can cause problems with access to schools.

The School Admissions Code in England and Wales has been changed to support Service families, who can apply and be allocated a place before they move into the area.  Children can be accepted mid-term, and class sizes may be increased beyond the norm to accommodate them.

The law requires, where families are not yet resident in the area, but are able to evidence proof of posting, we treat them as living within catchment for the schools. 

If you've served in the Armed Forces and need some help finding a school for your family this link may help you: Essex Schools Admission

​​​Other useful links

School Admissions Code

Service Pupil Premium (GOV.UK)

Service Children in State Schools Handbook (GOV.UK)

Moving Schools Pack: service family guide (GOV.UK)

Scholarship for Military Bereaved Children

Housing

Ways of Finding a Home

Serving Personnel

Whether you are living on or off base, renting or thinking about buying a home, there is advice and support available to you. 

Veterans

Whether you are renting or thinking about buying a home, there is advice and support available to you. 

Own your own home provides a range of schemes that make home-buying more affordable.

Council Support to Find a Home  Whether you own your own home, rent it privately, from the Council or Housing Association.

Other organisations

Further links to organisations who may be able to help provide information on finding a home for you or your family:

Advice and support from the British Legion - The Royal British Legion provides advocacy and assists them with a range of issues in addition to housing advice, for example finance and health.

Citizens Advice - Housing options for people leaving the Armed Forces, veterans and their families.

The MOD Army - provides subsidised accommodation for its servicemen and women. Visit their website for details of service personnel entitlement to service accommodation and removals for personal possessions on assignment to a new area.

The Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA) - offers advice and assistance to anyone eligible for their help, whether they are serving or ex-service, or a family member of someone with a service connection. The SSAFA also provide housing and residential home facilities.

Veterans Gateway - gives access to a network of organisations, making it easy for veterans and their families to connect with the help, advice and support they need from their first point of contact.

Veterans UK - provides advice regarding the help available to ex-service personnel who are homeless or are threatened with homelessness.

SPACES - Single Persons Accommodation Centre for the Ex Services, SPACES, is a housing advice and placement service for veterans. SPACES targets the most vulnerable of Service leavers, regardless of rank, length of service, or reason for discharge.

Haig Housing - Housing provider for ex-Service personnel in the UK, owns over 1500 properties across 50 locations.  Endeavours to help any veterans in housing need, whether they are transitioning into civilian life or are simply in need of a helping hand.  Website: www.haighousing.org.uk  Tel:  0208 685 5777

Shelter - Provide expert advice to help you deal with your housing difficulties.

Launchpad  Charity providing affordable supported rental accommodation with onsite support to veterans of all ages and their partners. Accommodation in Newcastle and Liverpool, provides a base from which residents can successful make the transition to civilian life.  Accepts veterans with complex issues which can be resolved over a max of 2 years.  Website: www.veteranslaunchpad.org.uk   Tel:  0300 1111 238

Alabare Homes for Veterans   Charity provide temporary accommodation to British Armed Forces Veterans who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. 24 homes across England and Wales, providing 110 bed spaces.  Website: www.alabare.co.uk/homes-services  Tel: 01722 322 882

Additional Local Support

One Support - Helping homeless people to move on to secure homes and a more stable future.

Handy Van Service – Poppy Calls

Tel: 0800 032 0306, email: homesupportadmin@britishlegion.org.uk

The Legion's handy van service, Poppy Calls, helps ex-Service people and their families with small household repairs and minor adaptations.

If you're having trouble with those small household repairs and minor adaptations around your home and are one of our beneficiaries, the Royal British Legion can provide our handy van service known as Poppy Calls.

We have a dedicated and trusted team of experienced handypeople who are fully trained to carry out low-level maintenance in your home, including:

  • Changing light bulbs and tap washers
  • Putting up shelves, curtain rails and grab rails
  • Fitting smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Fitting and changing door locks and other security features
  • Building access ramps and storage sheds to house Legion-provided Electrically Propelled Vehicles
  • Installing care phones.

Tendring District Council Housing Allocations Policy

Housing Adaptations - Disabled Facilities Grant

If a disability is making life difficult for you, or someone living in your house, then you may be entitled to help in the form of a grant or an interest-free loan.   Your Council can help you to access the Disabled Facilities Grants      

Home owners, tenants, occupiers of house boats and park homes, and landlords can apply for this mandatory grant towards the cost of adapting a home to meet the needs of a disabled person.  Applications will only be considered where an occupational therapy assessment has been received. 

The maximum cost of works covered by the grant is £30,000 and depending on the disabled person's financial circumstances, there may be a contribution to make. 

The works can include:

  • Access to and from the home, including the gardens.  For example ramps, pathways and handrails.
  • Making the home safe for the disabled occupant, and others living there.
  • Access to rooms used as a family room, bedroom, kitchen or bathroom.  This can include widening, re-positioning or re-siting doors. Tracking, stair lifts and through floor lifts.
  • Adaptations to toilets, and bathing and washing facilities.  For example wet rooms and specialised toilets.
  • Kitchen alterations to enable the disabled occupant to prepare snacks during the day, and sometimes specialised cookers, ovens, work surfaces and sink units.
  • Improving heating to the rooms and areas normally used by the disabled occupant.
  • Controlling sources of power, heat and light by altering the position of, or providing extra, controls.

There may be other works which can be included and we will always advise you.

If an applicant cannot meet their assessed contribution for a DFG the Council and Essex Social Services will explore the available funding options.

Who to contact

Before any Disabled Facilities Grant can go forward you need to know whether the proposed works are suitable.  You should contact Social Care Direct at Essex County Council on 0345 603 7630.  If their assessment identifies eligible works then they will send us a copy of the Occupational Therapist's recommendations with a request that we offer financial assistance in the form of a grant or loan.

Veterans Support Directory

While many Veterans manage the transition back to civilian life seamlessly, some can find it very challenging.  Many veterans return home with physical injuries, or carrying mental scars following what they experienced while serving abroad.

Some people have become used to living a military life with lots of routine, and to having lots of other people around them, and find it hard to adjust to a more uncertain, unpredictable lifestyle, or to spending more time alone.

And veterans also face the challenge of having to find a 'normal' job and of being able to pay for life's essentials.

Veterans' Gateway

Veterans' Gateway, the first point of contact for veterans seeking support

www.veteransgateway.org.uk

Freephone contact centre telephone number: 0808 802 1212

Veterans’ Gateway is the first point of contact for veterans or their families who need support. Veterans Gateway put veterans and their families in touch with the organisations best placed to help with the information, advice and support they need. From healthcare and housing, to employability, finances, personal relationships and more.

Veterans’ Gateway is made up of a consortium of Armed Forces charities including The Royal British Legion, SSAFA – the Armed Forces charity, Poppyscotland and Combat Stress. A group of referral partners also back the service, allowing Veterans’ Gateway to refer people to specialist organisations both within and outside of the Armed Forces sector. 

How does Veterans' Gateway work?

The team of advisors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and many are veterans themselves.   They can be contacted by calling the freephone number, by text or email.   Veterans’ Gateway also has an extensive Self Help service, allowing veterans to search for help and advice independently.

Veterans' Support Directory

Abberton Rural Training

Supporting the Wounded and Injured Service Personnel through the Colchester Personnel Recovery Centre.  Providing 1 day introductory Woodland and Land Courses, and 5 day intensive Land Based Studies Programme.

Website: www.abbertonruraltraining.org/army

Tel: 01787 228269  

Email:  info@abbertonruraltraining.org

ABF The Soldiers Charity

ABF The Soldiers Charity aims to help army and former army personnel and their families in need.

Website: www.soldierscharity.org/

Age Concern, Colchester

We are Age Concern Colchester (formerly Age UK Colchester) and we are here to help the older generation of Colchester Borough live their lives better. Need help, advice, companionship?

Website:  www.ageconcerncolchester.org.uk          

Alabare: Homes for Veterans

Charity provide temporary accommodation to British Armed Forces Veterans who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.  24 homes across England and Wales, providing 110 bed spaces.

Website: www.alabare.co.uk/homes-services

Tel: 01722 322882

Armed Forces & Veterans Breakfast Clubs

Breakfast clubs exist to facilitate veterans, and often serving Armed Forces personnel, meeting face to face in a relaxed, safe, social environment.  They operate across the country including in Colchester, Braintree and Tendring.

Website:  https://afvbc.co.uk/  

Army Families Federation

The Army Families Federation (AFF) is the independent voice of Army families and works hard to improve the quality of life for Army families around the world - on any aspect that is affected by the Army lifestyle.

Website:  http://www.aff.org.uk/           

Army Welfare Service

Army Welfare Service helps serving married and single personnel and families with any personal or family difficulties that arise, by providing a confidential, comprehensive welfare service.

Website:  http://www.army.mod.uk/welfare-support/welfare-support.aspx          

Big White Wall

Online mental wellbeing support 24/7.  Safe, anonymous and has Wall Guides (counsellors) available 24/7.  Free to serving personnel, veterans and their families.

Website:  www.bigwhitewall.com

Tel:  0207 060 1677

BLESMA (The Limbless Veterans)

BLESMA help all wounded servicemen and women who have lost limbs, the use of limbs or eyes, to rebuild their lives by providing rehabilitation activities and welfare support.

Website:  https://blesma.org/

Tel:  0208 590 1124

Blind Veterans UK

Blind Veterans UK helps vision impaired Armed Forces and National Service veterans to relearn vital life skills and provides them with the tools they need to be independent in their own homes. They offer new learning, training and recreation opportunities and provide long-term nursing, residential and respite care.

Website:  www.blindveterans.org.uk

Tel: 0800 389 7979.

Career Transition Partnership

The CTP provides resettlement services for those leaving the Royal Navy, Army, Royal Air Force and Marines. Regardless of time served, all members of the Armed Forces can benefit from CTP support when leaving Service.

Website:  www.ctp.org.uk                     

Chavasse VC House Recovery Centre

Recovery Centre that aims to inspire those who have been wounded, injured or become sick whilst serving our country, to enable them to lead active, independent and fulfilling lives. 27 single en-suite bedrooms and two family suites.  Centre promotes general wellbeing, and residents are encouraged to undertake their own recovery programme under the guidance of specialist staff. It may involve educational courses, work placements, medical appointments or sporting activities.

Tel: 01206 814880 | 01206 815838 

Email: chavassevc@helpforheroes.org.uk

Chelsea Pensioners

Chelsea Pensions supports ex-service personnel over 65.

Website:  http://www.chelsea-pensioners.co.uk/     

Citizens Advice

Provide guidance and advice on a whole range of issues.

Website: www.citizensadvice.org.uk  

Civvy Street

The Royal British Legion’s employability programme for the Service community in civilian life.

Website: https://www.civvystreet.org/

Tel: 0800 009 8015           

Colchester Institute - Building Heroes  

Vocational college have launched Building Heroes which provides skills training to Military Veterans and support into employment in the building trades.

Website:  https://www.colchester.ac.uk/building-heroes/  

Colchester Mind

Colchester Mind support for those who are stressed, depressed or in crisis.

Website:      https://mnessexmind.org/

Combat Stress

Combat Stress is a charity specialising in the mental well-being of ex-service personnel.

Website:  www.combatstress.org.uk

24 hour helpline: 0800 138 1619

Defence Discount Service

Defence Discount Service allows members of the armed forces, their families and veterans to make savings both online and on the high street.

Website:  www.defencediscountservice.co.uk

Eastern VAPC (Veterans Advisory and Pensions Committee)

Formerly known as the War Pensions Committees - advise and liaise with veterans, their families and relevant organisations on their needs, issues and concerns. VAPC act as advocates and provide governance to the veterans’ community, and champion the rights of veterans and their families where there is injustice, inequality or a lack of fairness.

Website: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/veterans-advisory-and-pensions-committees-x13       

Enhanced Learning Credits Scheme

Promotes lifelong learning amongst members of the Armed Forces.

Website:  www.enhancedlearningcredits.com  

HAIG Homes

Housing provider for ex-Service personnel in the UK, owns over 1500 properties across 50 locations.  Endeavour to help any veterans in housing need, whether they are transitioning into civilian life or are simply in need of a helping hand.

Website:  www.haighousing.org.uk

Tel:  0208 685 5777

Help for Heroes

Help for Heroes is a national network of support for those with injuries and illnesses sustained while serving in the British Armed Forces. No matter when someone served, they give them the support they need to lead active, independent and fulfilling lives.  See also Band of Sisters / Band of Brothers.

Website:  www.helpforheroes.org.uk

Help for Heroes – Hidden Wounds

Open to Veterans and their families, and the families of those who are serving.  Psychological wellbeing service.

Tel:  0808 2020144

Email: hidden.wounds@helpforheroes.org.uk      

Head Start:  Walking with the Wounded

Offers ex service personnel access to quality and effective treatments for mild to moderate mental health conditions.   Referrals can be made through your GP.

Tel:  1263 863906

Email:   headstart@wwtw.org.uk

Jobcentre Plus Armed Forces Services

Support for current and former members of the armed forces and their families to access Jobcentre Plus services.

Contact:  For Essex the Jobcentre Plus Armed Forces Champion is Neil Turner neil.turner@dwp.gsi.gov.uk

Launchpad

Charity providing affordable supported rental accommodation with onsite support to veterans of all ages and their partners. Accommodation in Newcastle and Liverpool, provides a base from which residents can successful make the transition to civilian life.  Accepts veterans with complex issues which can be resolved over a max of 2 years.

Website:  www.veteranslaunchpad.org.uk

Tel:  0300 1111 238

Leavers Link - Colchester

Voluntary, free to all networking events between Service Leaver and Veteran community, and local Employers. 

Events held:  3rd Tuesday of the month, 6.30 pm, the Colchester Officers’ Club, Colchester, CO2 7EZ.

Email: John Vickers  john.vickers@leaverslink.co.uk      

Tel: 07974 245161

North Essex Veterans Mental Health Network

Providing support for Veterans, cascading advice and treatment

Website:  http://www.nevmhn.org.uk/

NHS Veterans Mental Health Transition, Intervention and Liaison Service (TIL)

NHS TIL Service is a new service for armed forces personnel approaching discharge as well as for veterans. The service will help to recognise some of the early signs associated with mental health difficulties and will provide access to a number of interventions, therapeutic treatments for complex problems and psychological trauma and prevent patient reaching crisis point.

Website: https://eput.nhs.uk/our-services/essex/essex-mental-health-services/adults/midlands-and-east-veterans/

Tel:  0300 323 0137

Officers' Association

The Officers' Association offers regular and one-off financial help and advice to all ex-officers and their dependents in distress at home.

Website:  www.officersassociation.org.uk

Outside the Wire

Offer innovative, comprehensive support - sensitive to the complexities of military life and the often understandable resistance to admitting the extent of any personal issues, especially those relating to: PTSD and other mental health; alcohol and drug use; domestic violence and family related issues.

Tel: 01603 626123

Website:  www.matthewproject.org/adult-team/outside-the-wire 

Parachute Regimental Association

Association formed to organise activities so members continue their associations formed during their service with the Regiment and Airborne Forces.  The PRA is able to provide welfare support and advice to those in need or distress.

Website:  www.theparachuteregimentalassociation.com

Project Nova

Project Nova engages with ex-military veterans who have become involved with or are on the periphery of entering the Criminal Justice System, with the aim to divert them away from offending or reoffending.

Website:  www.rfea.org.uk/our-programmes-partnerships/project-nova/

QUEST (Courses4Forces)

Guide to support to find out about funding, help with job hunting, or general support with everyday challenges of settling back into civilian life.  From education options whilst serving, to resettlement and beyond.

Website:    www.questonline.co.uk

RAF Families Federation

Provides all RAF personnel and their families with timely and professional support, assistance and an independent voice regarding issues or concerns they may have.

Website:  https://www.raf-ff.org.uk/

Tel:  01780 781650

RAF Association

Provide confidential, professional and fair services to members of the wider RAF family from the youngest recruit to the oldest veteran and their families.

Website:  www.rafa.org.uk

Tel:  0800 0182 361

Recruit for Spouses

Help for military spouses to get into work or start their own business

Website: www.recruitforspouses.co.uk/            

Relate

Relationship support

Website:  www.relate.org.uk    

RFEA - The Forces Employment Agency 

The Regular Forces Employment Agency helps men and women leaving the armed forces to find employment throughout their working lives.

Website:  www.rfea.org.uk       

Ripple Pond

A self-help support network for adult family members of physically or emotionally injured Service Personnel and Veterans.

Website:  www.theripplepond.org

Royal Air Force Families Federation

The RAF Families Federation provides all RAF personnel and their families - Regular and Reserve, single or married - with timely and professional support, assistance and an independent voice regarding issues or concerns that they may have.

Website:  https://www.raf-ff.org.uk/     

Royal British Legion

Royal British Legion supports the Armed Forces Community and those affected by disability, health conditions or social welfare needs. Help includes the provision of welfare, healthcare, housing, employment and development opportunities.

Website:  www.rbl.org.uk

Tel:  01622 795900. 

Royal British Legion Industries (RBLI)

RBLI is a national charity supporting the Armed Forces, people with disabilities and people who are unemployed. We improve lives every day by inspiring those we help and supporting them to find work and lead independent lives.

Website: https://www.rbli.co.uk/

Royal Hospital Chelsea

The residents of the Royal Hospital, known the world over as Chelsea Pensioners, have all served as ordinary soldiers in the Armed Forces at some point in their lives, and now, in their later years, find a warm welcome amidst the camaraderie and banter of their fellow veterans.

Website:  http://www.chelsea-pensioners.co.uk/

Royal Navy & Royal Marines Charity

Support to sailors, marines and their families, for life.

Website: www.rnrmc.org.uk

Tel: 0239 387 1520

SEAP Military Advocacy Services

SEAPS Military Advocacy Services supports veterans, reservists and their families, who find themselves facing a range of health, housing, financial, family and social problems.

Website:  www.seap.org.uk      

Soldier On!   

Soldier On! is a national independent education charity which teaches members of the British armed forces who have been made redundant on medical grounds to plan and manage their careers.          

Website:  www.soldieron.org.uk          

Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen & Families Association (SSAFA)    

SSAFA is the UK's oldest armed forces charity. They provide practical help and assistance to anyone who is currently serving or has ever served - even if it was only for a single day.

Website:  www.SSAFA.org.uk

Tel: 0800 731 4880

SORTED

Provide employment related support and services for the Armed Forces Community.

Website:  https://www.sorted.org.uk/   

SPACES

Single Persons Accommodation Centre for the Ex Services (SPACES), is a housing advice and placement service for veterans. SPACES targets the most vulnerable of Service leavers, regardless of rank, length of service, or reason for discharge.

Website: www.spaces.org.uk

Tel: 01748 833797 / 872940 / 830191

Stoll

STOLL provides rehabilitative support to vulnerable and disabled ex-service men and women.  The support offered includes provision of accommodation, employment training, benefits advice, a drop-in centre, and other social activities and groups.

Website:  https://www.stoll.org.uk/                  

The Not Forgotten Association     

The Not Forgotten Association aims to provide leisure and recreation for serving and ex-service personnel who are wounded or have sustained permanent injuries.

Website:   http://www.nfassociation.org/

Tom Harrison House

Specialist facility providing an addiction recovery programme exclusively to military veterans, reservists, serving personnel and their families.  12 week programme – supported accommodation for the programme duration in a dedicated recovery house.

Website:  http://tomharrisonhouse.org.uk/

Tel:  0151 909 8481

Transport for London

Veterans can get a free London Transport Oyster card.

Website:  www.tfl.gov.uk                      

Veterans Aid

In general terms all the charity’s activities revolve around helping ex-servicemen and women in crisis. Specifically it deals with all the factors that contribute to crisis – significantly those leading to homelessness.

Website:  www.veterans-aid.net

Tel: Freephone 0800 012 6867

Veterans Gateway

24 hour, 7 days a week helpline for veterans and their families

Website: www.veteransgateway.org.uk

Freephone: 0808 802 1212

Veterans Support Group

Arranged by ABF The Soldiers’ Charity - Held in the Pegasus Club, Colchester, every third Wednesday of the month, between 10.00 am -12.30 pm.

Website:  https://soldierscharity.org/events/veterans-support-group/#          

Veterans UK

Whenever you're unsure who to contact for advice on a particular topic, given the number of organisations that offer help to ex-service personnel and their families, Veterans UK is a good place to start.

Website:  www.gov.uk

Tel:   0808 1914 218. 

Walking with the Wounded

Walking with the Wounded supports a pathway for vulnerable veterans to re-integrate back into society and sustain their independence. At the heart of this journey is employment.

Website: www.walkingwiththewounded.org.uk       

X Forces

Supports business start-up, learning, funding mentoring and ongoing support for military community.

Website:  https://www.x-forces.com/

Last updated on: 28/03/2018 - 16:18