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Suffolk Armed Forces Community Covenant

East Suffolk Council is a partner of the Suffolk Armed Forces Community Covenant.

The Suffolk Armed Forces Community Covenant is one of many such pledges established across the UK. These 'covenants' include local councils, statutory agencies, voluntary and charity sector organisations and some businesses that effectively represent the local community.

Leader of the Council, Cllr Steve Gallant is the Council’s Armed Forces Champion.

The Armed Forces Covenant is an agreement between the Nation, Government and Armed Forces that recognises the whole nation has a moral obligation to current and former members of the armed forces and their families and sets out how they should expect to be treated.

The aims of the covenant include: 

  • To encourage local communities to support the armed forces community in their areas and to nurture public understanding and awareness among the public of issues affecting the armed forces community
  • To recognise and remember the sacrifices made by the armed forces community
  • To encourage activities which help to integrate the armed forces community into local life
  • To encourage the armed forces community to help and support the wider community, whether through participation in events and joint projects, or other forms of engagement

The covenant also aims to reduce any disadvantage military personnel face due to their service in the military. More information is available about the Armed Forces Community, you can find information on support and advice, as well as Information and resources for local authorities supporting the Armed Forces Covenant.  You can also contact ESC’s Covenant representative: paul.grant@eastsuffolk.gov.uk.

Armed Forces Covenant

Information for Armed Forces Personnel, Veterans and their Families

Veterans Gateway - the first point of contact for veterans seeking support

Veterans Gateway puts 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. Telephone: 0808 802 1212.

Armed Forces Covenant

Housing Allocations Policy

Homeless ex‐armed forces advice

If you're leaving the armed services, or you are a former member, you may be entitled to extra help if you become homeless.

Practical steps to take

Register for the housing allocation scheme. The application form can be found on the Gateway to Homechoice website.

Applications can also be taken over the phone.

Get help with housing or apply as homeless before you're discharged. Find out what help you are entitled to from healthcare and housing to employability, finances, personal relationships and more, by visiting Veterans Gateway.

Homelessness rights for ex-forces

You may qualify for help from East Suffolk Council if you are a former member of the armed forces and are homeless or threatened with homelessness. In addition you will have to prove to the Council that you are eligible for housing assistance, and have not made yourself intentionally homeless. The Council must consider if it can help you using both general rules that apply to everyone and special rules that apply to people who were in the forces.

Applying as homeless before discharge from the forces

Contact the Housing Options Team if you think you will be homeless after discharge from the services. The Council should not wait until you are made homeless before it helps you.

Upon the production of a letter of discharge or some other evidence that confirms the date of your discharge from the Forces, the Council should accept that from the date of discharge you will become homeless. In the event that you have not sought any housing assistance from this council prior to your discharge from the Forces you may need to stay in your accommodation as long as possible and wait for Defence Estates to evict you.

Defence Estates have to give you a Notice to Vacate before they can take you to court in order that they can obtain a possession order. You can use any Notice to Vacate and any possession order that is obtained against you as evidence in support of your homelessness application.

Ex-forces and single, homeless and on the streets

There is a range of services for people who find themselves homeless and on the streets:

The Chapman Centre, Black Horse Lane Ipswich offers advice and assistance open Monday to Friday to 2pm

The Royal British Legion might be able to help with a rent deposit. Call 0808 802 8080

SSAFA provide housing advice to people currently serving in the forces and ex-services personnel and their families. Contact SSAFA or 0800 731 4880 | Solo Housing Freephone: 0800 6520155.

Other News and Information

Our Armed Forces in East Suffolk

East Suffolk is home to the Royal Engineers at Rock Barracks. The base is occupied by 23 Para Engineer Regiment who will be joined by the army’s new Counter-Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear capability over the next couple of years.

Operation Camouflage

The aim of the programme, organised by East Suffolk Council and the Army Welfare Service (AWS) is to bring together young people from different backgrounds to challenge themselves and develop new skills.

Armed Forces Covenant

2019 was the eleventh year a fun packed programme of activities  was held at Rock Barracks, Sutton Heath, near Woodbridge, the home of 23 Parachute Engineer Regiment. This ground-breaking scheme is open to children, aged 8-16, from East Suffolk and those from military families based at Colchester, Wattisham and Woodbridge.

Local Authority Job Opportunities and Work Experience

The Council already promotes the ‘Suffolk Jobs Direct’ platform to service leavers and military families.  Rather than sharing individual jobs that might suit, we are looking at establishing a tech-link from this system into the Career Transition Partnership website.

Work experience at East Suffolk Council is also available to Service families and Service personnel transitioning back to civilian life. If you are interested contact HR@eastsuffolk.gov.uk

VE Day 75th anniversary

The May Bank Holiday in 2020 has been moved to Friday the 8th May to celebrate the 75th anniversary of WWII Victory in Europe Day. Events will be organised around the country.

Veterans Health and Welfare

Did you serve? Are you a veteran? Currently serving? Please let your GP reception know.

Information, help and advice can be found via the Veterans Gateway, but before you need assistance or when visiting your GP surgery let reception know that you served.

Telling the receptionist about your veteran status will trigger the transfer of your full medical documentation from the MOD to your GP, to enable you to benefit from veteran specific services.

Armed Forces Covenant