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Monday, 11 November 2019

The Annual Rotary Torchlight Carol Service

The Annual Rotary Torchlight Carol Service will be held at Tintern Abbey on SATURDAY 07 DECEMBER 2018 from 5pm.

On Saturday 07 December the Chepstow Rotary Club will stage its annual Torchlight Carol Service at Tintern Abbey.  This most popular family event is always well supported and last year over 600 people attended.  Thanks to posters, in-programme advertising and flyers handed out on the High Street the Club enjoys much local support for this wonderful event.  And every drop of profit goes to charity.

From 5pm families will gather around The Anchor Inn, Tintern and shortly afterwards form columns holding their flaming torches on high to light their way, while the smaller members carry their glowing light-sticks.  In fact, due to the increased numbers, there will now be 2 columns entering the Abbey from different directions. The processions will then walk slowly around the outside of the Abbey while the wonderful singing of the combined Wyedean and St John's on-the-Hill choir radiates from within and adds to the ambience.  It is always most satisfying to see the faces of the young, and not so young, reflected in the flames of the torches as they enter the rear of this beautiful and historic building.   Tintern Abbey is certainly an atmospheric location by day.  But by night, in floodlight, with hundreds of flaming torches burning brightly and with the sound of carols sung by the choir, it becomes a positively magical place.  "Harry Potter has nothing on this", said one young visitor.  Once all are within the Abbey the congregation sings together the most popular carols lead by the combined School Choirs.  The carols will be interspersed with seasonal Bible readings while prayers will be led by the Reverend Tony Jones.

Men suffering Domestic Abuse

Help at Hand - Children's Commissioner

Big White Wall - November Awareness Campaigns

 For More Information Click this LINK

Loss of Entitlement

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Anti Bullying Week (11th-15th Nov) - The Big White Wall

The Big White Wall - New Branding

International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day: 23rd Nov

Monday, 4 November 2019

Reduced tickets for London Irish v Leicester Tigers

Safety event in Sedbury

Hanley Moos - November Offers

MoD: Disability, mental health and wellbeing: civilian workforce report 2019

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has published its first annual workforce report on disability, mental health and wellbeing​. The voluntary report sets out work the department is doing to support staff and promote good practice around disability, mental health and wellbeing.
It highlights the support that the MOD has in place for all employees, including for those with disabilities, support for people with mental health issues, and the wider initiatives in place for all staff to promote their wellbeing.
Link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/disability-mental-health-and-wellbeing-civilian-workforce-report-2019

Thursday, 31 October 2019

Defence Holistic Transition Policy

The MOD published a new policy (JSP 100) and launched a new organisation ‘Defence Transition Services’ simultaneously on 28 October 2019, to provide an additional layer of support for Service Personnel in their through-Service preparations for, and during, their transition into civilian life at the end of their Service, however long or short that may be.

The aim of JSP 100 policy is twofold:
 a.         To ensure that every Service leaver has fully considered all relevant aspects of their departure from the Armed Forces, and (if appropriate) the effect of that departure on their family; and has taken the appropriate steps to ensure that their short-term and long-term transition is as successful as possible.  This may also have the added effect of deterring some intended leavers from doing so, once they consider the scale of the difference between civilian and military lifestyles.
 b.         To ensure that the minority of Service leavers who may, for whatever reason, be less likely to make a successful transition beyond the question of employment (which is already addressed through Defence resettlement policy (JSP 534) and the Career Transition Partnership), receive appropriate support up to and beyond the moment of leaving the Armed Forces.  This support will be provided by the Chain of Command up to the moment of departure, and by the central Defence Transition Services team of dedicated caseworkers once they have formally left the Armed Forces.  Defence Transition Services will also be responsible for providing connections to external support from other Government departments and public bodies, and from trusted charities.  JSP 100 forms the foundational document for Defence Transition Services delivery, with its processes designed to deliver the JSP’s target outcomes of successful transition for every Service leaver.  DIN 2019DIN01-145 also refers, copies should be available through Units or contact HIVE.

School Admission Process - England

School Admissions

 With over 76,000 children from Armed Forces families attending schools in England, additional help is at hand to support these families to navigate the school admissions process. A  video, funded by Forces Connect South East and produced by Hampshire County Council, is now live, offering more detail on the steps Forces parents need to take to secure a school place for their child, with key dates for applications. A link to the video is here.

RBL Housing Guides

The RBL have produced some really useful housing guides for local authorities, who some service personnel will turn to when trying to secure housing after leaving the service.  Although aimed at ‘front line’ housing staff, the guides are also useful for service personnel who are coming up to leaving the service and need housing. The guides are at  this link.​

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

Forces Help to Buy Scheme - Extended to 2022

The Forces Help To Buy scheme was due to end in December 2019.

A Government scheme to help military personnel get on the property ladder has been extended until the end of 2022.
The Forces Help to Buy scheme has lent more than £280 million to more than 18,000 Armed Forces applicants since its introduction in 2014, according to the Ministry of Defence (MOD).
The scheme allows military personnel to borrow an interest-free deposit of up to half their annual salary, but is only accessible to regular serving personnel.
The loan, which has to be repaid over a 10 year period, is capped at £25,000.
It can be used towards buying a home, building an extension or moving to another property because of work or "as their needs change".
It can also be used to cover other costs including solicitor and estate agents' fees.

Feeling the cold? Defence Discount Service


Let us help you warm up, with cosy discounts from your favourite DDS partners - including outdoor clothing, breakdown recovery and meals out!

Visit our website for offer details - www.defencediscountservice.co.uk

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

FAM Poster - Your Accommodation, Your Choice

The 2019 Poppy Appeal launches on 24 October.

The Royal British Legion is best known for the annual Poppy Appeal and its emblem, the red poppy. Every year, the Legion organises a countrywide network of Poppy Appeal collectors to meet huge public demand for poppies, the nation’s symbol of Remembrance.
The Poppy Appeal raises about half of the funds needed for our welfare work every year. It is most visible from the last week in October, when the Legion's lapel poppies are available to the public. Red poppies are worn proudly by the British public from the launch date until Remembrance Sunday or 11 November, whichever is later.
If you would like to get involved, see our section on volunteering for the Poppy Appeal.

Why the poppy?

World War I caused widespread devastation to areas of Northern France and Belgium, but the poppy flowered every year. It brought colour and hope to the devastated landscape.
Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, a doctor serving with the Canadian Armed Forces was deeply moved by what he saw. Inspired by the poppies, he wrote the poem – ‘In Flanders’ Fields’.
Poppies were first suggested as a symbol of Remembrance in the USA by Miss Moina Michael in November 1918. They were adopted by the American Legion in 1920.
In August 1921, Madame Guerin introduced her poppies, made by a French-American charity's widow, to the British Legion. The next suitable occasion for a poppy-linked appeal was Armistice Day, and so the first Poppy Appeal was born.

 Image result for poppy appeal 2019

RSPCA - Fireworks Frighten Animals

No photo description available.

Is Your Service Family Accommodation Winter Ready?

Getting prepared for winter

With winter just around the corner, we’ve put together some self-help advice and guidance on common issues such as how to avoid frozen pipes, boiler issues and blockages in gutters and drains to help keep your home protected during the winter months.
Please Click HERE For More Information

Give Blood to Save Lives

to find your nearest venue and make an appointment

Service Leavers Guide - revised version...

The Oct 19 edition of the Service Leavers Guide has now been published.  Link below takes you to the gov.uk webpage.

Image result for Service Leavers Guide

Monday, 21 October 2019

Estimate your Armed Forces Pension

You may be eligible for an Armed Forces pension if you’re a current or former member of the armed forces. 
If you’re currently serving in the Armed Forces: Use the calculator to work out how much Armed Forces pension you may get.  You can also download and fill in a Pension Forecast Request (Form 12)
If you’ve left the Armed Forces: Download and fill in a Preserved Pension Forecast form (Form 14) to get an estimate of your pension.
For further information CLICK HERE

Do You Want To Start Your Own Business Contact Support the Unsung Hero

Quest Resettlement Magazine - Latest Edition October/November 2019

To read this issue online

Union Jack Club


Published 16 October 2019

·         Most senior officer injured in combat in Afghanistan, who went on to become Director of Recovery at Help for Heroes, is heading up the OVA
·         The new office sits within the Cabinet Office and will pull together all functions of government, and better co-ordinate charity sector provision
 The OVA has been tasked with improving veterans’ services in areas such as mental health,   employment and housing

in his first week in office, Prime Minister Boris Johnson established an Office for Veterans’ Affairs at the heart of government and jointly run by Cabinet Office Ministers Oliver Dowden and Johnny Mercer. The creation was part of a government commitment to ensure world-class provision of life-long veterans’ care services in this country.
Following consultation with veterans, charities and civil society groups government can today announce the full scope of the Office and the programme of work for the months ahead.
Retired Colonel David Richmond CBE, a former Commanding Officer of 5th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, who served in Afghanistan and Iraq and subsequently became the Recovery Director at Help for Heroes has been appointed to head up the OVA.
The OVA has been tasked with:
·         Pulling together all functions of government, and better co-ordinating charity sector provision, in order to ensure this nation’s life-long duty to those who have served
·         Ensuring that every single veteran and their family knows where to turn to access support when required
·         Helping to generate a ‘single view of the veteran’ by making better use of data to understand veterans’ needs and where gaps in provision exist
·         Improving the perception of veterans
The OVA will lead in ensuring the whole of government is delivering better outcomes for veterans, particularly in areas such as mental health, employment and housing. It will work in partnership with local authorities and the Devolved Administrations to coordinate activity across the United Kingdom.
Cabinet Minister, Oliver Dowden, represents the Office for Veterans Affairs in Cabinet. He said:
I want the UK to be the best place in the world to be a veteran.
Through the new Office for Veterans’ Affairs we can make sure that government delivers on its promises to those who have served and make it easier for veterans and their families to get the support they need. The office will also celebrate the brilliant contribution veterans make in many other walks of life after they leave service.
David Richmond CBE said:
I’m honoured to take on this role. As a veteran, I understand the struggles that some face and leading the OVA will provide a unique opportunity to serve our veteran community as they transition to civilian life and to ensure that the experience and the support they receive is world-leading.
I also know that our former military personnel are hugely talented, committed and have a range of skills, experiences and qualifications that we must ensure continues to benefit UK society. I want the OVA to champion veterans and ensure that their skills and talents are recognised fully by employers, business, and wider society.
Minister for Defence People and Veterans Johnny Mercer said:
As we reset this country’s relationship with her veterans, we’re making progress with establishing the Office for Veterans’ Affairs.
David’s knowledge and experience of both military life and our veterans community will mean that the OVA will make a huge difference to our former service personnel.

Get Cakey with Little Troopers

Some of our most successful fundraising events over the last 12 months have  been. CAKE events. We were so excited when we realised this that we just knew we had to create a Little Troopers cake-related event! We have put together a resource pack with everything you need to help you put on your own Get Cakey for Little Troopers fundraiser! We’ve spoken to some of our amazing fundraisers who have held their own cakey fundraisers and they have shared some of their top tips to help you along the way.
There are lots of free resources for you to download, print and use for your events such as bunting, event poster, recipe cards, cake menu and more. We hope you enjoy getting cakey for Little Troopers and don’t forget if you get stuck along the way get in touch. We have 50 fundraising packs to give away (including resource pack, cupcake toppers, stickers, badges and chefs hats to decorate) email us to be sent your pack to get started on your Get Cakey event!


Domestic Abuse Support for Gurkha Families

Please see the attached translated version which is for anyone with a Gurkha link regardless of where they live in the world.

For those who can't get to Rushmoor to access the service in person, telephone or email support is provided.
Contact: Karen.Evans@communitysafetynh.org​
Tel: 01252 774256

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

SSAFA News for Supporters - Autumn 2019

To read this issue online

Service Pupil Premium 2020

The latest Service Pupil Premium (SPP) deadline is the Spring school Census 16 January 2020.  Further information for Service Parents in England is on the attached poster.
Service parents with children in reception class to year 11 at state schools, free schools and academies in England are reminded to make schools aware of their Service status. Only children recorded as Service children on a Spring census (run in January each year) since 2015 will qualify. Schools record Service children by ticking the Service pupil flag and will then receive £300.00 per Service child as part of their usual funding allocations from the Department of Education. Children have to be recorded ahead of the 16 January 2020 deadline.​

House of Commons Defence Select Committee report into the 2018 Covenant Report

The MOD is required to produce an annual report about the Armed Forces Covenant to the House of Commons Defence Select Committee (HCDC).  The HCDC report was issued on 25 September.  It recognised that progress had been made in many areas of the Covenant but raised concerns about a range of areas, attracting a number of media stories about accommodation, access to education and the costs of  UK residency for families of non-British service personnel.  The full report is at the link below.  The 2019 report is in the process of being produced.

Employing Female Service Leavers

The Forces in Mind Trust recently commissioned a study into employment of female service leavers.  It makes a number of observations which will be of interest to female service personnel who are in the process of leaving the service and looking for jobs.

Monday, 14 October 2019

Thursday, 10 October 2019

New UCAS Guidance For Potential Students From A UK Armed Forces Background

Following collaboration between the MOD, UCAS and  the Service Children’s Progression (SCiP) Alliance, UCAS has released a new information and advice page for students from a UK Armed Forces background and it is now live on ucas.com at: www.ucas.com/undergraduate/applying-university/individual-needs/students-uk-armed-forces-background

The information pages cover advice for Service children, veterans and spouses/partners of UK Armed Forces personnel.
There is a great deal of collaborative work taking place with UCAS at the moment, with further developments to be announced later in 2019.

Thursday 10th October: World Mental Health Day

It's World Mental Health Day 2019. The theme this year is “40 seconds of action" to raise awareness of the scale of suicide around the world and the role that each of us can play to help prevent it.

Suicide prevention starts with recognising warning signs & treating them seriously.
If you see or recognise yourself in these signs and symptoms, reach out for support. Even if it doesn't feel like it there are people and organisations who want to help you during this difficult time. Reach out to someone. Do it now.
There is help available👉Did you know that everyone has free access to @BigWhiteWall1, an online #mentalhealth resource available at http://bigwhitewall.co.uk