The Ministry of Defence’s Covenant Fund is to award the Royal British Legion and a group of other charities £2m for a new veteran support programme.
The £2 million Veterans Gateway programme will launch in the first half of next year and will help veterans find and access advice and support on a broad range of issues, including healthcare and housing. The Royal British Legion will work with Combat Stress, SSAFA, the Armed Forces Charity, Connect Assist and Poppyscotland to deliver it.
The service will aim to provide veterans, regardless of age or location, with an easy point of contact for advice and help in accessing public, private and charitable services through a 24/7 phone number, a dedicated website and a mobile app.
The £2m was set aside from the £10m a year Covenant Fund as part of the Armed Forces Covenant, which the Government introduced under the Armed Forces Act 2011 “to recognise sacrifices made by the armed forces, and to work with businesses, local authorities, charities and community organisations to support the forces through services, policy and projects”. It was designed to ensure service personnel are not disadvantaged by their service. The Covenant Fund is supported by LIBOR fines.
Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said:
“On leaving the armed forces, the overwhelming majority of our veterans move well to civilian life but the assistance can vary depending on where they live. By setting up and funding this single point of access we’ll make sure that it is easier for former service personnel to get the support they need to buy a house, access medical care or get a job. It’s right that our veterans, to whom we owe so much, get the assistance they need easily and when they need it.”
Information on how to apply to the Covenant Fund can be found on the .gov.uk site.
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