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Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Armed Forces Covenant Funding - Boost For Military Personnel & Their Families Living In Dorset



We have achieved a welcome boost for Armed Forces Covenant supporting current and former military personnel and their families in Dorset. A programme to support current and former military personnel and their families in Dorset has received a boost for the next two years in the shape of £234,786 grant from the Ministry of Defence Armed Forces Covenant Fund.


The successful bid, made by Dorset County Council, Bournemouth Borough Council and Borough of Poole, working with Dorset HealthCare and Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner’s Office, will enhance work to make sure members of the armed forces community are treated fairly and equitably across the county.


There are an estimated 51,000 veterans living in Dorset. Dorset has 2% of the country’s veteran population and 1.2% of the overall national population, meaning that Dorset has a greater proportion of veterans than the country as a whole. Projects will focus on areas such as employment, training, schools, health and wellbeing and housing, and builds on the Armed Forces Covenant, a commitment between local public sector organisations and the Ministry of Defence. As well as ensuring Dorset is meeting the statutory obligations laid out in the Covenant, the programme will work with existing organisations currently working with Dorset’s military bases, military families and veterans to make sure they can access appropriate services when they need to. There are also plans to create 13 one-stop-shop Veterans and Armed Forces Family hubs across Dorset, based in libraries.

  

The Corporate Covenant with the armed forces in Dorset recognises our strong commitment to supporting members of the armed forces and veterans living in Dorset. We know that 24% of veterans aged 16-64 report long-term illness, compared to 13% of the general population. Mental health issues figure highly and we are working to address the stigma relating to this and to improve access to care for members of the armed forces, veterans and their families. We are excited to be part of this initiative and pleased to be hosting the covenant officer in our armed forces health and wellbeing service on behalf of the partnership.”


It will also address reoffending rates among veterans. This includes those who are serving a sentence or are being released from custody or prison. The success of our partnership bid provides a fantastic and much-needed opportunity to engage with and provide tailored support to meet the complex needs of our veterans in Dorset.