Monday, 17 January 2011

Defence Minister visits SPVA

Lt Col (Rtd) Peter Lockyear (Left) with Andrew Robathan MP (right) at the SPVA Medal Office at Imjin Barracks

The Minister for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans, Andrew Robathan MP, today paid tribute to staff working in support of the Armed Forces in Afghanistan during a visit to our offices at Imjin Barracks, near Gloucester.

The Minister first visited the Agency’s Medal Office which over the last year has issued some 44,000 medals to Service personnel and veterans. He saw first hand the research necessary to confirm entitlement, as well as the preparation, engraving, cleaning and despatch of medals to their rightful recipients. He was especially interested in the work undertaken to prepare and issue the Elizabeth Cross, which is granted to the next of kin of Armed Forces personnel killed on operations, or as a result of terrorism, in a mark of national recognition for their loss.

Andrew Robathan MP (right) and Lt Col (Rtd) Peter Lockyear watch a medal being engraved
The Minister then moved on to see our Joint Casualty & Compassionate Centre (JCCC) and talked to personnel dealing with some of the 90,000 calls the centre receives each year. The JCCC’s operations room receives information on all UK Armed Forces casualties (both injuries and deaths) from around the world, including operations in Afghanistan, and ensures the families of those involved are quickly informed and offered appropriate support. Where death has occurred JCCC staff also support the families of those involved by providing advice on funeral entitlements, arranging the marking of Service graves and assisting the executor with resolution of the deceased’s estate.

Mr Robathan also saw how the JCCC authorises and arranges immediate travel back to the UK for servicemen and women in the event of a family crisis such as the sudden hospitalisation of an immediate family member.

Later, he visited the JCCC’s Commemorations team. This specialist group arranges the tracing of families, repatriation and appropriate funeral services following the discovery of the remains of UK Service personnel on battlefields and aircraft crash sites around the world, often dating back to World War I and beyond

The full press release can be viewed here.


Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Veterans encouraged to have their say on support services

have your say on the services we provide
Amended 13th January 2011
SPVA is appealing to veterans to have their say about the services we deliver. Our Agency’s Veterans Customer Satisfaction Survey was  launched online, and via a hard copy postal distribution to 12,000 veterans, on 10 January, with replies requested by 28 February.

SPVA provides vital support services for HM Armed Forces and the veterans community. These include pensions and compensation for injury/disablement or death due to Service, Armed Forces occupational pensions, the national Veterans Welfare Service, a free helpline and the issue of all medals for Service dating back to WWII.

We are looking for feedback from those who have had dealings with SPVA during the past year, on what services people were happy with and what should be improved in the future.

To tell you a bit more about the survey you can listen to our latest podcast to encourage completion of the survey and provide more information. Regular presenters Clare Ellis and Don Goldie interview SPVA’s Head of Veterans Services, Jon Parkin, about why the survey is so important and how veterans fill it in.

The survey is entirely anonymous and no-one will be contacted by phone or sent mailings as a result of completing it.

The survey can be accessed by visiting the SPVA website and the following link.

For a printed copy of the survey, call 02392 702382.