Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Get Connected

If you're interested in resettlement support, then you may have read our earlier post on CTP.

CTP - The Career Transition Partnership , is a partnering agreement between the Ministry of Defence  and Right Management, who are global career development and outplacement specialists, with the Regular Forces Employment Agency and Officers Association providing employment support. The CTP provides resettlement and career transition services to all eligible Armed Forces Service leavers as part of their resettlement process, helping to make the transition from military to civilian life as smooth and successful as possible.

Connect is CTP's bi-annual publication and the second issue of ‘Connect’  ‘Informing Your Future -– An Update to Armed Forces Resettlement’ can be viewed online.

Complimenting and following on from the comprehensive overarching guidance contained in Issue 1, this issue includes detailed updates and features: from the support available to those on the Armed Forces redundancy programme, opportunities being developing for the Wounded, Injured and Sick (WIS), news of the government’s Talent Retention System aimed at helping employees across the advanced manufacturing and engineering sectors,  the huge success of the CTP’s ongoing collaboration with BT Openreach to secure hundreds of Service leavers employment, and a guide to the new and much-improved CTP website

Connect should be on your reading list if you are planning to leave the Services or currently in the Resettlement process.

Maintaining the Roll of Honour

You may be aware that our website holds information and links for the Armed Forces Memorial (AFM) and it also houses the AFM Roll of Honour Facility

The Roll of Honour* details deaths in Service since January 1, 1948 and is normally updated monthly. Its search facility potentially allows you to search for a person who died while they were serving.

The Roll of Honour has just been updated and potentially records the details of  Service Personnel up to and including October 31, 2009.  Partial records are potential available for those who died from November 1, 2009 to October 31, 2010.

It potentially provides details about Service personnel who died over two years ago.  Partial records are normally reviewed two years after the date of death when more information may be available. 

The search facility is simple to use, requiring either the surname,forenames or initials and/or the Service number.  Once you've found the Service person you're looking for, there is an option to print an AFM certificate.

*Inclusion on the Armed Forces Memorial and the Roll of Honour is determined by the AFM Trustees Inclusion criteria.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Join the Hub

If you support veterans...listen to our podcast and get in on the Charity Hub

You may have seen our earlier blog post about the development of a new Charity Hub on our website. Our latest podcast features an interview with Karen Awere from the External Communications Team talking about the Hub.

Karen said:

"Our website has an average of 50,000 visitors per month so this should give you an idea of how many people could find out about your services and how you support veterans."

Clare Ellis interviews Karen Awere in the studio

It's not too late to get involved if you are a charity and think your details need to be on the Hub find further information here.

The podcast and other SPVA social media products are available to access on the SPVA Social Media Hub via the Veterans-UK website and on various social media sites such as iTunes and YouTube.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

New support package for the Welsh Armed Forces Community

A soldier of The Royal Welsh is welcomed home from operations in Afghanistan by his son (stock image)
[Picture: Sergeant Ian Forsyth, Crown Copyright/MOD 2011]

A package of support for the Armed Forces Community in Wales has been launched by the Welsh Government.
There are estimated to be at least a quarter of a million members of the Armed Forces Community in Wales including serving personnel, reservists, cadets and all their families as well as ex-Service personnel.
The package of support sets out commitments to the Armed Forces Community on devolved matters.  These include ongoing as well as new commitments and range from healthcare and housing to education and childcare.

Friday, 11 November 2011

A remembrance broadcast

Radio 4 are marking Remembrance with a special selection of programmes
On Remembrance Sunday at 14.45 hours, Radio 4 is scheduled to broadcast the burial that took place on 1 September at Sanders Keep Cemetery, France of an unidentified British World War 1 soldier , known to have died whilst serving with the Machine Gun Corps (MGC).

The  Coverage will include interviews with Captain Nick Stanley  and Wing Commander Graham August from the British Embassy in Paris, Graham Sacker from the MGC Association and Sue Raftree from the Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre.

First Field of Remembrance in Scotland

Ian Murray with a volunteer planting the crosses in the Field of Remembrance

Hibernian FC captain Ian Murray took a break from training  and joined volunteers to help with the planting of thousands of crosses in Scotland’s first ever Field of Remembrance, which opened this week, as part of events to mark the 90th anniversary of the Scottish Poppy Appeal.

Following a large fundraising appeal mailing to homes across Scotland, Poppyscotland, the charity behind the Appeal, brought in volunteers to help with the planting of 11,000 remembrance crosses in the Field of Remembrance in Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh, which will be situated next to the traditional Garden of Remembrance.

Volunteers helped plant 11,000 remembrance crosses

Speaking of his support Hibernian captain Ian Murray said: 

“It is an honour to be able to represent Hibernian Football Club at the Field of Remembrance. Remembrance Sunday is a day that everyone should respect and it is an opportunity to pay tribute to everyone who has given their lives for this country. I will be wearing my poppy with pride again this year and I would encourage any Hibernian supporter to follow suit because it is such a worthy cause.”

Colin Flinn from Poppyscotland added:  

“We are very grateful to Hibernian FC for their support. It’s been a big undertaking to ensure that the thousands of crosses are included in the display so that members of the public can view the personal and heartfelt messages dedicated to individuals. All our volunteers have worked tremendously hard over the past few days and I give them my deepest thanks. We wanted to do something special to mark the 90th anniversary of the Scottish Poppy Appeal and we have been overwhelmed by the response from our supporters in building a unique display of collective remembrance.”

The Field of Remembrance will be open till Sunday 13th November for public to view. It will be situated adjacent to the traditional Garden of Remembrance on the other side of the Scott Monument. Visiting members of the public who wish to plant crosses can obtain them from the on-site kiosk.

Why heroes are making a return to former battlefields

To mark Remembrance Sunday, the Big Lottery Fund (BIG) has produced a podcast featuring the stories of two World War Two veterans funded through its Heroes Return programme. To date, BIG has awarded over £25 million to more than 51,000 Second World War veterans, their spouses, widows and carers for commemorative journeys back to the places in which they served over 60 years ago.

The podcast includes firsthand accounts from Doug Mayman, who is travelling back to Normandy in April with his daughter to retrace his steps using personal wartime diaries, and Ted Hedges, who talks about his trip back to the Azores where he served with RAF Coastal Command.

Big Lottery Fund Chief Executive Peter Wanless also explains what the Heroes Return programme means to him and the Big Lottery Fund.

Are you a veteran of World War Two or do you know someone who is? 
The programme is still open for applications until 31 January 2012 for journeys up to 31 December 2012 by those who are yet to receive funding. More information is available via the Heroes Return 2 advice line: 0845 00 00 121 or by visiting the website.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Art for Heroes - check your TV planner

The BBC Two Culture Show will air a programme Art for Heroes this Friday at 7pm.

The hour-long programme looks at the role of art therapy in the rehabilitation of ex-Servicemen suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Presenter Tim Samuels meets veterans of recent British conflicts in the Falklands, the Persian Gulf and Northern Ireland, who reveal their personal battle with PTSD as a result of their military career.  They are now using an unlikely weapon to help fight the psychological wounds of war - art.
Visiting art therapy sessions, Samuels discovers how drawing, sculpting and painting are helping the veterans manage the symptoms of PTSD. Dr Lukas Konopka, a professor of neurology in Chicago, has investigated the effects of art therapy on the brain in the treatment of PTSD. The results provide strong evidence of art's potential to heal

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

The Pingat Jasa Malaysia Medal

British veterans awarded the Pingat Jasa Malaysia (PJM) medal have been given permission by Her Majesty The Queen to wear it for the first time during Remembrance events next Sunday.

The Government of Malaysia introduced the medal in 2005 and awarded it to British and Commonwealth veterans who served in the conflict in Malaya in the late 1950s and 1960s.

Approval is not normally given for foreign medals to be accepted if British recognition for a campaign has already been presented. Previously, veterans had been able to accept but not wear the medal. It has now been agreed they can both accept and wear the PJM.

This was done to recognise the generous gesture by the King and Government of Malaysia, and their wish to award the PJM in recognition of service given by many veterans in the difficult years leading up to and following Malaysian independence.

Information on how to apply for the PJM medal can be found on our website.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Armed Forces Covenant recognised in law

The Military Court Centre at Bulford Camp. The Armed Forces Act provides the legal basis for the system of military law which exists in the UK [Picture: Gary Tyson, Crown Copyright/MOD 2006]

The principles of the Armed Forces Covenant have been enshrined in law for the first time after the Armed Forces Bill received Royal Assent yesterday

The new Armed Forces Act 2011 creates the requirement for an annual Armed Forces Covenant report to Parliament each year.

This will set out how the Government is supporting our Armed Forces, their families and veterans in key areas such as healthcare, housing and education.


Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Still time to make a heroes return

Over 39,000 veterans have made a heroes return [image courtesy of BIG Lottery Fund]

To reflect the nation’s debt to the British Armed Forces veterans of the Second World War, the Big Lottery Fund (BIG) has been awarding grants through its Heroes Return 2 programme. To date BIG has awarded over £25 million to more than 50,000 Second World War veterans, widows, spouses and carers across the UK. The closing date for applications is January 31, 2012 for journeys until December 31, 2012.

Launched to mark the historic 60th anniversary of D-Day in 2004, BIG’s first Heroes Return scheme awarded £16.6 million to over 39,000 veterans, spouses, widows and carers to fund commemorative visits to Second World War battlefields, cemeteries and other significant places across the world.

Heroes Return was the centre-piece of the Veterans Reunited programme including Home Front Recall which awarded £19.2 million to support UK-based group events and activities to commemorate those who contributed to the war-effort on the home front, and Their Past Your Future with an ongoing £9.6 million scheme funding a UK-wide schools and education programme to give young people the opportunity to learn first-hand from veterans about their experience of war

Are you eligible?
Veterans who fought with or alongside British Forces in the Second World War and who are resident in the UK or the Republic of Ireland are eligible. War widows and widowers of veterans are also eligible for funding and carers and spouses can receive funding to travel with veterans.

For more information and details of how to apply for a Heroes Return 2 grant call 0845 00 00 121 or go online.