Monday, 27 February 2012

The SPVA Survey is closing soon

There's still time to take part in the SPVA Customer Satisfaction Survey, that can be completed online.   The survey closes at the end of February, so please take the opportunity to make your opinions known.

It only takes 10 to 15 minutes to complete and over 1,600 people have completed the online survey, so why don't you take part today.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Community Covenants signed in Birmingham and Fife

The signing of Fife's Community Covenant [picture MOD copyright]

Birmingham and Fife are the latest regions to sign up to the Armed Forces Community Covenant, committed to supporting members of the Armed Forces
Representatives from the Fife Partnership and the Armed Forces met on 21 February, in Glenrothes to sign Fife's Armed Forces Community Covenant while at the same time Birmingham's civic leaders also joined with representatives of the Armed Forces in England's second city.

The important new agreements will build on existing good relations between the Armed Forces and public sector organisations in both Fife and Birmingham and follow several other such agreements signed in communities up and down the country.
The aim of the Community Covenant is to encourage organisations across the UK to support the Armed Forces community in accessing the assistance they might need.

In Fife, for example, this could include support from the charity and voluntary sector as well as organisations including Fife Council, NHS Fife, and Fife Constabulary.

Shropshire Union Canal in Birmingham [picture MOD copyright]

In Birmingham, the Covenant will benefit both serving and ex-Service personnel, covering vital areas including housing, employment, education and health. Under the Covenant, the council will establish a set of principles which will set out how it will support veterans in making the transition back into civilian life.

In addition, as part of the Covenant, members of the Armed Forces will be encouraged to do as much as they can to support the communities they live in and promote activities which help integrate the Service community into civilian life.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Where will you be this weekend?

The SPVA stand can be found in the National Hall, to the right of the main 'Ancestry Academy Stage'

Well, SPVA will be in London this weekend, attending the Who Do You Think You Are Live exhibition.  The event being held at London Olympia from the 24 to 26 February.

The SPVA stand will be manned by staff from the MOD Medals Office and our Historical Casualty Work Team,  you can also find out about our work on Aircraft Archaeology licensing and speak to staff from our Veterans Support.  We'll be able to give advice on entitlement to medals, you can talk to our 'war detectives' who try to identify the remains of First and Second World War casualties which are still being discovered on battlefields today and if you are a veteran, then we can tell you all about the services we provide for the Armed Forces Community.

If you've an interest in genealogy, then this might be an event for you.  And, if you decide to come to the event, then make sure you pop by our stand and say hello.

Please note: there is an admission charge for this event. 

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

FAB returns for 2012

Children at the Ability Outdoors centre in Dalby Forest taking part in confidence and team-building activities [Picture MOD copyright]
The Families' Activity Breaks (FAB) are returning in the summer of 2012 to offer bereaved military families fun and challenging activity-based holidays.

The holidays are designed for families, with children up to 19 years of age, who have suffered the loss of a loved one serving in the Armed Forces.

More details on FAB can be found on the MOD website.

The holidays offer adventure for all the family and a welcome break to meet and socialise with others who have experienced a similar loss [picture MOD copyright]

Friday, 17 February 2012

SPVA news round up

There are a number of items on our website that are likely to be of interest to the Armed Forces Community, so I thought I might point out a few for you to look at over the weekend.

Our survey said . . . over 3,000 people have taken part in our Customer Satisfaction Survey, which closes in a couple of weeks.  It only takes 10 to 15 minutes to complete online, so please consider taking part.

We launched our Charity Hub a couple of weeks ago, it's a work in progress with new charities being researched and added.  It's there for you to get information on charities and organisations that are supporting the Armed Forces Community.  If you work for a charity supporting veterans, then consider contacting us to add your details to the Hub.

Have you taken a look at our online Events Calendar?  We've added some new events recently and the aim of the calendar is to raise awareness of events across the UK.  There might be an event being held in your local area, so it's worth taking a look.  The calendar is free and simple to use, so if you are organising an event, then consider adding your details to the calendar.

If you are a veteran, then our online Veterans Community webpages could have news that you'd like to know; whether its an appeal from an ex-Service charity for volunteers or the chance to tell your story in a TV documentary.

I also found out this week, that over 800,000 HM Armed Forces Veterans Lapel Badges have been issued to date.  So, I thought our Veterans Today video on the badge might provide you with some further information.  If you haven't got your badge yet, don't forget to apply.

Have a great weekend!

Providing vital support to the Armed Forces

A Royal Air Force Chinook helicopter comes in to land at Camp Bastion, Helmand,Afghanistan [Image MOD Copyright]

You might be interested in one of the MOD's online news articles today - Getting personnel home in a hurry.

It's about how the Compassionate Cell, based in at Abbey Wood in Bristol, bring Service personnel and civil servants home from anywhere in the world when they are needed by their families. This service is provided 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The Cell works with the Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre (JCCC), based at SPVA at Imjin Barracks, Gloucester and the Employee Wellbeing Centre based at the Defence Business Services.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Armed Forces Tribute for the Diamond Jubilee

The custom of the Armed Forces paying tribute to a monarch during a jubilee year is an established tradition
The Armed Forces are to mount a spectacular tribute to the Queen to mark her Diamond Jubilee year, 
In honour of Her Majesty The Queen's 60-year reign, Armed Forces personnel will parade through Windsor and muster at the castle on Saturday 19 May 2012.  Nearly 2,500 troops from the Royal Navy, the Army and the Royal Air Force will parade through Windsor in the presence of Her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh.
They will then muster in the castle grounds for a unique event before an audience of more than 3,000 Armed Forces personnel, their families, and veterans. An impressive, tri-Service flypast of current and historic aircraft will conclude the celebrations.

Still a chance to have your say

Our Customer Satisfaction Survey closes at the end of February.  so there's still time to take part.  It's an opportunity to have your say on SPVA and our services available to the Armed Forces Community.

The survey is available online 

Over 3,200 people have taken part so far, with over 1,600 surveys completed online.

It only takes 10 to 15 minutes to complete, so consider putting the survey on your 'To Do' list today.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

More Community Covenants signed

Representatives of the Military and Community Leaders were present at the signing of the Gateshead Community Covenant 

Armed Forces Community Covenants signed in Gateshead and Preston

In two separate signing ceremonies local members of the Armed Forces, both past and present, together with their families, have received a public promise of support from the people of Gateshead and Preston.

Last week, Gateshead Council signed the Armed Forces Community Covenant, pledging to work with local charities and voluntary groups, businesses and private individuals to support current and ex-Service personnel throughout the borough.  Preston City Council became the latest local authority to pledge its support to the military through its signing of a Community Covenant this Monday.
The Community Covenant initiative was one of the key measures in the Armed Forces Covenant published in May 2011. 

Join our hub

You can also access the hub direct on your Smart phone by using the QR code below

We  launched our new Charity Hub which provides detailed information on charities and other organisations that provide support to the Armed Forces community.
With an increasing number of visitors to our  website each month, we’re hoping the hub will be a valuable tool for both ex-Service personnel and their families and all the organisations supporting them.

Scan to get straight to the Charity Hub
The pages provide comprehensive, at a glance pages utilising existing valuable contacts and incorporating many new ones too.
Any charities or organisations, supporting veterans, who want to sign up to the hub,  please express interest by dropping us an email.