Reading Armed Forces Covenant

The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise by the nation ensuring that those who serve or who have served in the armed forces, and their families, are treated fairly.

The Reading Armed Forces Covenant for the Community encourages support for the Armed Forces community working and living in Reading, including Veterans and Reservists and their families.

The Reading Armed Forces Covenant was first signed in 2012 by:

  • Reading Borough Council
  • Representatives of the charitable and voluntary sectors
  • The Business community
  • The civilian community of Reading
  • The Armed Forces community in Reading

Further information on the Armed Forces Covenant

Covenant Grant Fund

The Covenant Fund offers grants of up to £20,000 for projects that respond to the local needs of the Armed Forces community and improve recognition of the Armed Forces Covenant, and that:

  • help integrate Armed Forces and civilian communities, or
  • deliver valuable local services to the Armed Forces community

Applications for funding can be made by any part of the community (volunteer groups, charities, schools and other public bodies).

Information on how to apply

If you would like to discuss your application or would like further information on the Reading Armed Forces covenant, please contact Jill Marston at jill.marston@reading.gov.uk.

Armed Forces general support and gateway services

Organisation Description Contact details
Veterans’ Gateway The first point of contact for veterans seeking support, putting veterans and their families in touch with the organisations best placed to help with the information, advice and support they need – from healthcare and housing to employability, finances, personal relationships and more. 0808 802 1212
Text on 81212
www.veteransgateway.org.uk
SSAFA the Armed Forces Charity Provides practical support and assistant to servicemen and women, veterans and families with welfare advice and support, health and social care support. It offers specialised support for bereaved families and those who are wounded, injured or sick. 0800 731 4880
www.ssafa.org.uk
SSAFA Forcesline Forcesline is a free and confidential telephone helpline and email service that provides support for serving and ex-service men and women and reserves from the Armed Forces and for their families. 0800 731 4880
www.ssafa.org.uk/help-you/forcesline
Royal British Legion Provides free, independent, confidential and impartial advice to everyone on their rights and responsibilities, and aims to improve the policies and practices that affect people’s lives. CA has specific advice pages for the Armed Forces community. 03444 111 306
www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/armed-forces-and-veterans/benefits-and-concessions-for-the-armed-forces-veterans-and-their-families
http://rcab.org.uk
Military Advocacy Service The seAp Military Advocacy Service supports veterans, reservists, and their direct familes, with health, housing, financial, family and social problems. Our specialist service understands and appreciates the distinct needs of veterans, and our advocates work to help get people’s lives back on track.  0330 440 9000
military@seap.org.uk

Health

Organisation DescriptionContact details
Combat Stress Mental health charity which works with Veterans and members of the Reserve Forces 0800 138 1619
www.combatstress.org.uk
Help for Heroes – Hidden Wounds A new mental health and wellbeing service providing free and confidential support to Ex-Service Personnel, their families and the families of those still serving, who are living with anxiety, depression, stress, anger or who wish to change their drinking habits. 0808 2020 144
www.helpforheroes.org.uk/get-support/mental-health-and-wellbeing/hidden-wounds-service
Help for Heroes – recovery centres Provides a range of support and services for wounded, injured and sick serving (Regular and Reserves) and ex-serving personnel who have suffered illness or injuries in the service of the Nation. 01980 844200
www.helpforheroes.org.uk
Help for Heroes – Band of Brothers Available to Veterans, Service Personnel and those who have served alongside our Armed Forces who have suffered a permanently life-limiting or career-ending injury or illness, offering fellowship, support and a listening ear, as well as access to all the financial and welfare support from Help for Heroes. 01980 844280
www.helpforheroes.org.uk/get-support/beneficiary-support-network/band-of-brothers
Militant Mental Health Helpline 0800 323 4444
Samaritans Offers a safe place for you to talk any time you like, in your own way 116 123
www.samaritans.org
PTSD Resolution Providing counselling for former armed forces,
reservists & families
0300 302 0551
https://www.ptsdresolution.org/

SAFFA and Royal British Legion may be able to help with mobility equipment.

Housing

OrganisationDescriptionContact details
Reading Borough Council Housing Advice Team  Borough Council Housing Advice Team
Runs a drop-in service Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm (Wednesdays 12 to 5pm) at the Civic Offices
0118 937 2165
www.reading.gov.uk/homechoice
Reading Street Outreach Team (St Mungo’s) The outreach team can help you move off the streets. They offer support, housing advice and referrals, health advice, drug and alcohol support and can help you reconnect to your home area. 0118 958 5002
www.mungos.org
Shelter Provides advice and guidance on issues relating to housing and homelessness. 0808 800 4444
http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice

Employment

OrganisationDescriptionContact details
Career Transition Partnership Offers resettlement support, career transition advice, and training opportunities for ex-Forces personnel. 01252 348339 or 0203 162 4410
www.ctp.org.uk
Royal British Legion Civvy Street Information and resources to help with the transition from the Armed Forces to a civilian career 0800 169 4073
www.civvystreet.org
Royal British Legion SORTED! Provides a wide range of employment related services and support for the Forces community to find and stay in work. 0800 319 6845
www.sorted.org.uk
British Forces Resettlement Services (BFRS) Social Enterprise created to help the Armed Forces Community with their transition into Civilian life. 02476 939931
www.bfrss.org.uk
The Poppy Factory National employment charity for Veterans with health conditions and impairments. 020 8940 3305
www.poppyfactory.org
Jobcentre Plus All former Service personnel have access to the full range of Jobcentre Plus services, including one of the largest job search facilities in Europe. 0345 604 3719
www.gov.uk/contact-jobcentre-plus
Hire a Hero Hire a Hero supports Service Leavers and Veterans to make the successful transition into civilian life. 01495 366670https://www.hireahero.org.uk

Money

OrganisationDescriptionContact details
Veterans UK Administers the armed forces pension schemes and compensation payments for those injured or bereaved through service. 0808 1914 2 18
www.gov.uk/government/organisations/veterans-uk
Royal British Legion Provides specialist compensation advice, help with deb and can provide support through grants and loans. 0808 802 8080
www.britishlegion.org.uk/get-support/finance
MoneyForce MoneyForce is a joint initiative between Standard Life Charitable Trust, The Royal British Legion and the Ministry of Defence, aiming to assist all Service personnel, their partners, families and dependants, to be better equipped to manage their money and financial affairs. www.moneyforce.org.uk
Defence Discount Scheme Official MoD discount scheme for serving personnel and Veterans 01509 233 446
www.defencediscountservice.co.uk

Support for families

OrganisationDescriptionContact details
Army Families Federation  Offers support, information and guidance to individuals and Army communities on issues that impact on the quality of their lives. 07787 091 883 (regional contact)
http://www.aff.org.uk
Naval Families Federation NFF exists to speak up for Naval Service families about issues and concerns that affect them. 02392 654374
www.nff.org.uk
RAF Families Federation Provides all RAF personnel and their families – Regular and Reserve, single or married – with timely and professional support, assistance and an independent voice regarding issues or concerns that they may have. 01780 781650
https://www.raf-ff.org.uk

Armed Forces general information

OrganisationDescriptionContact details
The Army Reserve Information on joining the Army Reserve 0345 600 8080
www.army.mod.uk/reserve/31781.aspx
The Rifles Regiment The Rifles is the largest infantry regiment within the Army. 7 Rifles is a Reserve Infantry Battalion which supports the Regular Army on Operations and Training, and is currently recruiting. https://www.facebook.com/TheRiflesRegiment 
SERFCA The South East Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association encourages support for the Reserves and Cadets and manages the volunteer estate, as well as raising Awareness of the needs of ex-service Personnel and their Families. 01252 357605
http://www.serfca.org

Armed Forces Covenant Employer Recognition Scheme

Reading Borough Council has been awarded the bronze award from the Armed Forces Covenant Employer Recognition Scheme, which recognises employers who pledge, demonstrate or advocate support to defence and the Armed Forces community, and align their values with the Armed Forces Covenant.