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Information for families

Veteran support services

Veterans Gateway

We put 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.

Address :  Veterans Gateway, PO Box 6997, Cardiff, CF15 5DT Phone : 0808 802 1212

The Army Families Federation (AFF)

Is the independent voice of Army families and works hard to improve the quality of life for Army Families around the world – on any aspect that is affected by the Army lifestyle.  The AFF is independent of the Army and offers confidential advice.  The AFF will deal with your enquiry without revealing your identity.  Tel 01264 382326

The Navel Families Federation (NFF)

Was established in 2003.  The NFF wants Royal Navy and Royal Marines families to feel valued and to be heard.    They talk directly with families of all shapes and forms, across the UK and overseas, through their Portsmouth based and regional teams, enquiries desk and social media.  Their job is to ‘take the temperature’ of families views on different subjects.  Their engagement with families through personal contact, social media and surveys generates evidence that they can capture for the Chain of Command and other stakeholders.  They provide a confidential service that is independent of the Chain of Command.  Tel: 0239 265 4374

The RAF Families Federation (RAF FF)  is funded by the RAF but is an independent organisation.  The RAF FF represents all Royal Air Force Personnel, Regular, Reserve, single, married or in a partnership, together with their families.  The RAF FF provides a voice for the issues and concerns they have about life in the RAF.  RAF FF also has direct access to senior RAF and MOD staff as well as government ministers. Tel: 01780 781650

Family Information Services

Most Local Authorities provide a Family Information Service. The Family Information Service (FIS) offers free help and advice on all aspects of family life to parents, carers, young people and anyone working with families in the Local Authority area. The FIS holds information on a range of subjects but, if they can’t help directly, will put the enquirer in touch with someone who can.

HIVE

An information network available to all members of the Service community. It serves both married and single personnel, together with their families, dependents and civilians employed by the Services.

AGE UK Gloucestershire

If you, or a member of your family, served in the Armed Forces and were born before 1950, Age UK Gloucestershire can ensure you have the essentials for a safe and comfortable later life.

Support includes:-

  • Help applying for any financial benefits you may be entitled to
  • Financial assistance to purchase equipment and home adaptations to help you remain independent at home
  • Helping you to obtain your Veterans’ Badge and service medals
  • In some cases, one-to-one specific support to plan for the later life you want to lead
  • Connecting you with social activities such as Veterans’ Breakfast Clubs and special veterans’ events

Telephone: 01452 422660  Email: enquiries@ageukgloucestershire.org.uk

Armed Forces Charities Portal contains details of over 2,200 Armed Forces charities registered in the UK, including those that cater for the needs of Service and ex-Service personnel and their families, Armed Forces museums and heritage organisations, as well as Cadet Units and organisations. The site is relevant for anyone with an interest in Armed Forces charities, and anyone looking to find out how much and what type of support s available for potential beneficiaries.

Cobseo represents and support the needs and opinions of its member organisations, individually and collectively at central and local government levels and with other national and international agencies.  Cobseo aims to cooperate and collaborate with others in order to provide the best possible level of support to our beneficiaries.  Cobseo has a directory of charities and regimental associations which you can find at www.cobseo.org.uk/members/directory/

Veterans Advisory and Pensions Committee (VA&PC) advises and liaises with Veterans, their families and relevant organisations on their needs, issues and concerns.  VA&PC assists, raises awareness, acts as an advocate and provides governance to the Veterans’ community. It champions the rights of Veterans and their families where there is injustice, inequality or a lack of fairness.  Tel 0808 1914 218

Ministry of Defence (MOD) – support services

A list of support services and advice for armed forces personnel, veterans and their families on UK government website.

Royal Air Forces Association - Gloucester Branch

The Royal Air Forces Association (RAFA) is a registered charity which exists to help the whole Royal Air Force family, providing friendship, help and support to current and former members of the RAF and their dependents.   Gloucester Branch Committee Meeting, Robert Raikes House, 36-38 Southgate St, Gloucester, Gloucestershire, GL1 2DR   Telephone: 0800 0182 361  Email: rafagloucester@gmail.com

Joining Forces

AgeUK Gloucestershire and SSAFA Gloucestershire are working together to support local older veterans. If you or a member of your family were born before 1950, we can help ensure you have the essentials for a safe and comfortable later life.  Telephone: 01452 422660   Email: enquiries@ageukgloucestershire.org.uk

SSAFA

Provides lifelong support for forces personnel and their families. This can include practical, emotional and financial support.

Royal Air force Association

The RAF Association is committed to supporting the RAF Family, whether currently serving, or ex serving, in a wide range of ways, delivering help and support where it is needed.  Support Information and guidance around Housing, Health & Additional Needs, Education & Childcare, Employment & Training.  Contact Details: The RAF Association, 117½ Loughborough Road, Leicester, LE4 5ND  Phone: 0116 266 522

Poppyscotland provides life-changing support to our Armed Forces community.  It reaches

out to those who have served, those still serving and their families at times of crisis and need by offering vital, practical advice, assistance and funding.  Poppyscotland provides a variety of services, including help with welfare, housing, respite breaks and employment.  Tel 0131 557 2782

Future for Heroes

F4H is a charitable organisation designed specifically to offer support to service leavers and veterans who may find their transition to civilian life a challenge.  Spouses/partners also may attend where appropriate.  Phone 07702 596226 Email: admin@g4h.org.uk

Health Services

You will need to register with local health providers such as a doctor, dentist and optician. Try to register as soon as possible so that there is no break in any ongoing care and medication you may be receiving.  Find a service near you:

Find a local doctor

Find a local dentist

Find a local pharmacy

Find a local optician

When you find a doctor and dentist near where you live, or will be living, you will need to contact them directly and ask for a new patient form.

A pharmacist can help you with minor illnesses and injuries, and advise you on the best over-the-counter medicines.

The NHS recommends that you have an eye test every two years. Contact your local optician and book an eye test with them directly.

Healthcare for the Armed Forces

NHS Choices Healthcare information and support for the UK's 10 million-strong armed forces community, including serving personnel, reservists, families and veterans.

The Care Advice Line (TCAL) is a free information and advice service for adults with current or future care and support needs, and their carers and families. It can help you to make informed decisions about how you pay for care and support and the impact this will have on your finances.    Tel: 01452 222200  Email:  enquiries@thecareadviceline.org

Step-A-Side Care Ltd. - Domiciliary Care Service

We are a long-standing care provider in Gloucestershire and the Forest-of-Dean, providing support to a number of vulnerable groups, including those with learning disabilities, autistic spectrum disorders, physical disabilities, mental health problems, challenging behaviour and Dementia. We specialise in working with both young people and the elderly. 29 Market Place, Coleford, GL16 8AA  Telephone: 01594 501230   Email: info@stepasidecare.com

Children’s health services in Gloucestershire

Travel and Transport

Traveline

To get around Gloucestershire, ThinkTravel Traveline provides a quick service to find and plan journeys in and around the county.  The Traveline service helps you plan and organise your trips on public transport. You can:

  • Plan your journey on public transport by postcode, stop and area.
  • Look up timetables
  • Access and print timetables
  • Find your nearest stop and route information

Phone - 0871 22 22 33  The Traveline call center is available from 07:00 to 22:00 daily (except Christmas and New Year Holiday) with trained agents who will help you plan your journey by public transport.

Gloucestershire Park & Ride Service

The Park and Ride service eliminates all the worst bits of driving into town. You don’t have to waste time looking for a parking space and you don’t have to fight through the traffic into the center.

Thinktravel: 

Blue Badge scheme  - Gloucestershire County Council

The Blue Badge scheme is a national scheme designed to give people who are registered severely sight impaired and people who have any permanent and substantial disability the ability to park close to the facilities and services they need to use, so as to improve their lifestyle, independence and freedom of choice. A permanent and substantial disability means that they cannot walk or means they have very considerable difficulty walking.   Blue Badge Team, Hester's Way Library, Goldsmith Road, Cheltenham, GL51 7RT  Telephone: 01242 532302   Email: bluebadge@gloucestershire.gov.uk

Gloucestershire Minibus Scheme

This is a not-for-profit minibus brokerage initiative designed to meet the needs of community organisations such as:

  • Charitable groups
  • Clubs and societies
  • Voluntary and community organisations
  • Schools Colleges
  • Any group operated on a not-for-profit basis.

Organisations which currently own minibuses can also become members and lend them to our members who need transport.  The lender will then receive a contribution towards running expenses.     Transport 21, 17 George Street, Stroud, GL5 3DP  Telephone: 01453 762221

Council Tax

Council Tax is paid to your local district council. You can find out which one this is through the Gov.uk council finder.  Visit: www.gov.uk/find-your-local-council

Once you’ve found your local district council you can visit their council tax pages to find out how to contact them and to view local details.

You can also use a Gov.uk tool to find out the council tax band of your property.  Visit: www.gov.uk/council-tax-bands

Find a home

You can use Rightmove or Zoopla to find a property that suites your needs. These services list many homes to buy or rent in Gloucestershire.

Childcare and Schools

Childcare in Gloucestershire

In Gloucestershire, there are many providers of early learning and childcare for children, including out of school clubs and holiday play schemes for school age children. 

Below is a list of the different types of childcare available.  If you know which you are looking for, simply click on the relevant button and this will bring up a list of all of the childcare providers of that type. 

Home-Start

Home-Start helps Armed Forces families with young children particularly at times of heightened anxieties. These might include key transition points of rebasing, deployment and transition. Volunteers support families who are facing a range of challenges including isolation, as they move away from their existing support networks of families and friends.  Home-Start UK, The Crescent,  King Street, Leicester LE1 6RX   Tel: 0116 464 5490 Email: info@home-start.org.uk

Family Lives

As well as core family support services offered through a dedicated helpline, tailored support around issues such as bullying, special educational needs, is offered and support for specific communities.    Family Lives is one of the first organisations to be awarded a new HSSF quality mark for work in helping support separated families. This will help parents access a range of support to help them during this challenging time

Families First

Within each local area, a team of qualified staff will work with families to look at what is working well, to decide what help is needed for a family to thrive.  A family will complete a Joint Assessment Family Framework (JAFF) with the Families First team to identify appropriate support.

Little Troopers

Little Troopers is a registered charity supporting all children with parents serving in the British Armed Forces, regular or reserve. They provide fundamental resources, initiatives and events to ease and aid repeated separation periods aiming to keep parent and child connected.

Glosfamilies - Gloucestershire Family Information Service

Glosfamiliesdirectory provides information on Childcare, Advice and Early Support, The Local Offer and Things to Do for families with Children aged 0 - 19 years (up to 25 years for children with additional needs). Glosfamiliesdirectory is supported by the Family Information Service who can offer impartial advice and information to both families and practitioners.

Telephone: 08005 420202   Email: familyinfo@gloucestershire.gov.uk

Schools in Gloucestershire

There are a range of different school options, including grammar schools, academies and federated schools. You can search for schools in your area and then visit the school’s individual websites to find out details about the school and it’s application process .

Applying for a school place

Let the school know that you are a service family. The school may be able to provide extra support for your child if needed.

Children of UK Service personnel and other Crown Servants (including diplomats)

Families of UK Service personnel and other Crown Servants are subject to frequent movement within the UK and from abroad, often at relatively short notice.  School places must be allocated to children and their families in advance of the approaching school year if accompanied by an official Ministry of Defence (MOD) or Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) letter declaring a return date. Children of UK Service Personnel may be given excepted status for infant class size purposes when admitted to a school outside the normal admission round.

Admission authorities must:-

  • Ensure that the needs of the children of these families are taken into account.
  • Allocate a school place in advance, if the applicant would meet the criteria when they move to their destination.
  • Invite a Service representative or representatives of other significant concentrations of Crown Servants to join the admission forum.
  • Accept a Unit postal address for applications from service personnel in the absence of a new home postal address.

Admission authorities must not:-

  • Reserve places for blocks of these children, or
  • Refuse a place to such a child because the family does not currently live in the LA area.

Moving Schools pack

The Moving Schools pack is a service family guide to help service parents, to support their child when moving schools. Children of service personnel have to move schools a number of times because of the nature of service life. It is therefore vital that schools have as much information as possible about each child’s achievements and needs to enable them to settle quickly into the new school and begin working at an appropriate level.

Gloucestershire County Council acknowledges that service families may be disadvantaged when applying for a school place as they are more likely to need to apply outside the normal admissions round when schools may already be full or be unable to provide a specific address ahead of a posting in good time for the relevant admissions processes.

This pack should supplement the information that schools must transfer by law, and it will help the school get to know your child.

The Royal British Legion

Children in Service families face some big challenges, such as emotional strain due to parents being deployed, frequent house moves and problems with admission into schools.  The Royal British Legion have explored these challenges and produced best practice guides looking at ways to improve the provision of education to Service children in state-maintained schools.  The guide can be accessed here

Schools Admission Appeals

Advice for parents and guardians on school admission appeals

Advice for parents who applied for a place at a school that was refused and may be considering appealing the decision.  It provides information about:

  • what you should consider before making the decision to appeal
  • how you can exercise your right of appeal
  • what you can expect at each stage of the appeals process

Army Families Federation (AFF) guidance on Admissions and Appeals

It’s not always easy to choose a school for your child, or to get your child into the school of your choice if it is popular or oversubscribed.  Admissions worries and appeals are an ongoing part of Service life. AFF is continually providing evidence to policy makers, including local authorities and the Department for Education, to try to improve your experience of the admission process

Service children in state schools handbook

Service children in state schools (SCISS) was formed as a working group to look into the issues relating to English state schools providing for children whose parents serve in the armed forces. It was convened by CEAS (Children’s Education Advisory Service) in the latter part of 2003. CEAS is a UK wide Ministry of Defence (MOD) service which provides information, guidance and support to service families, schools and local authorities and, since 2010, has been part of the MOD’s Directorate for Children and Young People (DCYP).

Like all children, children of service personnel are individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds. Consequently, their responses to a mobile lifestyle will vary accordingly. Mobility brings both benefits and problems in different proportions for each child. Children may be affected significantly by the attitudes and approaches they encounter both at home and at the schools they attend. Whilst this handbook cannot be exhaustive, it seeks to highlight ways in which many of the benefits may be harnessed and the problems minimised.

Children’s Education Advisory Service (CEAS)

Children’s Education Advisory Service (CEAS) is part of the MOD’s Directorate Children and Young People (DCYP).  They are a tri-service organisation which supports operational effectiveness through the provision of support to Service and eligible MOD civilian families trying to secure appropriate educational provision for their children and young people.

Their priority is the educational well-being of the children and young people whose families we advise and guide. All advice we give is impartial, child-centred and focuses on the best interests of the individual.

The CEAS team is comprised of qualified teachers and experienced case advisors who can answer queries predominantly via email and telephone.

Whilst the education of children remains very much a parental responsibility, CEAS can advise, guide and support families to provide a high quality educational experience for their children, despite the challenges that Service life can present.

Being an outwardly facing arm of DCYP, the direct contact between parents and CEAS, alongside the management and resolution of casework, helps inform the continuous review and redevelopment of policy by the MOD and its partner organisations.

What can CEAS help families with?

CEAS provides authoritative, confidential, impartial advice to Service and eligible MOD civilian families on a wide range of educational issues including:

  • Parental rights and responsibilities
  • Children/ young person’s rights and responsibilities
  • Special Educational Needs and/or Disability
  • School admissions and appeals
  • Overseas education in non-MOD school areas
  • Retention of quarters for educational purposes
  • Continuity of Education Allowance

CEAS does not make decisions about a child/ young person’s education but advise families to allow them to make informed decisions for themselves.  The most effective way to contact the CEAS team is via email. Emails are checked every working day and allocated to case workers to provide the required action.  CEAS helpline: 01980 618244  Email DCYP-CEAS-Enquiries@mod.gov.uk

Pupil Information Profile (PIP)

A transfer document which contains information that supports a young person’s future learning. Schools are encouraged to use it as a helpful tool when the child is about to move to another school. It is intended to support continuous learning by identifying the pupil’s current and future learning needs.

ELSA

Emotional Literacy Support website with online resources for teachers and support staff.

Service Children’s Progression (SCiP) Alliance

UK-wide alliance leading on supporting service children into and through further and

higher education.

MKCHeroes

MKC Heroes (Formally HMS Heroes) is a national support group for the children of Service men and women and their relatives. A tri-Service network of after-school clubs, MKC Heroes brings together members of Service families aged between three and 18 years old from all over the country. Our members are ambassadors and young advocates for Service families across the United Kingdom, and most importantly, they are friends who are there for each other, especially in times of need. Any school can sign up to MKC Heroes.  For information on how to join or for general enquiries, please contact The Royal British Legion MKC Heroes at mkcheroes@britishlegion.org.uk  or call the National Coordinator on 07458 058577.

School Transport

When choosing a school or college you should think about how your child will get there (school transport).  Most children and young people do not qualify for help with transport and you will have to make sure you can meet the costs of getting your child to school throughout their education.  We can only help with the cost of transport in certain situations to children who live in Gloucestershire and attend a maintained school or academy. If we can't offer financial help you may be able to pay for a place on a school bus.  The criteria is set out in our policy: 4-16 Transport Policy 2018-19 (PDF, 649.5 KB)  If you think you qualify, please click here

Spare seat Scheme (Pupils not entitled to free school transport)

 If a school bus is run by GCC and some seats are not yet occupied, you may be able to buy a travel pass, but it is not guaranteed.  If your application is successful, (dependent on spare seat capacity) you will be asked to pay a fee.

Pupils with special educational needs or disabilities

Children and young people with special educational needs may get help with transport but it is not an automatic right. An individual assessment is made of the child's needs and circumstances.

Home to School Transport Department

Email Shire Hall, Westgate Street, Gloucester GL1 2TG  at mainstream@gloucestershire.gov.uk

Free school meals

Your child might be able to get free school meals if you get any of the following:-

  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • the guaranteed element of Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (provided you’re not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)
  • Working Tax Credit run-on - paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit -  your household income must be less than £7,400 a year (after tax and not including any benefits you get)

Children who get paid these benefits directly, instead of through a parent or guardian, can also get free school meals.

Infant free school meals in England

Your child will be able to get free school meals if they’re in:-

  • reception class
  • year 1
  • year 2

We still ask that you apply for this via the normal free school meals applications so as to prevent your child's school missing out on additional funding.  To apply please click here

Private Schools Admissions:

Wycliffe has a long and successful history of working with Forces’ families and is very proud of their boarding community and currently has over 100 Service children attending the College who benefit from the stable, healthy, challenging, fun and friendly environment provided by the school.  With a full weekend programme, Saturday School and many activities and planned excursions, there is plenty of opportunity to keep children occupied and busy.  It is also reassuring to know that during those times when parents might be on the front-line, Wycliffe has former Forces’ staff on board who know exactly what an anxious time it can be for the whole family. Wycliffe provides reassurance, care and support for the whole family and these values are embedded as part of everyday life at the College

Dean Close has been welcoming the children of Armed Forces since 1886 and is proud to have several serving and retired military personnel on our Board of Trustees as well as members of teaching and support staff.  Currently around 30% of Boarders are from Armed Forces families from all ranks and military disciplines.  The School provides a traditional, full-boarding experience where Houses are full at weekends.  Pupils are fully engaged with organised activities, lessons, matches and a programme of Boarding House events on Saturdays and Sundays. Sunday brunch is a chance for siblings in the Preparatory and Senior School to get together to share a meal. Siblings are very welcome to visit each other in their Boarding Houses during recreational time.

Westonbirt School actively welcomes applications from HM Armed Forces personnel and the school has had many forces families over the years.  With small classes and individual attention to every child, forces family children are offered a level of stability and exemplary pastoral care that is required when parents are overseas. Pupils can be secure in a safe and inspiring setting within the acres of natural parkland surrounding the school.  The small and cosy boarding houses ensure all pupils mix well and are known personally by the house staff. Their boarding programme offers a full range of weekend activities with timetabled lessons in the morning until 12pm on Saturdays and matches in the afternoons. There are significant social evenings and activities on offer which include organised trips to the cultural centres of Bath, Bristol and London; evenings out in local restaurants, movie nights at school and an extensive range of clubs.

Support Services & Discount Schemes

Addaction

Serving in our armed forces can be incredibly demanding. Alongside the physical toll, it can have a huge emotional impact on our servicemen and women. Our Right Turn programme provides specialist support for veterans with specially trained Addaction staff.

Help for Heroes

Our mission is to deliver an enduring national network of support for our wounded and their families. We will inspire and enable those who have made sacrifices on our behalf to achieve their full potential.

Combat Stress

Combat Stress is the UK's leading Veterans' mental health charity.

Active Plus

Uses the skills, experience and expertise of injured military veterans to deliver unique programmes that build confidence, communication, motivation and self-belief,  unlocking and nurturing the potential of participants, regardless of their background and circumstance.

Armed Forces Charities Portal contains details of over 2,200 Armed Forces charities registered in the UK, including those that cater for the needs of Service and ex-Service personnel and their families, Armed Forces museums and heritage organisations, as well as Cadet Units and organisations. The site is relevant for anyone with an interest in Armed Forces charities, and anyone looking to find out how much and what type of support s available for potential beneficiaries.

Apply for a Veterans Badge

If you have served in any of the UK armed forces, you're entitled to an armed forces veteran’s badge - and it's totally free. If you've served in the following, you can apply for your badge:  army Royal Navy Royal Marines Royal Air Force (RAF) volunteer ... volunteer or regular reserves However, if you served in the armed forces of another country, or even served alongside the UK armed forces, for example in the Canadian Navy or Royal Australian Air Force, you are not  eligible.

Veteran ID Card

To assist in  access to healthcare and housing support veterans will need this card as proof of of service and Veteran status.

Defence Discount

Defence Discount Service is home of the Defence Privilege Card, the vetted discount card that can be used in stores, restaurants and venues to obtain armed forces discounts. This discount card allows Veterans and the Armed Forces Community to have a card that can allow them to receive military discounts.

Travel Benefits for veterans

Travel Scheme (VCTS) Pass Who can apply for the Pass? Anyone receiving ongoing payment under the War Pensions Scheme or the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (including war widows/widowers and eligible dependents) is entitled to receive a Veterans Concessionary ... under the War Pensions Scheme: this includes widows, widowers and dependents Receiving Guaranteed Income Payment under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme - in your name: this includes widows, widowers and dependents Ongoing payments are awarded to service

Welfare and Finance

Army Welfare Service – Intake & Assessment Team (IAT)

Personal support staff provide accessible, independent, confidential and professional specialist welfare services to serving soldiers and their families with any personal or family difficulty.  Services the team provides: Domestic Abuse, Child and Adult Safeguarding, Bereavement, Relationship difficulties, Stress and Anxiety management, Emotional Wellbeing, signposting.  Phone:- 01904 882053 or 882054

Gloucestershire Welfare Support Scheme

The Gloucestershire Welfare Support Scheme provides one-off practical support to eligible adults and families covering items such as furniture, household goods, white goods and electricity/gas top-ups. There is an emphasis on the use of Non-cash awards / vouchers Recycled items.  They are also able to offer rugs and mats where appropriate, which can be taken when moving house and may be less expensive, so you can obtain more essential household items.  Telephone: 0330 123 5550  email office@gloucWRO.co.uk

Women’s Royal Naval Service Benevolent Trust

The Women’s Royal Naval Service Benevolent Trust exists to provide worldwide advice and financial relief in cases of necessity or distress among its members and their dependants. We can also make grants for the education of members.

Royal Naval Benevolent Trust (RNBT)

The RNBT gives help, in cases of need, to serving and former Royal Naval ratings and Royal Marines other ranks. They also help their partners, children and some others connected with them. The beneficiaries are known collectively as The RNBT Family.  Information and guidance on Housing, Health & Additional Needs, Education & Childcare, Deployments. Guidance around Employment & Training.  Contact Details: The RNBT Headquarters Castaway House, 311 Twyford Avenue, Portsmouth  Phone: 023 9269 0112 Email: rnbt@rnbt.org.uk

Army Benevolent Fund (ABF The Soldiers’ Charity)

ABF The Soldiers’ Charity are for soldiers, for life. They provide financial assistance to all soldiers and their families when in need. Even when a soldier leaves the Army they are

still part of our family and eligible for help.  Offers Care support and financial support. Provides guidance around careers and education.  Contact Details: ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, Mount barrow House, 620 Elizabeth Street, London, SW1W 9RB  Phone: 0845 241 4820 Email: info@soldierschairty.org

Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund

The RAF Benevolent Fund is the RAF's leading welfare charity with a proud tradition of looking after its own. We are there for all serving and former members of the RAF as well as their partners and dependent children.   A spectrum of services are provided that range from their Airplay programme supporting children growing up on RAF stations, to relationship counselling for RAF couples and respite breaks for RAF families and veterans.  67 Portland Place, London, W1B 1AR   Telephone: 0800 169 2942    Email: mail@rafbf.org.uk

Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund

The Royal Marines Charity is dedicated to supporting the entire ‘Corps Family’ – serving, retired and their immediate families.  No matter what stage of your career or life, you can always turn to us for help, regardless of your need.  We work alongside a wide range of specialist partners and other charities to ensure you get the help, support and guidance you need, when and where you need it. You can contact us via our helpline 02392 547224 our online ‘Need Help’ form or by email to welfarreteam@rma-trmc.org

Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund

The Royal Marines Charity is dedicated to supporting the entire ‘Corps Family’ – serving, retired and their immediate families.  No matter what stage of your career or life, you can always turn to us for help, regardless of your need.  We work alongside a wide range of specialist partners and other charities to ensure you get the help, support and guidance you need, when and where you need it. You can contact us via our helpline 02392 547224 our online ‘Need Help’ form or by email to welfarreteam@rma-trmc.org

Veterans Welfare Service (VWS)

The Veterans Welfare Service (VWS) is committed to enhancing the quality of life for veterans and beneficiaries of Veterans UK pensions and compensation schemes, and all their dependants.  The provide support to enable the seamless transition from service to civilian life, assist bereaved families or respond to life events that present welfare needs. They achieve this by facilitating access to all appropriate services.

Future for Heroes

F4H is a charitable organisation designed specifically to offer support to service leavers and veterans who may find their transition to civilian life a challenge.  Spouses/partners also may attend where appropriate.  Phone 07702 596226 Email: admin@g4h.org.uk

The Soldiers' Charity

The Soldiers’ Charity is the national charity of the British Army, providing a lifetime of support to soldiers, veterans and their immediate families when they are in need. We were founded in 1944 to ensure that soldiers returning from World War Two were well cared for. Since then, the welfare of soldiers, past and present, and their families has been at the heart of everything we do.

Money Force

Money Force is a resource aimed at those in service covering all finance, credit, budgeting and debt issues.

Support Services & Programmes

Gloucester Befriending Service

 A family based business with a Christian ethos aiming to provide friendly, neighbourly visits to anyone who needs them.  If you would you like someone to pop in to see an elderly relative once a day, or once a week, for a chat and to check everything is OK? It might be that your elderly mother requires help with the chores or a check that she has taken her medication. It may be that your elderly father would like a lift to see a friend or a visit to the shops. You may like to receive a visit yourself.  Day respite care is also available for those with dementia and trained staff will sit with a client in their own home whilst the carer/spouse has a few hours respite.  Contact Mrs Rebecca Stanley on 01452 312391 or Email glosbs@hotmail.com

Band of Sisters

The Help for Heroes Band of Sisters network is open to loved ones, both male and female, who care for those who have suffered a life-changing injury or illness while in service.   Tel: 01980 844280 Email: bandofsisters@helpforheroes.org.uk

The Warrior Programme

The Warrior Programme runs residential programmes in the South West for veterans and adult family members.    The programme enables individuals to manage their emotions and to develop the resilience, focus and motivation to succeed in today’s world. The programme has been developed over the last ten years to meet the demands and challenges experienced by past and present members of the armed forces and their families.  Telephone: +44 (0)808 801 0898  Email: enquiries@warriorprogramme.org.uk

Directory of Armed Forces Counselling Services in Gloucestershire

Adapting to civilian and family life after a period in the armed forces can be complicated. Many ex-forces families experience difficulties and there are services available which will understand the issues and offer support.

Walking with the Wounded

Established in 2010, Walking With The Wounded supports a pathway for vulnerable veterans to re-integrate back into society and sustain their independence. At the heart of this journey is employment.  We recognise the inherent skills of our armed service personnel and want to complement these qualities, as well as provide support to transfer their skills into the civilian workplace. We offer assistance through our programmes to those vulnerable veterans who have been physically, mentally or socially disadvantaged by their service and assist them in sustaining their independence through new sustainable careers outside of the military. This includes providing support to homeless veterans and veterans in the Criminal Justice System, areas which are too often ignored.

Royal Air Forces Association - Gloucester Branch

 The Royal Air Forces Association (RAFA) is a registered charity which exists to help the whole Royal Air Force family, providing friendship, help and support to current and former members of the RAF and their dependents.  Gloucester Branch Committee Meeting, Robert Raikes House, 36-38 Southgate St, Gloucester, Gloucestershire, GL1 2DR  Telephone: 0800 0182 361 Email: rafagloucester@gmail.com

Legal Advice

Legal Services | Solicitors for Military Service Personnel | AFLA

Armed Forces Legal Action – Legal service for Military Service Personnel

Armed Forces Legal Action (AFLA) is a nationwide scheme, founded in July 2013 by Scottish solicitor, Allan Steele, WS, bringing together lawyers from all parts of the United Kingdom to help the men and women who safeguard our country when they themselves need assistance. 

AFLA member law firms in England & Wales offer a discount of between 15% and one third of fees to:

  • Serving HM Armed Forces personnel (regular and reserve)
  • Those who left HM Armed Forces within the previous two years
  • Those members of HM Armed Forces who have sustained serious combat injuries (Lifetime cover)
  • Recipients of the Victoria Cross and the George Cross (Lifetime cover)
  • Bereaved next of kin recipients of the Elizabeth Cross (Lifetime cover)

Local Gloucestershire Law Firms who are members of the AFLA scheme include:-

 A full directory of other AFLA Law firms in England & Wales can be found here

For more healthcare services in Gloucestershire click here

Bereavement Services in Gloucestershire

Cruse

Following a bereavement Cruse can provide information and support to military families.  Central Office Administration number  020 8939 9530  Free Helpline 0808 808 1677   for general administration email contact address is: info@cruse.org.uk.   For website queries: webmaster@cruse.org.uk.

Winston’s Wish

Winston’s Wish is the leading childhood bereavement charity in the UK. We support families when someone important has died and have been working with bereaved children and their families since 1992. Winston’s Wish offers specialist support to children, young people and families who have been bereaved through the military. This work is funded by the service charity Help for Heroes.     Address :  3rd Floor Cheltenham House Clarence Street, Cheltenham GL50 3JR   Phone : 01242 515157  Email : info@winstonswish.org.uk

Sunflowers Suicide Support

Sunflowers Suicide Support is a registered Charity who exist to reduce the number of people who take their own lives in Gloucestershire. They aim to raise awareness of the stigma that surrounds mental health and highlight and help others identify suicide indicators. They endeavour to equip individuals and the community with the skills to recognise and respond to suicidal behaviour and believe that everyone can play a part in making Gloucestershire a suicide safer community.   Suite 4, The Counting House, Bonds Mill, Stonehouse. Gloucestershire, GL10 3RF   Phone: 07542 527 888  Email: glos.sunflowers@outlook.com 

For more bereavement services please click here

Social

Library Clubs

Library Clubs provide a social activity for people who would otherwise struggle to access library services themselves. Staff and volunteers will be on hand to help people to choose reading/listening materials or use a library computer.  Meet others over a cup of tea and a chat.  In most cases transport to the library can be provided.

Places of worship

There are a variety of places of worship offering support and social activities.  Find a place of worship in Gloucestershire.

Crafts

Gloucestershire has plenty of classes and groups which provide creative and therapeutic arts and crafts sessions.

Services Sound & Vision Corporation

The Services Sound and Vision Corporation is a registered charity set up to entertain and inform Britain's Armed Forces around the world. Its mission: To be the preferred provider of entertainment and information to Service personnel and their families worldwide.

Armed Forces & Veterans Breakfast Clubs (AFVBC)

Armed Forces & Veterans Breakfast Clubs (AFVBC), are a growing network of Armed Forces & Veterans Breakfast Clubs; each club is run independently by their members for the benefit of their members. It works because all have a similar humour, outlook and the social life.  All services are welcome Army, Royal Navy, Royal Marines and Royal Air Force etc. (serving or veterans). If you can cope with the banter, turn up on the specified day/morning and you will be made welcome, the club is run by its members for the benefit of its members and all visitors pay for is what they eat/drink.

Royal Air Forces Association - Gloucester Branch

The Royal Air Forces Association (RAFA) is a registered charity which exists to help the whole Royal Air Force family, providing friendship, help and support to current and former members of the RAF and their dependents.   Gloucester Branch Committee Meeting, Robert Raikes House, 36-38 Southgate St, Gloucester, Gloucestershire, GL1 2DR   Telephone: 0800 0182 361  Email: rafagloucester@gmail.com

Gloucestershire Wheels for all

Our Gloucestershire Wheels for All project runs inclusive cycling sessions for disabled and non-disabled people alike to get together and enjoy the benefits of getting on a bike.

Accessible Cycling Venue, Blackbridge Jubilee Athletics Track, Podsmead, Gloucester, GL2 5AB  Email: gloucestershirewheelsforall@leonardcheshire.org

Scrubditch Care Farm Project

Scrubditch Care Farm is located between Woodmancote and North Cerney, four miles north of Cirencester; it is based on Scrubditch Farm which is a family run business with mainly sheep and cattle. The care farm provides farming-based activities for adults and young people with learning difficulties, challenging behaviour, or mental health problems. Students partake in a variety of activities including working with animals, growing vegetables, fruit and flowers, cooking and learning basic woodworking skills.  Community Groups and Activities  Scrubditch Care Farm, North Cerney, Cirencester, Gloucestershire, GL7 7FE   Telephone: 01285 831750  Email: emma@scrubditchcarefarm.org.uk

Recreation and Adventure breaks

Calvert Trust

The Calvert Trust offers a fantastic weekend break which includes food, accommodation and adventurous activities for just £50 per person.  The offer is open to serving, reserve and veteran armed forces families with a disabled service person, partner or child in the family. The break is available to people of all abilities, including: physical or learning disabilities, ADHD, autism and challenging behaviour, visual or hearing impairment and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Surf Action

Surf Action is a military charity dedicated to supporting serving and ex-serving members of the Armed Forces and their families who suffer from the effects of PTSD, Physical injury or have difficulty re-adjusting to civilian life.

Turn to Starboard

Turn to Starboard is a registered charity using sail training to support Armed Forces personnel affected by military operations. They help retired and serving personnel and their families.

Willow Trust - freedom for disabled people on the water

We operate two boats on the Gloucester to Sharpness Canal from Saul Junction, ten miles south of Gloucester. The boats (which can take up to thirty people) are fully wheelchair accessible and are for the sole use by disabled and seriously ill adults and children.   

The Willow Trust, 11A Whiteway Court, Whiteway Farmhouse, Cirencester, GL7 7BA

Telephone: 01285 651661

Gloucester Griffins - Mixed Ability Rugby

A fully inclusive and safe environment for everyone regardless of age, gender, background or ability. Training and playing at Longlevens RFC we tailor and adapt sessions for all of our players. Including people who have never played before, to experiences veterans, and players returning from injury.  Longlevens RFC, Gloucester, GL2 9EU  Contact: Richard Steward on 07842835178 or Email: richard.getsecured@googlemail.com

Not Forgotten Association

A small, unique and highly personalised tri-service charity whose role is to provide entertainment and recreation for the benefit of the serving wounded, injured or sick and for veterans who suffer from a disability or illness.  Events and activities are open to serving and ex-service men and women of all ages, whether they served in the Army, Royal Air Force, Royal Navy or Merchant Navy; in Regular or Reserve forces, whenever and wherever they served, and whether their physical or mental injury, disability or illness is attributable to their time in service or occurred subsequently.  2 Grosvenor Gardens, London, SW1W 0DH

Telephone: 020 7730 2400  or  020 7730 3660

Walking with the Wounded

Established in 2010, Walking With The Wounded supports a pathway for vulnerable veterans to re-integrate back into society and sustain their independence. At the heart of this journey is employment.  We recognise the inherent skills of our armed service personnel and want to complement these qualities, as well as provide support to transfer their skills into the civilian workplace. We offer assistance through our programmes to those vulnerable veterans who have been physically, mentally or socially disadvantaged by their service and assist them in sustaining their independence through new sustainable careers outside of the military. This includes providing support to homeless veterans and veterans in the Criminal Justice System, areas which are too often ignored.

Family Holiday Breaks

Holidays For Heroes (bereavement & injured veterans)

A non-profit community support group dedicated to help relieve the pressures off service families who have been affected by injury and help the bereaved by organising

everything from flights, to accommodation to provide a much needed break.   Families provide Holidays for Heroes with a bit of time and they will provide you with a break away from it all. Holidays for Heroes Raise funds to cover flights, transfers, insurance, taxes and perhaps even a bit of spending money, work with the expatriate and holiday accommodation community, either gaining significant discounts or, as many do, managing their donation of a free week or three. Work with the Regimental and Corps family support and welfare officers, the Royal British Legion and Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association to identify suitable cases, sort out the administration and generally make sure all they have to do is remember their toothbrushes.

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