The Armed Forces Covenant
Since November 2022 the government approved New Armed Forces Covenant Duty. The legislation imposed a new Duty on relevant public bodies, when exercising certain aspects of their public functions in the areas of housing, healthcare, and education to have due regard to the three principles of the Armed Forces Covenant:
- recognising the unique obligations of, and sacrifices made by, the Armed Forces
- the principle that it is desirable to remove disadvantages arising for service people from membership, or former membership, of the Armed Forces
- the principle that specials provision for Service People may be justified by the effect on such people of membership, or former membership, of the Armed Forces
This means that service providers will have to demonstrate that they have considered the principles of the Covenant when making decisions in these key areas.
As a borough council, housing services are directly in the scope of the new Duty, but the council will continue working to ensure these three principles are embedded in our services, policies and practices and consider how this could have an impact on serving personnel, veterans, and their families. Staff are aware that members of the armed forces community may not always identify themselves or their special.
We would also encourage and welcome the armed forces communities to help and support the wider community, whether through participation in events and joint projects or other forms of engagement. The covenant will also mean the borough can bid for between £100 and £250,000 in funding from the Ministry of Defence. This is to support initiatives for the armed forces community in Basingstoke and Deane and to help them integrate into civilian life in the area.
We will support the services community in its area and ensure that they can access services that they are entitled to. Also, to ensure that when services are being reviewed or designed that the issues armed forces personnel and their families face are considered.
Action Plan 2023(PDF) [236 kb]
The Armed Forces Community
Hampshire County Council's website offers a wide range of links to various supporting services and opportunities for those in the Armed Forces, including:
- Civilian Military Partnership
The Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust supports the Armed Forces Covenant by delivering funding programmes that create real change to Armed Forces communities across the UK. They are a charity and look after the Armed Forces Covenant Fund, worth £10M each year.
The Armed Forces Covenant Fund has four broad funding themes now and in future years:
- Non-core healthcare services for veterans.
- Removing barriers to family life.
- Extra support, both in and after Service, for those that need help.
- Measures to integrate military and civilian communities and allow the Armed Forces community to participate as citizens.
For further details on funding programmes and how to apply visit Covenant Grant Fund.
Below are more links to sites providing help and guidance:
- Government’s webpage containing information on the covenant for veterans
- Veterans Gateway – app providing signposting to information, advice and support services including finances, housing, employment, relationships and health
- HeadFIT - online tools to help defence personnel take a more proactive approach to their mental health and fitness
- Funding opportunities for veterans and support organisations