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Veterans (including Armed Forces Covenant)

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What is the Armed Forces Covenant and what do we mean by Veterans?

Veterans are defined as anyone who has served for at least one day in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces (Regular or Reserve) or Merchant Mariners who have seen duty on legally defined military operations.

“A ‘Service Leaver’ is a term for someone who is in transition from or has ceased to be a member of HM Armed Forces. The term ‘Service Leaver’ is typically used in legal documents, as understanding and use of the term ‘veteran’ does vary, not least amongst those who have served. Many former Armed Forces personnel in the UK do not define themselves as ‘veterans’.” Office for Veterans’ Affairs, UK Government

The Office for National Statistics estimated that in 2017 there were 2.4million veterans in households across the UK, representing about 5% of all households. 60% of veterans were over 65 years old, and 40% were 16 – 64 years old.

The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise by the nation that those who serve and have served, and their families, should be treated fairly.” UK Government

There is specific emphasis on employment, health, justice system and housing. A combination of devolved and non-devolved services but which applies to all public sector organisations, third sector and some private (such as financial institutions). All 22 Local Authorities in Wales have signed the Armed Forces Covenant. There are also 6 Armed Forces Liaison Officers covering all Local Authority areas in Wales.

  • Armed Forces Act 2011: The Armed Forces Covenant was enshrined in law, to ensure that members of the Armed Forces community are not disadvantaged as a result of service when accessing Government and commercial services. Special consideration where appropriate for those injured or bereaved.

A new Armed Forces Bill has already been introduced to the House of Commons and is progressing through the stages to become law. The Bill will enshrine the armed forces covenant in law.

Help and Support

For victims, families and concerned people

Veterans UK provide help, support and advice for veterans as part of the Ministry of Defence.

Royal British Legion can be called on 0808 802 8080. They provide help to members of the Royal Navy, British Army, Royal Air Force, veterans and their families.

Veterans Gateway text on 81212, call on 0808 802 1212, or access online chat or email via their website.

Support for veterans should be available through the Local Authority (see Directory) as part of the Armed Forces Covenant.