Wokingham Borough Council continues to show support for the local armed forces community and at last week’s Council, reaffirmed its commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant and commitment to achieving the Armed Forces Bronze Award employer status.
The Covenant, first signed by the council in 2013, aims to encourage local authorities and the armed forces community to work closely together to offer support and nurture public understanding and awareness among the public of issues affecting the armed forces community. The Covenant also aims to encourage activities to help integrate the armed forces community into local life as well as to get involve in projects and other forms of engagement.
“The history of this area and the military goes back generations, and we have around 1,000 serving armed forces personnel and veterans living in the borough, so we’re incredibly proud to be part of this Covenant,” said Cllr Angus Ross, armed forces champion at Wokingham Borough Council. “Not only does it allow us to work closely with our local armed forces personnel to help give them the support they need, but it also allows us to benefit from their experience and come up with great initiatives to bring the community together.
“Earlier this year we also signed up to become part of the newly formed Royal Berkshire Civilian Military Partnership Board which brings together all the local councils and armed forces community. The Board will act as a platform to address county wide issues and is a great opportunity for us to share best practice and ideas, as well as the opportunity for shared funding bids to help roll out new projects.”
A range of national and local support is available for the armed forces community including help with buying a new home, support with housing and homelessness, careers support and a range of health and wellbeing initiatives.
Under the Covenant those identified as Armed services personnel include:
- Members of the armed forces and former service personnel
- Bereaved spouses and civil partners of members of the armed forces
- Serving or former members of the reserve forces
In line with this the council is also seeking to achieve Bronze Award status as an employer under the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme. This scheme encourages employers to support the armed forces community and inspire others to do the same.
People can find out more about the Armed Forces Covenant, and the support available for armed services personnel, on the council website www.wokingham.gov.uk by searching for armed forces.
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