Armed Forces Support News

Silver status for MKC’s commitment to the Armed Forces

Milton Keynes Council’s support of the Armed Forces Community has been recognised again this week after being awarded silver status in the national Defence Employer Recognition Scheme.

NFF Newsletter January 2020

Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust

There are a number of  grants available:  


The Positive Pathways is an exciting new programme and is now live!  Grants of £35,000 and £70,000 are available for Armed Forces charities working with members of the ex-forces community facing mental health or wellbeing challenges. They are keen to see projects by veterans, for veterans.  If you have an activity based project - whether sports, arts, heritage or another outdoor activity, check the website for more information, including our programme guidance and how to apply. 

Veterans' Health Awareness Event

Milton Keynes Council and the MK GP Federation held their first veterans’ health awareness event at Parkside Medical Centre on Thursday 16th May.  Local GP Dr Thao Nguyen (who is also a Lt Col in the Royal Army Medical Corps) delivered presentations along with Johanna Hrycak, the council's covenant officer, also a SSgt in the same corps.   The event was the first in a series of planned events to raise awareness of veterans' health issues both amongst the veteran community and GP surgeries.  It was attended by 25 veterans.  The MKGP federation also signed the Armed Forces Covenant.  Mr Andrew Harrington, CEO of the Federation said ‘“The Federation is proud to have signed this covenant.  We will work with our member practices, their staff, and the wider system to ensure we do all we can to improve the health and well-being of our veterans”.

Dr Thao Nguyen delivering a presentation at Parkside Medical Centre
Dr Thao Nguyen, Andrew Harrington (CEO MKGP Federation) and Johanna Hrycak as the Armed Forces Covenant is signed.

Armed Forces Covenant Awareness

The Armed Forces Covenant Project Manager, Johanna Hrycak, met with Kate Lole (Regional Employer Engagement Director) at an Armed Forces Covenant Awareness event at RAF Halton on 12 March 2019.  CEO of the MK Dons, Maralyn Smith (right), was there to learn more about the covenant, which the Dons publically signed on the pitch at half time at their match on 6 April 2019.

AF 12_03_19

Veteran ID Cards

A new ID card to help armed forces veterans gain access to specialist support and services has started to be issued.

Combat Stress

From Strength to Strength, find out how Combat Stress has helped a local volunteer. See page 14 – 15 (PDF, 2.4MB).

Cadet Expansion Scheme

Are you interested in setting up a Cadet Unit (Combined Cadet Force or Sea Cadet unit) within your school?

Cadet Units give students the chance to learn new skills - such as leadership and self-reliance - based on the traditions and values of the armed forces.

If you are a government funded school and interested in exploring further please look at the guide on the website where you can register your interest, check eligibility and find lots of information including what you need to do to set up a new cadet unit.

The University of Northampton is currently conducting a study on the impact of cadet forces and the benefits to society; the Interim Report for this study is available and would make interesting reading for head teachers. The report can be accessed via the University of Northampton website.

Women’s land army and timber corps: veteran's badge application form

Veterans of the Women’s land army and timber corps who served during the First or Second World Wars or at any time until it was disbanded in 1950 can apply for a badge.  If you are interested please complete the application form.

The  2015 Armed Forces Covenant Annual Report  was published in December and sets out major achievements of the Armed Forces Covenant and highlights remaining challenges and new commitments and covers the four areas specified in the Armed Forces Act 2011:

  • Healthcare
  • Education
  • Housing
  • Operation of inquests

It also covers a number of other topics that are relevant to the members of the Armed Forces community.

Disability Confident campaign

Discounted rail travel

If you are a member or a spouse/civil partner of a member of the Regular Armed Forces or Volunteer Reserves then you are eligible for the HM Forces Railcard

Discounts to Veterans - Free Defence Privilege Card offers

Veterans' Gateway has partnered with The Defence Discount Service (DDS) and are offering free discount cards to eligible members of the Armed Forces community.  

The DDS is the official Ministry of Defence discount service for the Armed Forces. The service offers veterans discounts online and in shops across the country.

The DDS is exclusively offering Defence Privilege Cards free to a select number of HM Armed Forces veterans who register as part of the Veterans' Gateway project.

The card usually costs £4.99 per year. There are a limited number of free cards available each year until 2019 under the Veterans' Gateway partnership. The card is valid for five years and clients will need to renew it thereafter.

Visit the Veterans' Gateway website for more information about the Defence Privilege Card. To apply, visit the Veterans' Gateway partnership page on the DDS website and use the password vetgateway at the bottom of the page.

Last Updated: 20 February 2020