Shropshire Council continues to support the Armed Forces community
Shropshire Council is proud to support the Armed Forces community and, despite the huge challenges this year has brought, referrals to its outreach service continue to increase.
The initial lockdown saw the outreach service, which operates at various locations in the county, moved online. These have worked really well and have had good attendance. They had a number of guest speakers, which have given each session a different theme.
The council is keen to build on their success, with the next one taking place on Wednesday 11 November 2020 at 2pm. People wanting to attend are being asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since pledging its support to the Armed Forces Covenant in 2012, the council has worked with businesses across Shropshire to support military personnel, past and present. This is done through signing the Armed Forces Covenant and making bespoke pledges and offers of support.
The way in which local organisations pledge their support has also had to change and, instead of stopping this important work, the council has carried out virtual Armed Forces Covenant signings on Microsoft Teams – the first in the West Midlands.
Sean McCarthy, Shropshire Council’s Armed Forces Covenant Lead, said:
“In these challenging times it’s now more important than ever to thank and support our Armed Forces community who give so much to Shropshire and the whole of the UK.
“Running our outreach events online has proved successful and we’re continuing to build on the great work we have done to date in partnership with our military partners and local businesses and charities.”
To increase its support, the council is working with council colleagues and the Armed Forces Covenant team to further incorporate the Armed Forces Covenant into law, to ensure that no member of the Armed Forces Community suffers disadvantage as a result of their service.
The legislation will have most effect by making it a legal duty for specified public bodies, including councils, to have due regard to the principles of the Covenant, and by including this commitment in the Armed Forces Bill to ensure it carries enough weight and stature as part of the Armed Forces Act.
The duty will focus on healthcare, housing, and education – the Covenant policy areas encompassed in the Armed Forces Act 2006 – and the areas most likely to affect serving and former members of the Armed Forces and their families. Relevant officers of Shropshire Council are working to provide information and feedback which will be used to shape the legislation and accompanying guidance package.
Ultimately, the legislation with be discussed by MPs in the House of Commons before gaining Royal Assent.
The Armed Forces Covenant Team said:
“The Government is committed to introducing legislation to strengthen the Armed Forces Covenant, and plans to bring it forward next year in the Armed Forces Bill.
“To increase its support, the council is working with colleagues and the Armed Forces Covenant team to further incorporate the Armed Forces Covenant into law to help ensure that no member of the Armed Forces Community suffer disadvantage as a result of their service.”
For more information about the support available for the Armed Forces in Shropshire, visit the Shropshire Council website https://www.shropshire.gov.uk/armed-forces-support/
Poppies in the post
The Poppy Appeal is the Royal British Legion’s biggest fundraising campaign, held every year in November, the period of Remembrance.
Every year, volunteers distribute over 40 million poppies to help the Royal British Legion’s vital work in supporting the Armed Forces community.
Due to coronavirus this year, many of volunteers are unable to help. The Royal British Legion is therefore asking people to help to distribute poppies to their friends and neighbours.
To find out more and get involved, people should visit: