Gurkha anonymous 151118 Credit BFBS
Armed Forces Covenant

Support For Military Community Has Improved, Says Report

A report has revealed how new Government commitments is providing 'effective support' to the military community.

Gurkha anonymous 151118 Credit BFBS

The Armed Forces Covenant Report, published today, has outlined how new commitments made by the Government, local government and charities is offering 'effective support' to the military.

But it's admitted there's "a long way to go" - as welfare groups raise a number of concerns.

The annual Armed Forces Covenant Report sets out the Government's achievements in fulfilling its duty to ensure the military community is treated fairly and without discrimination. 

The report acknowledged a number of key achievements made over the last 12 months, including the new 'Strategy for our Veterans' and the launch of the Armed Forces Flexible Working Act.

Other 'key' achievements include:

  • £23 million of Service Pupil Premium payments made to support 76,000 service children in primary and secondary schools across England.
  • More than 3,000 businesses and organisations have signed the Armed Forces Covenant.
  • Plans to launch the 'Defence Transition Policy' - aiming to improve 'holistic' support to personnel and their families when leaving the Armed Forces. 
Anonymous British soldiers
(Picture: PA).

But the report also includes some problems that still need tackling:

  • 49% of serving personnel consider their accommodation unsatisfactory, the Confederation of Service Charities said.
  • Concerns over the help for those leaving the military to find and keep accommodation.
  • 92% of businesses haven't signed up, and close to three-quarters of firms haven't even heard of the covenant.

Minister for Defence People and Veterans Minister Tobias Ellwood, said:  “This year, we have stepped up support across Government for those who have served our country, those who continue to serve, and their loved ones.

“Today’s report shows the fantastic progress that has been made, promoting mental fitness across the military community, supporting service families, and reaching the 3,000th signing of the Covenant.

“But it also sets out the work still to be done to ensure our armed forces are given every opportunity to thrive, throughout their careers, and as they transition into civilian life.

"As we look forward to 2019, we will continue to provide the best care possible for our people.”

The report also noted how £68 million was invested to improve service family accommodation and that the MOD has increased its spending on mental health for service personnel to £22 million per year.