New appointment to support Armed Forces
David's appointment will be key to helping Armed Forces personnel so that they are not disadvantaged by the service that they give to protect our countryBaroness Scott of Bybrook, OBE, Leader of Wiltshire Council and Chair of the Military Civilian Integration Board
Wiltshire Council has appointed an Armed Forces Project Officer to help raise understanding of the Armed Forces Covenant.
David Wood will ensure that the covenant is understood by service providers and businesses and that military personnel also fully understand what they are entitled to.
The covenant, which was first signed in 2011, commits Wiltshire Council, businesses and public and voluntary sector organisations to work with the military to provide help and advice to make sure that Armed Forces personnel and their families are not disadvantaged by their service.
This new appointment follows a successful bid by Wiltshire Council for more than £190,000, on behalf of several other local authorities, to improve awareness and implementation of the covenant.
The funding will support identifying those veterans, reservists and their dependents who could benefit from appropriate support from a range of public, private and voluntary organisations.
Funds will also be used to help identify the underlying causes of issues and to help identify preventative measures.
Mr Wood, who served in the Army for 34 years, will be based at Wiltshire Council and will work closely with neighbouring authorities to ensure a regional approach to the implementation of the covenant.
He said: "There is awareness of the covenant but I'm aiming to raise that even further so that we can provide more effective support for those who serve our country. The covenant is significant and it's now about continuing to raise the profile and work together to support the military community and veterans.
Baroness Scott of Bybrook, OBE, Leader of Wiltshire Council and Chair of the Military Civilian Integration Board, said: "The covenant is there to ensure that the military personnel, both serving and veterans, are not disadvantaged in any way by having been in the armed forces and the importance of this piece of work is to ensure that both service providers understand the aims of the covenant and also that military personnel, serving and veterans, also understand what their rights are within the covenant.
"David's appointment will be key to helping Armed Forces personnel so that they are not disadvantaged by the service that they give to protect our country.
The Armed Forces Covenant funding is also being used to:
• Enhance local understanding through a needs assessment of the military community
• Upskill understanding through training frontline local authority staff
• Create an accredited forces friendly network of champions
• Commit other public authorities and third sector organisations to work collaboratively with local authorities
• Develop a regional web portal signposting veterans to services in their local area
• Coordinate events across the south west to promote the covenant to the public, community and voluntary sector groups and businesses
Each of the partner councils will take the lead on one outcome, while David will ensure the results of the research are used to inform the project through collaboration. Wiltshire is leading on inspiring commitment from other public authorities and third sector organisations to work collaboratively with local authorities for the benefit of the south west regional military community. This will include a series of events across the region to raise awareness, as well as establishing a regional best practice network and web portal.