Veterans: Detailed action plan set up to support Royal Navy, Army and RAF veterans in Portsmouth and Hampshire

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Methods for improving the lives of serving and former armed forces personnel across Portsmouth and the Solent region has been published.

Solent Armed Forces Covenant Partnership Board, consisting of six councils, have banded together to implement strategies to support military personnel and veterans - making sure they are not disadvantaged. Available online for the public, the plans outline how beneficiaries will be supported in their communities for the next two years.

Portsmouth City Council leader Steve Pitt, Liberal Democrat, said: “The thousands of servicemen and women and veterans living in the Solent are a huge part of its very identity. Each person brings their own unique skills and experiences to our places of work and our communities.”

Sarah Standing (050624-77)

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Councillor Steve Pitt, leader of Portsmouth City Council. Picture: Sarah StandingCouncillor Steve Pitt, leader of Portsmouth City Council. Picture: Sarah Standing
Councillor Steve Pitt, leader of Portsmouth City Council. Picture: Sarah Standing

The board consists of Portsmouth City Council, Southampton City Council, Havant Borough Council, Gosport Borough Council, Fareham Borough Council and the Isle of Wight Council - all of which are signatories of the armed forces covenant, which helps serving and former personnel, as well as their families. The armed forces community is estimated at 90,765 adults and children in the Solent region, according to the 2021 census, with 31,255 veterans.

The plan said a method for identifying veterans within homeless counts will be created, with current data being analysed from people being owed homeless duty in government data. Councils are set to work alongside health services to train frontline staff, create a clear pathway for people with complex needs to get help, increase awareness of specific health issues such as substance abuse and support other forms of care.

Methods are also outlined for how the Partnership will work with health providers, military charities and others to better reach and support armed forces members and their families, address factors that disproportionality affect service personnel such as employment, housing, education and poverty, and create methods to make sure the armed forces community knows about the support available to them. Views from armed forces members were gathered from a needs assessment in 2022.

Cllr Pitt added: “Working as a partnership, we recognise the great sacrifice they and their families make. So it's right that our plan is ambitious and sets out the work we will do to make sure armed forces members and their families are not disadvantaged because of their service."

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