Derbyshire Armed Forces Community Covenant Grant scheme
The Armed Forces Community Covenant is a promise by local organisation that those who serve or who have served in the armed forces, and their families, are treated fairly.
What is the Armed Forces Community Covenant?
In May 2011, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) published the Armed Forces Covenant and announced measures to support the armed forces community.
One of the key measures announced was the launch of the Armed Forces Community Covenant - a voluntary initiative, which encourages local action to breath life into the principles of the covenant – that there be no disadvantage as a result of service, and special treatment where justified, for example in the case of injured personnel. It covers a wide range of services including healthcare, housing, education, employment and welfare.
In Derbyshire a collaborative approach was taken to develop a Derbyshire wide covenant based on the national framework. Derbyshire County Council and all Derbyshire districts signed up and adopted the covenant during 2012 and have worked together to deliver on pledges.
Chesterfield Borough Council – delivering on pledges
Following the 2012 covenant signing, Chesterfield Borough Council undertook a range of improvements to demonstrate our commitment and support for the armed forces community. This includes:
- Changes to many of our policies and practices to maximise support including housing allocations, homelessness, benefits advice service and concessions on services
- Maintained our commitment to advice services including Derbyshire Unemployed Workers Centre, Citizens Advice Bureau and Derbyshire Law Centre which also support the armed forces community
- Changed our leave policy to support our staff to carry out public duties including up to ten days per year for reservist duties
- Supported the Heroes Welcome scheme
- Enhanced our remembrance and recognition activities with a variety of ceremonies including freedom of the borough for local regiments, commemoration of Armed Forces Day, armistice day and remembrance Sunday commemorations and an extensive World War 1 100 year commemoration programme
The new Derbyshire covenant
At the full council meeting on 27 February 2019 Chesterfield Borough Council again unanimously voted to pledge support to the armed forces community by signing up to the refreshed Derbyshire Armed Forces Covenant. We will be working with partners across Derbyshire to develop a new action plan and take this work even further.