A joint project that supports armed forces and their families has been awarded nearly £90,000 to strengthen and develop the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Armed Forces Covenant…

Supported by the Ministry of Defence’s ‘Covenant Fund’ the Community Covenant Development project aims to strengthen the work councils do to help support our armed forces community in local life. The project will promote understanding and awareness among the public of issues affecting the armed forces community including mental and physical health, housing, finance, and support after service.

The project is supported by a partnership across local authorities, health, the police service, the voluntary sector and other organisations.

The bid for the fund was led by Cambridgeshire County Council (CCC) and Peterborough City Council (PCC) on behalf of the partnership, and will involve working closely with Cambridge City and all district councils. The aim is to work in partnership with local organisations and communities to come together and support all our armed forces and their families living locally.

With there being five Armed Forces bases to support in Cambridgeshire, the Community Covenant focuses on the armed forces community which includes: Reservists, Cadet Adult Volunteers, Veterans, wounded, injured and sick, military spouses and partners who are not in active service.

Over the coming months, CCC and PCC will be looking to employ a Covenant Officer to work across all councils in Peterborough and Cambridgeshire, who will be committed to reaching out and making connections to support the Armed Forces community.

Cambridgeshire County Council’s Vice-Chairman and Armed Forces Champion, Councillor Mac McGuire, said: “It’s really exciting to have been awarded this generous funding and we’re look forward to working in partnership with other local authorities, organisations and public services to deliver the project.”

Peterborough City Council’s Mayor and Armed Forces Champion, Councillor John Fox, added: “Our aim is to bring communities together, and to recognise and remember the huge sacrifices made by our armed forces. We aim to work and support our Veterans and their families, in particular to lessen any gaps relating to issues such as their housing, education, health and upskilling needs.”

Lieutenant Colonel David Carter, Commanding Officer at Cambridge University Officers’ Training Corps recently hosted the Armed Forces Covenant Forum attended by stakeholders from across the County at their Cambridge Barracks. He said: “This is fantastic news and we are delighted to have helped bring together those from the current and former military community who have the need with others who can help to resolve their issues and help them to flourish. This funding will be vital to implementing the Action Plan we put together at the Forum”.

The funding will be used over a two year period to deliver campaigns and community engagement events including Armed Forces Day (30th June), contributing to the ‘Battles over – a National Tribute’ (11 November) and ‘RAF 100’ (April – November) to reach out and spread awareness of facilities available to Armed Forces personnel and their families.