Veterans

Veterans are part of the civilian community and can always access civilian support services. Additional information and support services available to veterans and their families are outlined below.

Civilian Support Services

The NHS provides a number of specialist services that may be of use to veterans:

Veterans Healthcare – NHS Choices.   Veterans are entitled to priority healthcare in the NHS. For more information go to NHS Choices.

IAPT Service Directory.   Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) is an NHS programme that offers treatment for people with depression and anxiety disorders by approved intervention services. The IAPT Service Directory outlines local support services, some of which can be accessed by self referral.   Find your local IAPT service  here.

Map of Local Services.   The document ‘After Military Service – Improving Morale’ is detailed in the Additional Information and Resources section below. On the last page of the document is a map of local NHS services that directly support veterans. Contact details are included against each service.

Charity Support

There are many charities that actively support veterans and their families. Although not all can be detailed, the main ones are outlined below:

Royal British Legion. The Royal British Legion (RBL) operate within the community and actively support veterans and their families. They also provide a helpline service – 0808 802 8080 (8am to 8 pm, 7 days a week) – which is free from UK landlines and main mobile networks. Alternatively visit one of the Legion information centres which are located throughout the country. More information can be found in the Information for Victims section, or at RBL.

SSAFA.   SSAFA provide practical, emotional and financial support to serving personnel as well as veterans and their families. More information can be found at SSAFA.  Forcesline is a free, confidential telephone helpline and e-mail service run by SSAFA. Experienced staff provide a supportive listening and signposting service for current and former members of the Armed Forces and their families. The relevant telephone numbers are:

UK                               0800 731 4880

Cyprus                         800 91065

The rest of the world   +44(0)207 463 9292

Falkland Islands          # 6111

Germany                     0800 1827 395

More information can be found at Forcesline.

The Royal Naval Benevolent Trust.   The Royal Naval Benevolent Trust (RNBT) gives help, in cases of need, to serving and former Royal Naval ratings and Royal Marines other ranks. They also help their partners, children and others connected with them. More information on the RNBT can be found here.

ABF The Soldiers’ Charity.   The Soldiers’ Charity provides financial assistance to all soldiers and their families.  This support continues when a soldier leave the Army.  More information on the support available is detailed here.

The RAF Association.   The RAF Association looks after the welfare of everyone who is serving or has served in the RAF, and their families.  More information on the RAF Association is available here.

Royal Marine Association.   The Royal Marine Association (RMA) is there to support all Royal Marines and their families, including veterans. They also run TRiM for Veterans (T4V) which supports all Royal Marine Veterans or those who have served with 3 Commando Brigade. More information can be found here.

Veterans Aid.   Veterans Aid is a charity that supports veterans who are in crisis; they operate by addressing an individual’s most immediate needs as rapidly as possible. They can be contacted on Freephone 0800 012 6867 or by landline 020 7828 2468. Alternatively contact them by e-mail on info@veterans-aid.net. For more information go to Veterans Aid.

Combat Stress.   Combat Stress is a mental health charity for Veterans. It runs a 24 Hour helpline – 0800 138 1619 – for the military community and their families. Alternatively they can be contacted by e-mail at contactus@combatstress.org.uk. They are there to offer advice on various issues from mental health to practical support. For more information go to Combat Stress.

SPACES.   SPACES or the Single Persons Accommodation Centre for the Ex Services is designed to help single Service Leavers find appropriate accommodation. It is based within The Beacon at Catterick, North Yorkshire and provides an accommodation placement service for single personnel being discharged from all three services. Although not directly involved with the issue of domestic abuse, they are experienced in supporting veterans and are an effective signposting service. For more information go to SPACES.  They can also be contacted by telephone on 01748 833797, 01748 872940 or 01748 830191. Their e-mail address is spaces@riverside.org.uk.

Additional Information and Resources

The following information may also be of interest to the veteran community:

Veterans UK.   Veterans UK is overseen by the Ministry of Defence and is there to help ex-service personnel and their families decide which support services to access. The Veterans UK Helpline – 0808 1914 218 – is free to all veterans and their families and provides advice on many topics. Overseas telephone: +44 (0) 1253 866 043. Veterans UK also administers the Armed Forces Pension Scheme and as well as payments for those injured or bereaved through service. More information is detailed at Veterans UK.

Veterans Welfare Service.   The Veterans Welfare Service (VWS) is committed to enhancing the quality of life for veterans and beneficiaries of Veterans UK pensions and compensation schemes, and all their dependants.  It also provides support to enable the seamless transition from service to civilian life, assist bereaved families or respond to life events that present welfare needs.  More information on VWS is available here.

Veterans Council.   The Veterans Council is a charity that offers an Armed Forces Community Directory. The directory is effectively a database of organisations that support the Armed Forces Community. To view the directory go to Veterans Council.

After Military Service – Improving Morale.   After Military Service is a document produced by Graeme Davy-Watts in support of veterans, reservists and their families and also helps them access local services: After Military Service – Improving Morale.

Firing on all Cylinders.   Firing on all Cylinders is a message from Damon Hill.  The NHS is there for you if you need help.