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Armed Forces Community Covenant commits council to support county’s military

Herefordshire Council has signalled its support to local servicemen and women and their families by signing up to an Armed Forces Community Covenant.

The covenant commits the authority and its partners to providing co-ordinated and proactive support to the Armed Forces communities within the county.

As home to the prestigious and world-renowned Special Air Services, along with the recent decision to adopt The Rifles as the county regiment, the covenant affirms the council’s wish for a joined up approach to understanding and recognising the sacrifices of the county’s Armed Forces community.

It publicly proclaims the council’s desire to do all it can to help the county’s Armed Forces community integrate with the wider community in the county through a structured civilian and military partnership approach.

“Among the aims of the covenant are to encourage local communities to support the Armed Forces community in their areas and nurture public understanding and awareness among the public of issues affecting this community,” said Cllr Olwyn Barnett, chairman of Herefordshire Council.

“It also aims to recognise and remember the sacrifices faced by the Armed Forces community and will encourage activities which help this community integrate into local life,” Cllr Barnett added.

The final aim of the covenant is to encourage members of the Armed Forces community to help and support the wider community, through, among other things, participation in events and joint projects.

One of the organisations involved is the military charity, SSAFA - Forces Help.

Herefordshire chairman, Air Vice-Marshal Mike Smart, said: "SSAFA is honoured to be part of this forward thinking covenant.

"It gives a commitment from all those involved to work together for the greater good of those who need our help; serving men and women, those who have served and the families of both.

"Bringing the voluntary, private and public sectors together to work for the benefit of the serving and ex-serving communities offers the prospect of reducing some of the disadvantages that can be experienced as a result of service in the Armed Forces.

“We look forward to helping implement the covenant in Herefordshire."