Armed Forces support
Herefordshire’s Armed Forces community represents a significant figure in the overall population of the county - our serving community, reservists, veterans, spouses, family members and carers. As a county, we have a proud and rich connection to the Armed Forces. From establishing a Reserve Regiment over a hundred years ago with many serving in combat across two World Wars, through to a civilian workforce in the factories of Rotherwas. Today, it continues to make an outstanding contribution to our nation with a modern-day Garrison, a Reserve Unit, and active Cadet Forces.
It is the role of Herefordshire’s Armed Forces Covenant Partnership to ensure that those who serve, or have served, and their families are not disadvantaged in any way as a result of their military service.
Our veteran community makes up the majority of our Armed Forces population and we recognise and value the outstanding contribution they have made to our safety. Our veteran community is made up of older veterans, including those who did National Service, right through to younger service leavers, leaving the military after several years and returning back to their home county to be near to family and friends. The majority settle and adapt well to civilian life, but from time to time, the challenges of returning to civilian life and accessing public services can be daunting, particularly if issues start to develop as a result of a military life, and the unique sacrifices our Armed Forces undertake to protect our nation.
There is a good range of local and national military charities who work across Herefordshire. Deciding where to reach out to can be daunting so if in doubt contact Herefordshire Veteran Support Centre. They offer a one-stop and friendly listening ear that will quickly get you to the support needed. They work in partnership with a majority of military charities and local organisations.
Herefordshire Veteran Support Centre
19 West Street, Hereford, HR4 0BX
Tel: 01432 260656
Open Monday / Wednesday / Friday 9am to 5pm
For 24/7 support please contact the Veterans Gateway on 0808 802 1212 or visit www.veteransgateway.org.uk
Age UK Herefordshire & Worcestershire
Veterans Service provides a wide range of personalised support to enhance the quality of life and wellbeing of older veterans (including National Service veterans) and their carers in Herefordshire & Worcestershire.
Offer a range of support to older veterans including welfare advice and assistance, information and advice about residential care, housing issues, home adaptations, legal issues and personal family matters.
Armed Forces Veterans Breakfast Clubs
Provides a safe environment where fellow-minded serving and veterans can meet face to face over a cuppa and breakfast to put the world to rights:
Located at Bosbury, Herefordshire the Buchanan Trust offers rural housing, training and work experience for veterans on their farms. They offer short-term, residential accommodation for up to 40 beneficiaries, for veterans and their families, who have left the services and wish to make a successful return to civilian life but have not yet done this or decided how to achieve it.
Call: 07342 874385
Defence Medical Welfare Service
Providing practical and emotional support to the Armed Forces community whilst they are receiving medical treatment. Based Hereford County Hospital and out in the community. Welfare support is also on hand for serving and veteran families.
Call: 07384 826929
First Light Trust
A place for a brew, a chat and some delicious home-baked cakes for veterans and the public alike. Staff are on hand to assist with individual support such as housing, benefits, mental health and wellbeing.
41-43 Broad Street, Hereford, HR4 9AR
Open: Monday – Saturday (9am – 5pm)
Call: 01432 806 604
YSS: Remember Veterans
For military veterans who are currently in, or are at risk of becoming involved in the criminal justice system. By working closely with their clients they provide bespoke support and will broker specialist assistance from other agencies and military charities. Caseworkers develop a support plan to enable the veteran to access sustainable, independent living.
Call: 07773 930149
Blind Veterans UK
Help for ex-service men and women of every generation rebuild their lives after sight loss.
Defence Transition Service
Offers information and support for those service leavers and their families who are facing challenges as they leave the armed forces and adjust to civilian life.
Help for Heroes
Supporting serving and veteran wounded, injured and sick armed forces personnel, and their loved ones, in Wales & Herefordshire.
Friendly caseworkers provide lifelong support to those who are serving or have served in the British Army, Royal Navy, Royal Marines or the Royal Air Force, and to their families. Whether it’s financial, practical or emotional, they provide the right kind of support, ensuring independence and dignity is protected at all times.
Call: 0808 802 8080
Veterans Welfare Service
Administers the armed forces pension schemes and compensation payments for those injured or bereaved through service. They also provide welfare support to veterans and their families.
Call: 01562 825527
Walking with the Wounded
Deliver employment, mental health, care coordination and volunteering programmes in collaboration with the NHS to get those who served, and their families, whether mentally, socially or physically wounded, back on their feet and making a positive contribution once more.
As well as the military charities – there are a number of organisations, such as the NHS, that have bespoke services for the Armed Forces community.
Defence Medical Welfare Service
The Defence Medical Welfare Service (DMWS), provides independent and confidential medical welfare services (psychosocial support) to the Armed Forces community receiving treatment within the Wye Valley NHS Trust. They understand that any hospital treatment or healthcare intervention whether planned or unplanned can be stressful and can bring with it feelings of isolation, stress and worry, all of which influence recovery. They support the Armed Forces Community hospital patient with solutions that can optimise recovery and assist with timely discharge from hospital once medically stable. This support can be anything from a chat / social visit whilst in hospital from the DMWS Welfare Officer, through to making sure that the right connections are made to other services, including other Charities for when the patient is discharged.
Lee Bayley, Welfare Officer
Call: 07384 826929
Finding a Veteran-Friendly GP Practice
Through Royal College of General Practice, GP surgeries can apply for veteran-friendly accreditation. Practices who have gained accreditation appoint a clinical lead who undertakes training and other activities related to veteran healthcare. The majority of GP practices in Herefordshire are part of this scheme. Find a practice near you.
NHS Finding a Dentist
Use the NHS Dentist search site to find NHS and private dentists in Herefordshire.
NHS Healthcare for the Armed Forces community
If you are in the HM Armed Forces or are a veteran, a reservist or a family member of someone who is serving or who has served, the NHS have a comprehensive step by step guide to accessing their Services.
Wye Valley Trust (County Hospital)
The Wye Valley Trust supports the health commitments of the Armed Forces Covenant ensuring no member of the Armed Forces is disadvantaged, and by giving special consideration where appropriate.
The Trust is a member of the Veterans Covenant Hospital Alliance who are working to improve healthcare in NHS care for people who serve or have served in the UK armed forces and their families.
Confidential help and advice about service-related mental health issues for the whole military community, including families.
Call: 0800 1381619 (24/7)
Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health & Care NHS Trust
The Veteran Mental Health Adviser can offer advice, signposting and support to veterans and their families as they step in and out of mental health services.
Please call 07980 979016 (Monday, Tuesday and Thursdays from 09:00-17:00)
Or pop into Herefordshire Veteran Support Centre on Mondays, 19 West Street, Hereford, HR4 0BX
Fighting with Pride is a military charity supporting LGBT+ veterans, serving personnel and their families, particularly those who were affected by the ‘gay ban’, ultimately lifted on 12 January 2000. They offer befriending support from those with similar ‘lived’ experiences as well as practical guidance.
Op COURAGE is an NHS mental health specialist service designed to help serving personnel due to leave the military, reservists, armed forces veterans and their families.
The service offers a range of support and treatment, including:
- supporting you with intensive emergency care and treatment if you’re in a crisis
- helping you transition from military to civilian life by providing mental health care with Defence Medical Services (DMS)
- supporting armed forces families affected by mental health problems, including helping you access local services
- helping you recognise and treat early signs of mental health problems as well as more advanced mental health conditions and psychological trauma
Everyone at Op COURAGE is either from the armed forces community or is experienced in working with serving personnel, reservists, veterans and their families. They understand military life and the courage it takes to speak with someone. They will work with you to make sure you get the right type of specialist care, support and treatment.
24 hour support - you can call the Op Courage West Midlands Team at any time.
Call: 0300 323 0137
Herefordshire & Worcestershire Suicide Prevention Programme
The team works across both counties, collaborating closely with military charities and in veteran settings to reach out to individuals who may resist access to mental health support. There is a range of local and national resources available to anyone experiencing a mental health crisis available for anyone to access.
One Is Too Many
Offers support to vulnerable veterans and those with suicidal thoughts. Whatever struggles you are facing, you are not alone. One Is Too Many understands that the shift to non-military living brings a number of challenges that can lead to service leavers and veterans feeling isolated and caught between military and civilian worlds. This difficult adjustment can lead to housing problems, debt, health issues, PTSD, or drug and alcohol misuse, which in turn can cause suicidal thoughts and feelings. One is Too Many provides information, coping tools and signposts to organisations where you can find further support.
Samaritans Veteran App
Samaritans Veterans is a free app that aims to help manage the emotional challenges of leaving the military. The app can be accessed on a desktop, tablet or mobile device.
Support for veterans with dementia
Orchestra of the Swan deliver weekly musical workshops, lunches and performances at the Courtyard Hereford for Armed Forces veterans living with dementia. Café Muse is an opportunity for Armed Forces veterans affected by dementia (including carers and/or family members) to meet weekly. The interactive sessions are delivered by trained musicians who are themselves veterans.
Herefordshire & Worcestershire Age UK
Located at their Veterans Meeting Centre at Drybridge House in Hereford, the sessions provide a warm and friendly environment for veterans to enjoy activities and meet new people. They also work within a Maintenance Cognitive Stimulation Therapy framework which is proven to enhance wellbeing and maintain cognitive ability. Members enjoy a hot cooked meal together, take part in meaningful activities, and form new friendships.
Support with substance misuse
Herefordshire Recovery Service, Turning Point
Offers an integrated substance misuse service providing free and confidential support for adults and young people around their use of alcohol and other drugs. Turning Point have a dedicated Armed Forces recovery worker that can be contacted calling 0300 555 0747 or emailing Herefordshire@turning-point.co.uk
The Cart Shed
The Cart Shed runs a veteran programme in North Herefordshire offering a range of courses in coppicing, crafts, hedging/fencing and horticulture. Running alongside the programme is specialist mental health support to help manage issues individuals may be facing. They also offer ‘Escape to the Woods’ holiday activities on a regular basis for military children.
Career Transition Partnership (CTP)
The CTP provides resettlement services for those leaving the Royal Navy, Army, Royal Air Force and Marines. Regardless of time served, all members of the Armed Forces can benefit from CTP support when leaving Service. The partnership also operates as an intermediary service for employers wishing to hire Service leavers.
Forces Families Jobs
A dedicated website for family members of serving personnel seeking training or employment.
Forces Recruitment Solutions
Ex-military recruitment specialists who place military talent into a diverse range of roles across multiple sectors.
Forward Assist Recruitment
A recruitment service, dedicated to those who have served in the Armed Forces.
Hereford Job Centre Plus
Find the nearest local job centre offices in Herefordshire, including a full list of current vacancies. Your local job centre can administer claims for Jobseeker's Allowance, Incapacity Benefit, Employment and Support Allowance and Income Support. The majority of job centres have Armed Forces champions or they can refer you to specialist Armed Forces job coaches (all veterans themselves), that work across the West Midlands.
Herefordshire & Worcestershire Group Training
Herefordshire and Worcestershire Group Training Association is an employer led, not for profit training provider offering bespoke apprenticeships and training to local businesses and communities. They can offer Service leavers a range of pathways leading to a new career.
Heropreneurs directly supports current and former military personnel or their partners through one-to-one mentoring and hands-on guidance, given freely, by some of the country's most successful business leaders. They offer a mentor programme, networking opportunities and workshops helped through digital channels, networking events and workshops.
Visit the Hoople Recruitment website for a comprehensive round-up of local vacancies in the public sector.
Landau Herefordshire support local veterans adapting to civilian life back into work. They support and advise those wanting to go back into education or wishing to find a long-term job. The service offers to support a wide range of veterans, including those with mental and physical health issues.
NMITE, the Higher Education institution based in Hereford works closely with the Armed Forces community, often brokering excellent links with employers as well as bespoke training packages for Service leavers. They also host an annual Military 2 Business Event, bringing the Armed Forces community and businesses under one roof.
Step into Health - NHS
Find a local job within the NHS - Step into Health. Provides a dedicated pathway for the Armed Forces community to access the numerous career opportunities available in the NHS. Visit Step into Health - NHS development and employment opportunities for members of the Armed Forces.
The Poppy Factory
The Poppy Factory supports veterans with health conditions on their journey into employment, helping them overcome any barriers. They offer one-to-one support throughout the whole process and will continue to support individuals once in employment, working closely with employers.
X-FORCES provides comprehensive enterprise and business support to service leavers, veterans, reservists, cadets, spouses and families. They offer training, mentoring and funding opportunities for business start-ups.
The DTS team provides service personnel and their families with advice about civilian accommodation options at any point in their career, including during transition to civilian life.
Veterans in the Criminal Justice System Support Service
A specialist programme run by SSAFA by trained volunteers who offer support and guidance to veterans in the criminal justice system, and their families. They work with veterans in prison, in custody, on probation and in the community. They will assist with financial, practical and emotional support.
YSS: Remember Veterans
For military veterans who are currently in, or are at risk of becoming involved in the criminal justice system. By working closely with their clients they provide bespoke support and will broker specialist assistance from other agencies and military charities. Caseworkers develop a support plan to enable the veteran to access sustainable, independent living. Remember Veterans | YSS is jointly funded by the Armed Forces Covenant Trust and West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner. The programme operates across Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Shropshire.
A number of organisations, shops and attractions show their support for the Armed Forces by providing discounts. Remember to ask when making a booking or enquiry.
Blue Light Card provides those in the NHS, emergency services, social care sector and armed forces with discounts online and in-store.
Defence Discount Services gives members discounts both online and on the high street.
Forces Compare is an independent search engine, specialised in comparing the best insurance and finance options for those with a military background.
HM Forces railcard gives 1/3 off most rail fares throughout the UK for a year. You can apply online or by post.
Rewards for Forces is a discount card providing discounts with over 1300 companies.