People in Wolverhampton are being encouraged to show their support for the Armed Forces this Christmas.

The City is signed up to the Armed Forces Community Covenant, a pledge of mutual support between the city and its Armed Forces community.

It calls on local people to support the Armed Forces community in the city, recognise and remember their sacrifices over the years, and encourage activities that help members to integrate into local life.

It also encourages members of the Armed Forces to help and support the wider community, and promote understanding and awareness among the public of some of the issues faced by former members of the Armed Forces as they return to civilian life.

Councillor John Reynolds, City of Wolverhampton Council Cabinet Member for City Economy, said "Many people in Wolverhampton already show their support for the Armed Forces community and 2015 has been a very busy and productive year for Armed Forces Community Covenant activities in the city.

"Working together in partnership we have achieved a great deal including lots of good work around skills and employment. We have conducted 3 jobs fairs this year which have provided opportunities for civilians to join the armed services on a full or part time basis and we have worked with veterans to help them into employment.

"We have run the nationally acclaimed 'In Support of the Unsung Hero' course, delivered by the University of Wolverhampton. This supports Armed Forces dependents wishing to set up their own business and it has a very good success rate.

"We have reviewed the city's schools admissions policy to ensure that the additional requirements of children of Armed Forces personnel are catered for, and we have continued to work with neighbouring authorities on housing issues affecting the Armed Forces community, while ensuring that our own housing policies don't disadvantage ex service personnel."

In addition, the Black Country Partnership Foundation NHS Trust prioritises the mental health needs of veterans subject to their conditions being related to their service in the Armed Forces.

City Council reception staff have been trained to deal with enquiries from members of the Armed Forces community and a weekly drop in advice surgery offering practical support for veterans and run by the Royal British Legion are held every Tuesday from 10am to 1pm on the ground floor foyer of the Civic Centre.

Serving Armed Forces personnel and veterans are eligible for discounted use of the WV Active leisure facilities at Aldersley, Bilston-Bert Williams and Central. For more information visit Type=links;Linkid=6755;Title=WV Active membership;Target=_blank;.

Community covenants like the one signed in Wolverhampton complement the national Armed Forces Covenant, which outlines the moral obligation between the nation, the government and the Armed Forces. The Ministry of Defence has published its Armed Forces Community Covenant Annual Report 2015 which details all it has achieved in the last year.

You can read the Annual Report and find out more about the support available in Wolverhampton for members of the Armed Forces community and veterans at our special Help for the Armed Forces community Type=articles;Articleid=4568;Title=web pages;.

  • released: Wednesday 23 December, 2015