Serving members of the Armed Forces, reservists, veterans and their families can get help and advice thanks to the launch of new drop in sessions by the Royal British Legion.

The weekly sessions, being held at Wolverhampton City Council's Civic Centre, will enable people to get information and guidance on any issue including housing, health, welfare benefits and leisure activities. Where the Royal British Legion can't help, they will signpost people to an agency that can.

The sessions, which are also open to members of the public who want to find out more about the Armed Forces, begin on 9 September, 2014 and will take place every Tuesday from 10am to 1pm in the foyer of the Civic Centre, St Peter's Square.

They have been launched after Wolverhampton signed up to the Armed Forces Community Covenant, a pledge of mutual support between the city and its Armed Forces community.

Councillor Elias Mattu, Wolverhampton City Council's Cabinet Member for Leisure and Communities, said: "These Royal British Legion drop in sessions are an important addition to the support already provided to residents by the city council.

"We know from our work on the Armed Forces Community Covenant that members of the armed forces, reservists, veterans and their families face particular difficulties and this new service, provided in partnership with the Royal British Legion, is a really practical way that they can get the help and support they need.

"Alongside our new Type=articles;Articleid=4568;Title=Community Covenant webpages; and the awareness raising sessions we are holding for council employees, this constitutes a really comprehensive package of support to the armed forces community in Wolverhampton."

The Armed Forces Community Covenant calls on local people to support the Armed Forces community in the city, recognise and remember the sacrifices made by the Armed Forces over the years and encourages activities that help members of the Armed Forces 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. In addition, the Armed Forces Community Covenant Grant Scheme makes grants of up to £250,000 available to any section of the community which wants to stage special events or complete projects that support the Armed Forces in some way.

Annette Summers, Advice and Information Team Leader for the Royal British Legion in the West Midlands, said: "The Royal British Legion is now making its services more accessible so people can reach them in the way that suits them and when they need to - in person, online at Type=links;Linkid=4036;Title=The Royal British Legion;Target=_blank; or over the phone on 0808 802 8080.

"At the Civic Centre our case officer Leanne Patel and advice officer Mike Webb will be happy to meet service personnel, ex-servicemen and women and their families if they need help from the Royal British Legion.

"We are here to help people in addition to the statutory services available in Wolverhampton. We will find out how we may be able to help and then either link with local partners or give support through our own specialist services and funding. No other service charity provides the sheer range of advice and support as the Royal British Legion."

Community covenants like the one signed in Wolverhampton complement, at a local level, the national Armed Forces Covenant, which outlines the moral obligation between the nation, the government and the armed forces.

  • released: Thursday 28 August, 2014