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Battle's Over, a nation's tribute - Beacon lighting

In commemoration of the end of the war and the many millions who were killed or came home dreadfully wounded. 1000 beacons of light were lit on 11 November throughout the United Kingdom, including the county beacon at Hertford castle.

Armed Forces Week from 23 June 2018

During Armed Forces Week we showed our support for the men and women who make up the Armed Forces community, from currently serving troops including Reservists, to veterans, cadets and their families. The armed forces flag was raised at Hertfordshire County Council, County Hall on Monday 2 July.

Introducing the External Grants Programme

The Royal British Legion directly helps thousands of beneficiaries every year but we also provide funds to other organisations manage trusts and scholarship funds and help for the wider Armed Forces community.

The Royal British Legion's External Grants programme is open to applications from organisations running, or planning, charitable activities in support of the Armed Forces community.

Qualifying Criteria:

Applications for projects supporting the following outcome themes will be prioritised:

  • Employment and training
  • Family support
  • Homelessness and outreach
  • Supporting the elderly

Please note that the Legion is not inviting applications for multi-year funding at this time. Applications will only be considered for 'one off' payments. Continuation funding may be applied for in following years.

The typical grant award is not likely to exceed £50,000 – smaller applications are encouraged.

For further information or to submit an application to the External Grants programme, please visit our online application portal: 

Service Delivery:

Stage One applications must be completed in the first instance, with successful applicants being invited to complete a Stage Two application.

Please see below key dates for Service Delivery application rounds during 2017/18. Further submission deadlines for future grants rounds will be updated in 2018. 

Capacity Building:

Funding towards capacity-building activities for organisations supporting the Armed Forces community. We will consider funding towards any costs which the applying organisation is able to demonstrate will enhance its capability and/or capability to support Legion beneficiaries. We expect to receive applications towards activities such as:

  • Training for staff and/or volunteers
  • Enhancing governance policies, processes and procedures
  • Premises and equipment
  • Marketing
  • Developing links/learning from other organisations working with similar aims and beneficiaries
  • Support and/or external evaluation of services.

The above is not an exhaustive list. Please contact the External Grants Team should you wish to discuss whether your project is suitable.

We expect the typical grant value to be £100-£10,000. Please contact the External Grants Team in the first instance should you wish to apply for more than £10,000.

We will accept one application from each not-for-profit, non-statutory organisation supporting the Armed Forces community.

This includes existing/previous External Grant recipients, previously unsuccessful applicants, and organisations which have not previously applied. Applying organisations do not have to have been operating for a minimum time period.

Email any enquiries to externalgrants@britishlegion.org.uk

Hertford Year 4 pupil wins Armed Forces Covenant Christmas Art Competition

Jonah Scott - a Year 4 pupil at Wheatcroft Primary School - got the surprise of his life on Monday 29 January when the RAF visited his school to present him with first prize in the Hertfordshire Armed Forces Covenant Christmas Art Competition, organised by Hertfordshire County Council.

The Armed Forces Covenant Christmas Art Competition, in its fifth year, allows primary school children at schools in Hertfordshire to send seasonal greetings to members of the armed forces working away from their families at Christmas.

In 2018 the RAF celebrates its 100th birthday, so the competition linked-up with RAF Henlow to send their greetings to aircrew working in the middle east. Nearly 1000 entries were received from children across the county, with the best sent out to RAF base for judging, and to brighten up their Christmas.

The judging provoked a lot of discussion with the judges finding it incredibly difficult to select the best piece of work, given the quality of the entries. In the end it came down to a tied vote, the commander of the base having the casting vote.

Jonah Scott knew none of this when he came to his assembly on Monday [29th January], but he cannot have missed the representatives of the RAF and 254 Medical Regiment, with their battlefield ambulance parked in the playground. He and all of his schoolmates were already curious and excited – this was not going to be an ordinary assembly.

The presentation was opened by Cllr Terry Douris, Chairman of Hertfordshire Armed Forces Covenant Board, after who Sqd Ldr Craig Hodgskinson from RAF Henlow told the children all about the judging and how much the RAF appreciated their efforts, and passed on a special message from pilots from the Red Arrows display team. He then displayed the winning picture on the screen and presented Jonah with a special prize; a plaque for the school and for him and his class to visit the RAF Base at Henlow.

The children then had a chance to ask the RAF and the 254 Medical Regiment representatives all about the work they do, before being able to look at the ambulance and all of the fascinating equipment the RAF had brought with them.

The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise from the nation that those who serve or have served, and their families, are treated fairly. Hertfordshire County Council signed the Covenant in 2011 and encourages local areas to support the Armed Forces community to: nurture public understanding and raise awareness of issues affecting the Armed Forces community, recognise and remember the sacrifices they face, encourage activities which help to integrate the Armed Forces community into local life and encourage the Armed Forces community to help and support the wider community.

 

Newly launched NHS veterans' mental health transition, intervention and liaison service

Next steps on the NHS 5 Year Forward View; 17,500 forces veterans and service personnel to benefit from £9m investment in new and improved NHS mental health services.

NHS England launched (April 1) a brand new mental health service which has been specially tailored to support and treat ex-armed forces veterans and service personnel who are approaching discharge.

The NHS transition, intervention and liaison (TIL) veterans’ mental health service, will act as a front door to a range of mental health services across the health and care system for 17,500 people over the next 3 years.

Different levels of specialist treatment, support and healthcare experts will be available and on hand - ensuring those who proudly serve and put their lives on the line for their country, get the care they deserve, as quickly as possible - all of the time.

Service personnel approaching discharge and veterans will be able to either self-refer or request referral via their GP or mental health provider or through a military charity like Combat Stress, the Royal British Legion, Help for Heroes and SSAFA. An initial face to face assessment will be offered within a fortnight and where appropriate, a clinical appointment 2 weeks later.

The service has been designed to help recognise some of the early signs associated with mental health difficulties and will provide access to a number of interventions, therapeutic treatments for complex problems and psychological trauma and prevent patients reaching crisis point.

It will also help tackle some of the most common mental health issues such as alcoholism, anxiety and depression, working with local authorities and charities, so that the whole of a person’s needs and their families, are looked after. This might also include help and support on practical issues such as housing after discharge, as well as quick access to social care where necessary and an out of hours contact in the event of an emergency.

The three main elements of the service are:

Transition (service for those leaving the armed forces): Feedback highlighted more should be done to support a smoother transaction from the armed forces to the NHS. The new service will work with the MOD to offer mental health support for armed forces personnel before their discharge date.

Intervention (service for veterans with complex mental health issues): Service personnel approaching discharge and veterans will have an assessment within 14 days of referral. Depending on their individual needs, they will be offered a clinical appointment. They will be treated by a clinician with an expert understanding of armed forces life and culture. They may also be supported by a care coordinator who will work with other services and organisations and act as a single point of contact, to ensure a coordinated approach to their care.

Liaison (general service for veterans): Patients, who do not have any complex presentations, but might benefit from mainstream services, will be referred into local NHS mental health services where they will receive treatment and support.

See more about mental health services for veterans on the Forces Network site.

A County of Soldiers

An event held at Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies on 18 January 2018.

Professor Richard Grayson, military history expert of Goldsmiths University of London hosted talks and military stories from Hertfordshire, Belfast and Dublin. The event also hosted an exhibition for military and historical documents.

 

Christmas Art Competition

Following the resounding success of last year’s Christmas Competition, Hertfordshire’s Armed Forces Covenant decided to run this competition again last year with a difference.

2018 was the year of 100th anniversary of the Royal Air Force, so they linked up with RAF Henlow, who helped judge the competition as well as distribute the art to RAF personnel working away from home at Christmas.

Care charge change for veterans

Hertfordshire County Council has decided to change its charging policy to allow armed forces veterans to keep all of their war disablement pensions.

From 1 April 2016 the County Council won't take war disablement pensions into account when calculating veterans’ contributions toward the cost of their care. Currently, if they need adult social care, all but £10 per week of this pension is taken into account when calculating their care contribution if they were injured before 2005.

Primary schools art competition

Navy salutes Garden Fields School, St Albans

Two Year 4 pupils from Garden Fields School in St Albans were the heroes of the day when members of the Navy and Army came to salute their winning contribution to the Armed Forces Covenant Christmas Art Competition.

The Hertfordshire Armed Forces Covenant is a commitment from public and private organisations, including Hertfordshire County Council, to support the active and retired armed forces community living and working in the county.

The competition, organised annually by the council, invites school children from primary schools across Hertfordshire to design a poster sending Christmas messages to members of an Armed forces unit serving away from home over the holiday period.

Nearly 30 schools from across the county submitted over 1,000 pictures, which were sent to the crew of HMS St Albans, as well as the 254 Medical Unit in Hitchin and the Joint Forces Command Unit in Northwood.

But it was the officers and crew of HMS St Albans who chose the best –the work of Zoe Power and Charlotte Durndell from Medway Class at Garden Fields School.

On Monday (30) county councillor Teresa Hertitage, Chair of the Hertfordshire Armed Forces Covenant Board, introduced a special morning assembly at the school, before Petty Officer Bethany Burton from HMS St Albans, presented a special plaque.

The winning entrants were given a trophy and sports equipment voucher for their school by Kevin Carrol, representing this year’s sponsors Ringway, before Capt Jonathan Heffernan and Sgt Patrick Slaney, from 254 Medical Regiment, rounded the morning off with a question-and-answer session and the chance for the children to look around a fully-equipped battlefield ambulance.

Councillor Heritage said: “The competition gets bigger and bigger every year and we were so impressed by all the children’s entries.

“However, it’s wonderful that this year’s competition, linked to HMS St Albans, should be won by a St Albans School.”

Petty Officer Burton added: “Being away from our families at Christmas can be hard, so to have all of this wonderful art and seasonal greetings was a real boost for everyone on board.”

And Ringway’s Kevin Carrol said: “It was wonderful to see the fantastic artwork that all of the schools produced, and how much the armed forces units appreciated it.  It is a privilege to help develop links between our local armed forces and the community.”

If your school would like to participate in this year’s competition please email Hertfordshire.Heroes@hertfordshire.gov.uk

 

Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce pledges support to the Armed Forces

Yolanda Rugg, CEO of Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce, pledged to support those who serve or have served in the Armed Forces and their families at a business breakfast networking event organised by the Ministry of Defence and the Hertfordshire Armed Forces Covenant Board.

The event brought together over 15 businesses across Hertfordshire on 7 July to learn about the Armed Forces Covenant and how they can offer employment opportunities and support to ex service personnel and reservists.

Cllr Teresa Heritage, Chair of the Armed Forces Covenant Board in Hertfordshire, emphasised the importance of the business breakfast in our county. “This event signals the Hertfordshire Armed Forces Covenant Board’s commitment to further developing links with local businesses to support our reservists, ex-service personnel and our military spouses who may be seeking employment opportunities in Hertfordshire. The Board are looking forward to working with employers to discuss what more can be done to ensure that Hertfordshire takes full advantage of the many skills and experiences that our ex-military communities/families can offer.”

 

Harpenden Confers First Freedom of the Town

A Special Meeting of Harpenden Town Council took place on Thursday 12 September 2015 attended by The Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire, The Countess of Verulam, and other distinguished guests to confer the Freedom of the Town on The Royal Anglian Regiment. 

The Mayor commented "It is fitting that Harpenden's very first freedom should have been conferred on The Regiment with a special award signifying the Town's enduring relationship and strong local association with The Regiment".

The Royal Anglian Regiment was formed in 1964 and since when it has taken part in operational deployment in many parts of the world including Iraq and Afghanistan.  Its soldiers operate in the most hazardous and demanding conditions showing great bravery and fortitude a long way from home.  Even as the award was presented the local infantry battalion, the 2nd Battalion, The Royal Anglian Regiment, have started deployment to Afghanistan. 

The award confirms the historic right to 'exercise the Freedom' by marching through the Town with 'bands playing, drums beating, colours flying and bayonets fixed' and Harpenden looks forward to this privilege being exercised in the near future. 

The Freedom Scroll was accepted on behalf of The Royal Anglian Regiment by Major Harry Hinnell, Officer Commanding Rear Operations Group.  The Mayor was delighted to welcome other representatives of The Regiment, members of The Royal British Legion, veterans and representatives of the cadet forces.

 

Veterans WORLD magazine has gone digital

Veterans World raises awareness of help, advice and support available to veterans and their families via organisations, government, the voluntary and charitable sectors. It's aimed at people who work in an advisory capacity with the public.

Its distribution includes:

  • HM Prisons
  • NHS Primary Trusts
  • Local Authorities
  • Resettlement Officers
  • Mental Health care workers
  • Citizen Advice Bureaux
  • those who work with veterans organisations.

Hertfordshire Regiment Association – Last Parade

The Hertfordshire Regiment TA was the County Infantry Regiment for over half a century and during both World Wars. Men from Hertfordshire proudly served their country in its ranks. Many lost their lives and their names can be found on Memorials throughout Hertfordshire. The Regimental Colours, bearing 18 Battle Honours, are hung in the Regimental Church – All Saints’, Hertford. 

The Hertfordshire Regiment always had a very strong supporting Association, largely drawn from former soldiers who had served within it. Although the Regiment itself was amalgamated with others over 50 years ago, the Association has continued to support the Army in the county. However, over time membership has gradually declined and it's been decided that The Association should amalgamate with that of its successor Regiment. The Association Standard was therefore laid up next to the Regimental Memorial in All Saints’ Church, Hertford, during a service held on Sunday 11 October 2015.

 

Corporal Burt - Hertford VC hero honoured

On the afternoon of Sunday 27th September 2015, Hertford Town Council, in association with Hertford Museum, arranged a ceremony to unveil a commemorative paving stone to Corporal Burt VC.

Corporal Alfred Burt VC was a soldier of the Hertfordshire Regiment and on 27 September 1915, aged 20, he was involved in the British offensive known as the Battle of Loos. It was during this action that he was awarded the VC.

The Worshipful the Mayor of Hertford, Cllr Dr. Linda Radford said: “It was a great privilege to be a part of the ceremony to unveil the commemorative paving stone to honour Corporal Alfred Burt VC. He was one of a group of quite ordinary men who showed extraordinary bravery on the battlefield and saved the lives of many soldiers by his actions. The conditions the soldiers faced in WWI can only be described as hell on earth and we owe then our heartfelt thanks and respect for their bravery in carrying out their duties.”

 

Hertfordshire County Council marked the 7th National Armed Forces Week

The Council Chairman, Frances Button raised the armed forces flag at County Hall, accompanied by the Vice Lord Lieutenant for Hertfordshire, Richard Beazley, the High Sherriff of Hertfordshire, Jonathan Trower, and guests from local armed forces bases.

The flag is being raised in support of the troops as part of the council's commitment to the armed forces and the Hertfordshire Community Covenant.

There were many events on Saturday 27 June to celebrate Armed Forces Day.

Broxbourne Borough Council along with the Chestnut Sea Cadets showed their support for the Armed Forces at their Open Day on 4 July 2015.

Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council also marked the event with the Mayor, Lynne Sparks, Deputy Mayor, Pat Mabbott, Councillors, Members of the Royal British Legion and students from Stanborough School. 

 

St Albans honours Edward Warner VC

WW1 hero Private Edward Warner VC was honoured by his family, St Albans Mayor and his former regiment at a ceremony on Friday 1 May 2015.

Private Warner’s family unveiled a Victoria Cross commemorative paving stone laid in front of the war memorial in St Peter’s Street along with a member of his regiment. The Mayor laid a wreath in a special ceremony to honour Victoria Cross recipients from the First World War. Read more on the St Albans council website.

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