Armed Forces Outreach Service

by The Gateshead Housing Company & filed under Find a home, Help in your home - Armed Forces Outreach Service.

Armed Forces Outreach Service

Armed-Forces-Outreach-ServiceArmed Forces Outreach Service helps veterans make the transition from military life back into civilian life and also supports serving members of the Armed Forces and their families.

The service, currently covering Gateshead, Newcastle and South Tyneside and North Tyneside, is run by Mick Downworth, based at Gateshead Civic Centre, a veteran who served 23 years in the British Army.

Mick is supported by veteran Steve Lambert at Your Homes Newcastle, and Kyle Magee, who covers South Tyneside Homes and North Tyneside Homes.

Contact details:

  • Email Mick Downworth (The Gateshead Housing Company) or call 0191 433 2612
  • Email Steve Lambert (Your Homes Newcastle) or call 0191 277 1297
  • Call Kyle Magee (South Tyneside Homes and North Tyneside Homes) on 0191 424 6562.

Gateshead Council also has an Armed Forces Champion, Councillor Stuart Green, who works with partners locally and regionally to help drive improvement to services offered to the armed forces community.

The service is available Monday to Friday, offering help with:

  • Benefits – We can check that you or your family member has accessed all of the benefits available to you from the MOD.
  • Employment – Support and advice on employment can also be provided by our Armed Forces Community Outreach Worker.
  • Housing – Your time in military service will be taken into account if you apply for housing with Gateshead Council. Supported housing is also available for ex-service people through care and support.

Armed forces covenant and fund

We have signed the Armed Forces Community Covenant and were presented on 14 January 2016 with the MOD Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award for the active support we show for serving personnel, veterans and their families.

The Armed Forces Community Covenant is a voluntary statement of mutual support between a civilian community and its local armed forces community.  It commits the borough to key principles, which are that service personnel, veterans and their families should:

  • not be at a disadvantage when they try to access public services such as education, employment, housing, or health care
  • be given special consideration where appropriate in some cases, especially for those who have given most, such as the injured and the bereaved

The Gateshead Armed Forces Community Covenant was signed on 26 January 2012, and the Council has remained committed to the principles. Councillor Stuart Green is our armed forces champion.

View the Gateshead Armed Forces Community Covenant (PDF) 

Covenant Fund

The Covenant Fund has £10 million each year to support the Armed Forces Covenant by funding projects which address specific priorities. There are two routes for applications:

  • small grants, for applications up to a maximum of £20,000
  • large grants, for applications of between £20,001 and £500,000

The following three priorities have been set for the financial year 2015-16 and will be reviewed for 2016-17:

  1. Community integration (to create strong links between Armed Forces and civilian communities, improving perceptions, attitudes and understanding [mostly for local community projects]
  2. The coordination and delivery of support to the Armed Forces community (partnerships and portfolios work best) [mostly strategic solutions, applied through the large grants route]
  3. Former service personnel in the criminal justice system (person-centred service provision that is well-publicised, accessible, joined up and end-to-end; must not replace statutory support) [mostly strategic solutions, applied through the large grants route]

For further information visit the website.

We would be happy to assist any organisation interested in applying for the Covenant Fund.

If you would like further advice or guidance on preparing a covenant fund application, please email Linda Whitfield or call 0191 433 2836.

Armed Forces Network

We have set up an Armed Forces Network to help ex-service men and women, serving officers and their families get the help and support they need from the Ministry of Defence, statutory providers, charities and voluntary sector.

The network aims to:

  • Improve communication and understanding between agencies
  • Identify opportunities for greater synergy between agencies
  • Share information about best practice
  • Help to co-ordinate action to reduce health inequalities and improve services which impact on health and well-being of the armed forces community
  • Raise any other issues of concern

If you represent an organisation which provides support for members of the armed forces community and would like to share information about your work or would like further information about our work email Angela Frisby or call 0191 433 2138.

Want to know more?

  • Email Mick Downworth at The Gateshead Housing Company or call 0191 433 2612
  • Email Steve Lambert at Your Homes Newcastle or call 0191 277 1297
  • Call Kyle Magee, who covers South Tyneside Homes and North Tyneside Homes, on 0191 424 6562.
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