Date Published: 13 March 2018
Rutland and neighbouring areas are to benefit from more than £110,000 of national funding to help and support members of the armed forces community.
The funding follows a successful bid to the Armed Forces Covenant Fund, led by Rutland County Council and involving South Kesteven District Council and Harborough District Council.
As the lead authority on the bid, Rutland County Council will receive £111,550 to deliver a range of activities aimed at supporting local armed forces personnel and their families, as well as strengthening ties between the armed forces and communities.
Beginning in Rutland, activities made possible as a result of the funding will expand across South Kesteven and Market Harborough as part of a two-year project including:
- The imminent appointment of a dedicated armed forces worker to support the armed forces community in these areas
- Work to identify veterans and families within the community and the creation of a Veterans' database
- Looking at how local services can better support members of the armed forces and their families
- Further engagement with the Veterans' Gateway support service
- Extending Rutland’s Armed Forces Discount Scheme
- Training for frontline staff to better support the armed forces
“This funding is fantastic news and will allow us to do even more to help and support the armed forces community – not just here in Rutland but also further afield. When we talk about the ‘local armed forces community’ it’s natural to focus on those personnel and their families at Kendrew Barracks in Cottesmore or St George’s Barracks in North Luffenham. Actually, the community extends far beyond this to include the many veterans living within our county, as well as all those with armed forces connections in neighbouring areas. The funding we have received will allow us to do more here in Rutland but also extend this offer further – working with partners to provide more joined-up support for members of the armed forces.”
Councillor Richard Foster, Armed Forces Champion for Rutland County Council
“As Armed Forces Champion for Harborough District Council I am delighted there is to be a pool of locally based money which can be used to service the priorities of ex-service personnel in our area. Service personnel are often very private and shy about their achievements, but this locally applied funding will enable our Councils, working together, to really make a difference – developing local support mechanisms and helping families.”
Councillor Michael Rook, Armed Forces Champion for Harborough District Council
Over the past year Rutland has seen 2nd Battalion the Royal Anglian Regiment leave Kendrew Barrack in Cottesmore to be replaced by 2nd Battalion, The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment.
2017 also saw the final squadron of 1 Military Working Dog returned from Germany, uniting for the first time the whole regiment at St George’s Barracks in North Luffenham. Both moves were closely supported by Rutland County Council.
Work has also taken place in Rutland to launch a dedicated Armed Forces Discount Scheme, with more than local 40 business in the county already signed up to offer discounts to members of the armed forces.
Importantly, December 2017 saw the re-signing of the Armed Forces' Community Covenant by Rutland County Council and local partners, reaffirming their continued support for the Armed forces community.
“Last year was perhaps the busiest we have ever had in terms of supporting the armed forces locally. This is set to be another busy 12 months as we look to continue all of this good work and broaden our support to involve other areas. The funding we have received means that, together with our partners, we will be able to work more closely and effectively than ever before to support our armed forces.”
Councillor Richard Foster