Speaking at the Army Families Federation annual conference and launching the next set of Community Covenant Grant projects, Mark Francois confirmed the Ministry of Defence would give £1.3 million to communities across the country – funding 36 new projects. This now brings the total Ministry of Defence spend on the Community Covenant Grant Scheme to £5 million in just over a year.
The new Community Covenant Grant projects announced today include:
* funding for a new support centre for veterans and their families in Nottinghamshire;
* an innovative peer-mentoring scheme to help young people from the Armed Forces integrate into communities in Cornwall;
* helping veterans find work in Glasgow; and
* three projects to bring together the Armed Forces and local communities in Bradford.
The Minister for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans Mark Francois said:
These latest projects demonstrate the high regard the public has for the Armed Forces and I am delighted that people up and down the country continue to show their support and gratitude through each new idea and initiative. As a former Territorial Army officer I welcome any project which will help forge closer links between the Armed Forces and their local communities.
The Community Covenant scheme was launched in June 2011 and since then nearly 150 local authorities across the UK have pledged their support to the Armed Forces and signed up to a Community Covenant, including cities such as London, Edinburgh and Liverpool.
The government also made £30 million available for communities to establish their own projects and kick start initiatives that will make real change for Armed Forces and their families.
Notes to Editors
The Armed Forces Covenant is a statement of the moral obligation which exists between the nation, the Government and the Armed Forces. The Government has already taken swift action to improve the lives of service personnel, veterans and their families. This includes:
* a £15 million investment in prosthetics provision;
* improvements to mental healthcare;
* a scholarship scheme for bereaved service children;
* priority on the Government’s First Buy scheme for members of the Armed Forces in England;
* Doubling Council Tax Relief twice, which now stands at nearly £600 per service person for a six-month deployment;
* tax free operational allowance has doubled so those serving on eligible operations now receive a lump sum of just over £5,000 for a six-month tour; and
* new online postcodes to ensure service personnel stationed overseas have improved access to online and financial services.
For further information on the Armed Forces Covenant and the Community Covenant Grant Scheme visit www.mod.uk/covenant.
For all media enquiries or to find out if there is a Community Covenant Grant project in your area call the Ministry of Defence press office on 020 7218 7924.