Armed forces support

Useful information, resources and links to help the armed forces and veteran community, including their families and widow(er)s. This section also includes details of the Northumberland Armed Forces Forum and community covenant.

We’re committed to supporting the local armed forces community including personnel (both in and ex-service), veterans, their families and widow(ers).

We set up the Northumberland Armed Forces Forum to develop links between the council, the armed forces and relevant partners.


Forum members include:
  • Jeff Watson - chairperson and armed forces champion
  • Lt Col Julian R L Smith - co chair of the armed forces forum and Commanding Officer The Queen’s Own Yeomanry 
  • Gordon Castle - vice chair of the armed forces forum and veterans' champion
  • Jonny Harrison - Outreach Worker -  07966 337010
  • Paul Havelock - Outreach Worker - 07966 327142
  • Jackie Roll - lead officer for armed forces support and democratic services manager
  • Telephone: 01670 622603 
  • Email:
The government and Ministry of Defence launched their covenant fund in August 2015. 

The fund will have £10 million every year, and this year they’re prioritising:
  • Armed Forces Covenant: local grants and digital development (grants of up to £20,000)
  • Armistice and Armed Forces Communities: supporting local communities to consider the Armed Forces Covenant and its relevance today in the context of the World War 1 commemorations
Click here to find out more information about the covenant fund and to apply.

Who can apply?
The lead organisation on the application needs to be either:
  • a registered charity
  • a local authority
  • a school or other statutory organisation
  • a Community Interest Company or
  • an armed forces unit with a UIN.

Other information
The Covenant Fund has moved to an independent trust from 1 April 2018.  More information can be found on the Covenant Fund website.

How to apply via Northumberland Armed Forces Forum
Part of our forum’s role is to vet local applications for the community covenant grant scheme before they are submitted to the Ministry of Defence (MOD) for approval.

If you would like to apply for the covenant fund, you can get in touch via:

Jackie Roll - lead officer for armed forces support and democratic services manager We’d be happy to discuss whether we can help with your application in any way.
The Northumberland Armed Forces community covenant is a signed voluntary statement of mutual support between the council and representatives from the armed forces.

It’s a public promise of support from the people of Northumberland, aimed at the local armed forces community, which includes members of the armed forces - both past and present - their families and widow(er)s.

The covenant aims to:
  • encourage local communities to support the armed forces community in their areas, and vice versa
  • promote understanding and awareness among the public of issues affecting the armed forces community
  • recognise and remember the sacrifices made by the armed forces community
  • encourage activities which help to integrate the armed forces community into local life
Useful links and resources detailing help and support available to members of the armed forces and veterans community.

General advice and information for the armed forces community
You can call the automated, free national helpline for in-service and ex-service personnel, their families and widows: 08000 223366.

For general local enquiries concerning education, health, social care and housing, contact the council via: Tel: 0345 600 6400, Monday to Friday, 8am to 7pm.
The Army Families’ Federation is the voice of army families. Tel: 01264 382 324

For benefits and money advice, click on the links below:
To access local service information for carers, call the Carers Direct helpline on 0300 123 1053.
Useful websites covering information on disabilities: The council’s adult services team supports people with physical disabilities to live as independently as possible. Blue badge parking
The blue badge scheme provides parking concessions for people with severe mobility problems who have difficulty using public transport. Blue badge holders can use designated parking spaces, obtain free parking at parking meters and, in some circumstances, park on single or double yellow lines.
Home care services provide support to people with an illness or disability, who are having difficulty living independently at home. The support is usually offered in your own home, for example equipment, a carer to help with daily tasks or a meals-on-wheels service.
Click on the links below to find out more about housing options, benefits and council services: Visit the websites below for advice and support about specific housing issues:  
  • For information on things to do in Northumberland, including gyms, libraries and tourism, visit Active Northumberland.
Click on the links below to access these useful websites for ex service personnel:
Mental health problems can affect anyone, impacting on sufferers, their family and friends. This includes worries, grief, post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.

To access help, you should contact your GP.

You can also contact the Samaritans:
Telephone 08457 90 90 90 or click here to visit their website.

Websites about mental health issues:  
We support, coordinate, plan and commission work to reduce drug and alcohol misuse within communities.
The VWALS is a mental health and wellbeing service to support veterans and their families in the North East. Contact:
Veterans wellbeing service - 24 hour helpline for veterans
  • Freephone: 0800 169 2277
  • Telephone: 0191 441 5974 or email