Somerset Armed Forces April Partnership Update

Veterans UK

Helpline
Due to the ongoing Covid-19 situation the Veterans UK telephone service is currently not operating. Urgent enquiries, including requests for welfare support and for anyone experiencing payment problems can be sent via email to Veterans-UK@mod.gov.uk

Urgent emotional support is still available from the Samaritans by calling the helpline 0808 1914 218 and pressing option 1.

Veterans Welfare Service/Defence Transition Services/ Integrated Personal Commissioning For Client Visits
All face to face meetings have been suspended however support will still be provided via telephone and email. Email Veterans-UK@mod.gov.uk to get welfare support.

Armed Forces Pensions
Armed Forces Pensions payments will continue to be made as usual. The service are prioritising existing pension payments and new pensions payments for those to due to leaving the Armed Forces, Death in Service entitlements and Widows and Dependants pensions. Processing of Early Payment of Preserved Pension applications is being maintained by timescales may be longer. Application from individuals who are terminally ill are being prioritised.

Medals
All enquiries and applications to the MOD Medal Office will be unanswered until full operational services can resume.

Veterans Gateway
During this time Veterans Gateway are still operating 24/7 as the first point of contact for Veterans seeking support. To contact Veterans’ Gateway call 0808 802 1212 , text 81212 or visit: www.veteransgateway.org.uk

Due to the evolving nature of the situation you can find the most up to date information on all the above at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronaviruschanges-to-veterans-uk-services

Naval Families Federation (NFF)

The NFF staff are working from home but phone lines and emails continue to operate as usual.

Phone: 02392 654374 Email: contactus@nff.org.uk Further updates will appear at https://nff.org.uk/covid-19/

The NFF has also put together a page with activities and free online services for families to use during this time. https://nff.org.uk/covid19-resources/

Army Families Federation

The Army Families Federation has a page dedicated to Covid 19 queries which is being updated as guidance changes. https://aff.org.uk/advice/family-life/covid-19/

RAF Association and RAF Families Federation

The RAF Association is launching the 4 new initiatives below in response to the ongoing Covid -19 situation.

  • A telephone outreach service which will proactively support our beneficiaries and other high-risk members of our RAF community to check on their welfare and offer them regular contact (phone or online)
  • A friendship helpline that anyone in the RAF community can call if they are feeling isolated, need a chat, or need specific support
  • A daily RAF themed online entertainment slot that people can look forward to as part of their routine. Will include quizzes, sing alongs and armchair fitness sessions
  • Bag drops of vital provisions to the doorsteps of the most vulnerable members of the RAF family.

For those interested in volunteering to support any of the below please email: OpConnect@rafa.org.uk. Those who need help and support please call 0800 018 2361

The RAF FF has pulled together all the information and guidance around Covid-19 on the following page: https://www.raf-ff.org.uk/coronavirus

Community Facebook and Social Media Groups

A number of community groups have been set up either by individuals or through parish and town council in response to Covid-19. These groups are supporting low level calls for help such as collecting prescriptions for vulnerable people, food shopping and passing on information about initiatives and support available. You can find these groups through the national website: https://covidmutualaid.org/localgroups/

Mindline

Mindline have extended its hours and the helpline is now available from 9am- 11pm Monday – Friday and 8pm to 11pm at the weekend. The confidential listening service is run by Mind in Somerset and is a safe place to talk if you or someone you know is in distress. As well as listening to your issues, Mindline can give you information on local services, how to get help and basic information on mental health issues Phone: 01823 276 892 or visit the website