Supporting the armed forces community

How to get support if you're a serving or former armed forces member, reservist or family member.

Many current and former members of the armed forces live and work in West Sussex. The only armed forces base is at Thorney Island, near Chichester, where regiments from the Royal Artillery reside. We also have Reservists from 4th Battalion Princess of Wales Royal Regiment based in Crawley.

West Sussex Armed Forces Covenant

This is our commitment to support the armed forces community in West Sussex, including all serving and former members, reservists and their families. It aims to:

  • encourage local support for the armed forces community
  • promote an understanding and awareness amongst the public of issues affecting the armed forces community
  • recognise and remember the sacrifices made by the armed forces community
  • encourage activities to help the armed forces community integrate into local life.

To help achieve the aims of the Covenant, representatives of the armed forces participate in the West Sussex Cooperative, which provides a direct link between local decision makers and the armed forces.

You can find more information on the Armed Forces Community Covenant on GOV.UK.

If you are considering becoming a reservist you can find out more on our Become an armed forces reservist page.

In supporting the community Covenant, we have also introduced the Guaranteed Interview Scheme for veterans.

Forces Connect

West Sussex County Council is proud to be part of Forces Connect South East, a cross-border partnership comprising: Surrey, Kent, East Sussex, West Sussex and Hampshire county councils; Brighton and Hove and Medway councils; and the NHS. The project is the first of its kind in the country, and is expected to form a blueprint to help other councils improve support for the armed forces.

Forces Connect South East, formed in June 2017, is a two-year Ministry of Defence armed forces Covenant-funded programme. It is aimed at making it easier for servicemen and women and their families, as well as reservists and veterans, to access public sector services, such as healthcare, housing, schools, financial advice and support to find jobs.

The scheme involves:

  • training hundreds of front-line staff across the region to meet the needs of armed forces personnel
  • developing an app to make it quick and easy for members of the forces to find the right support
  • establishing a mentoring programme to help those making the transition from military to civilian employment.

Members of the armed forces can find it harder to access public services than the general population because of frequent moves, extended periods away and a lack of familiarity with support available. This project ensures more staff are aware of their responsibilities under the Covenant, and provide the knowledge and skills to better enable them to help and support the armed forces communities.

The Forces Connect app is aimed at serving personnel, veterans and their families, as well as public sector and support organisations. It is available from Google Play and the App Store.

Support with school admissions

Armed forces parents can access more detail on the steps to take to secure a school place for their child through a video guide.

Funded by Forces Connect South East and produced by Hampshire County Council, it includes information on:

  • the admissions process
  • deadline dates
  • in-year admissions/mid-year transfers
  • the appeals process.
Last updated:
29 October 2020
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