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 regular 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, local authorities, businesses and charities participate in the West Sussex Civilian Military Partnership Board, which provides a direct link between local decision makers and the armed forces. The County Council is a Gold Award holder from SERFCA’s Employer Recognition Award.

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.

Forces Connect

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 ensured more staff are aware of their responsibilities under the Covenant, and provided 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.

Additional information

  • Combat Stress - The veterans' mental health charity.
  • Royal British Legion - Provides lifelong support for the armed forces community. 
  • SSAFA - Armed forces charity, formerly known as Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association, providing lifelong support to serving men and women and veterans from the British Armed Forces and their families or dependents.
  • Veterans Gateway - We put veterans and their families in touch with the organisations best placed to help with the information, advice and support they need; from healthcare and housing to employability, finances, personal relationships and more.
  • Veterans UK - Part of the Ministry of Defence, Veterans UK administers the armed forces pension schemes and compensation payments for those injured or bereaved through service.
Last updated:
17 July 2023
Share this
Share this

Do you have any feedback about this page?

Help us improve this website

Let us know if this page was helpful so we can make improvements. Add a star rating and leave your feedback below to show how useful you found this page.

Rate this page:
Clear star rating...
  • West Sussex County Council will only use this email address to respond to any issues raised.