Venue: Woodhatch Place, 11 Cockshot Hill, Reigate, RH2 8EF
Contact: Sarah Goodman
Welcome and Apologies
· Minute silence – in solidarity with Ukraine
The Chairman welcomed all to the meeting and noted apologies as set out above.
· Early years update
· Health – Veteran Friendly GPs and hospitals
· Veterans Friendship Project
Early Years Update
Canon Peter Bruinvels provided a brief update.
Now looking at Armed Forces Covenant Fund 22/33 to potentially fund a conference regarding support given to military children. Susan Zeedyk who is a specialist in attachment theory who has kindly agreed to speak at the conference.
Health– Veteran Friendly GPs and hospitals
Surrey currently has only eight GP practices registered as Veteran Friendly, even though it is estimated there are approximately 30 veterans on each GP list. Work is ongoing with Brig Robin Simpson and Tony Shipley to move this forward and increase the number of registrations in Surrey.
To become accredited, GP practices need to:
· have a lead for veterans’ issues within the surgery;
· Identify and flag veterans on their computer system;
· Undertake dedicated training and attend armed forces healthcare meetings;
· Increase understanding of the health needs of veterans amongst both clinical and administrative staff.
Action: Suggest an item at a future Heath and Wellbeing Board meeting to raise awareness. Helyn Clack happy to attend if helpful.
Veterans’ Friendship Project
Update on this Covenant funded project led by Surrey County Council Adult Social Care team given by Sarah Goodman.
Discussion held around how to increase number of stories.
Suggestion to organise an event for veterans – sitting with people might mean they are more willing to speak and share.
Action: Share details of Veterans’ Friendship Project with Debbie Goldsmith
· Conference feedback including support for Afghan evacuees
· Sign off of Surrey Armed Forces Annual Report – 2021-22
Thanks given to all that attended and especially to ATC Pirbright for their generous hosting of the Surrey Armed Forces Covenant Conference 2022 in March.
Feedback received was very positive, particularly around the personal testimonies shared.
Suggestions from those present for next year:
All happy with the content and happy to finalise.
Action: The board requested printed copies to be produced.
Armed Forces Act 2021
· Key elements of the Act
· Ensuring the Covenant is consistently and predictably integrated into relevant decision making processes and this is recorded and evidenced
o Armed Forces Awareness Training
o Equalities impact assessment
o Contracts and procurement
A verbal update regarding the progression of the act given by Canon Peter Bruinvels.
Canon Peter Bruinvels and Armed Forces Network are delivering updated Armed Forces Awareness Training across south east.
In Surrey the training for Councillors will be in September.
Daniel Mouawad keen to work with Sarah and Peter to ensure council leaders are aware of what is being asked of them.
Action All: Please continue to promote the free Armed Forces Awareness Training and the Forces Connect App
· Surrey local authorities signed up to ERS
Welcome extended to Peter Ellis, who provided a verbal update. A written copy of this is attached to the minutes.
The Board discussed encouraging all local authorities and Surrey Police to progress through the Employer Recognition Scheme Awards. It was agreed that this would be promoted through the Surrey Chief Executives and Surrey Leaders meetings as well as through training.
It was noted that Armed Forces Champions welcome invitations to local cadet events.
11 Security Force Assistance Brigade
Col John Baynham gave a verbal update. A written copy is attached to the minutes.
HQ 11 Security Force Assistance Brigade continues to work towards the changes imposed by the Integrated Review and the new focus of working with international allies and partners and capacity building.
HQ SE is growing as a concept and the separation of the two functions will take place in early 2023. Unit re-subordinations will continue to trickle through over the coming months
Brigadier Ben Cattermole will depart on 27 May after two years in command and Brig Justin Stenhouse will be the new Commander.
Recognise and Remember Update
· Falklands 40 – SJSC Mattins and AFD Flag Raising
· Armed Forces Week including Reserves Day – 22 June
· Veteran Hubs
Canon Peter Bruinvels gave an update on behalf of Brig Paul Evans.
Group came together in March with a focus on:
The group plan to come together again in person on 10 June 2022 where plans for Armed Forces Week will be reviewed.
Military Child Month - April 2022
· Pirbright holiday club
· Library card
Helyn Clack, Debbie Goldsmith and Canon Peter Bruinvels shared photographs and details of an event for service children held on 12 April 2022 at ATC Pirbright as part of Month of the Military Child. Surrey Fire and Rescue Service took a fire engine and goody bags to a holiday club and had a wonderful time with the children.
Plans are ongoing for Surrey Libraries to offer service children a special library card – with a military design and some bespoke offers to support / encourage reading.
Date of next meeting - 10am on 13 October 2022