Venue: Council Chamber, Woodhatch Place, Reigate, RH2 8EF
Contact: Sarah Goodman
Welcome and Apologies
Chair Helyn Clack welcomed all to the meeting and invited everyone to introduce themselves. Apologies were noted as above.
· Employment support at ATC (Pirbright) from Woking and Guildford Councils
· Early years update
Employment Support at ATC Pirbright
Verbal update from Canon Peter Bruinvels.
Woking Borough Council and Guildford Borough Council are proactively looking to support employment for armed forces families from ATC Pirbright.
Woking BC – have re-signed the Covenant. They are helping with interviews, looking to employ veterans.
Verbal update from Sarah Goodman
The Board discussed the most effective way to engage with schools and ensure they are aware of this funding including looking at the benefits of what could be achieved with the funding as well as looking at clusters of armed forces families with children at different schools such as in Runnymede.
Action: Andrea Newman to raise with Jane Dufton at their forthcoming meeting.
Action: Sarah and Peter to put together an article for Schools Bulletin on the funding including some good examples to be shared. Latest data on schools with service children to be shared with the Board.
Action: All to promote funding opportunity to schools they have links with.
Surrey CC has been promoting Month of the Military Child via social media.
Head Quarters SE Update
· Engaging 16-18 year olds
· Longmoor Leadership Challenge
· Task Force Commander Update
Verbal update from Richard Moore.
Formal thanks extended to Helyn Clack from Col John Baynham and 11 Brigade for her hard work and effective support during her time as Chair of the SCMPB.
Main change is a split to form:
11 Security Force Assistance Brigade – who will provide training and support where needed eg to troops from Ukraine.
Headquarters South East – with operational control of all bases in the south east and other operations across the UK.
Col David Kenny will take over command from beginning of May 2023.
CMPBs continue to be crucial for the armed forces communities and will be attended.
Engaging with 16-18 year olds
Primary drive for the foreseeable future will be engaging with young people of a recruitable age, though can also be extended to include 14 -16 where there is a business case to do so. Offer made to go in to relevant schools if board members have any they believe would benefit and fit the demographic.
Action: Share information with Richard re Surrey Youth Games.(17 June 2023, Guildford Sports Park) and connect him with Active Surrey.
Longmoor Leadership Challenge 2023
Three successful challenge days run by 11 SFA Brigade
Day 1 – 6th Forms and Colleges attended by over 150
Day 2 – Employer Recognition Scheme holders – 126
Day 3 – Uniformed Youth Groups
This will continue to be a key engagement event and information regarding plans for 2024 will be circulated in due course.
Task Force Commander Update
Verbal update from Capt Paul Cody – Irish Guards. Happy to provide support to community where possible, but realistically this is limited due to high demands. This is true across the armed forces. The Irish Guards are currently assisting with training of Ukraine troops and supporting the Coronation.
Pirbright Soldier Academy
Update and involvement of local partners to plan infrastructure
Verbal update provided by Capt Sam Richards.
Development of ATC Pirbright continues. Front gate should be finished within next 30 days. Currently looking at who will undertake the next stage of works and the implications for the proposed second entrance.
Happy to have hosted the Surrey Armed Forces Covenant Conference 2023
Looking forward to poppy launch in October.
Pass Out Parades continue and Board members are welcome to attend.
Action: Capt Sam Richards to share future dates of Pass Out Parades and highlight any that might be of particular interest.
Weekend courses for CCFs have been successfully run at ATC Pirbright. These will now take place on a quarterly basis.
Engagement events with young people from the London area being held – Board members welcome to attend if interested.
Lord-Lieutenant extended sincere thanks to those who took time to meet with his cadets at recent event. They will never forget it.
· Feedback from conference
· Annual report
Feedback received from those who attended was circulated ahead of the meeting.
Helyn Clack officially thanked everyone at ATC Pirbright for their efforts and hospitality hosting the conference. Grateful thanks were also extended to Col Patrick Crowley and WO2 Johnson Beharry for their time and support.
All agreed conference had been successful. Well organised and informative. Praise for the fact that light was shed on some of the things that aren’t currently working as well as celebrating things that are going well.
Conversation held regarding the challenge of keeping to time when the voices are compelling and informative. Needs to be considered when putting agenda together for 2024.
Suggestion to include a section reflecting / updating on developments that have happened as a result of issues raised at the 2023 conference.
Hard copies of the Surrey Armed Forces Covenant Report 2022-23 shared with the Board.
Action All: please distribute copies as appropriate.
The report will also be available on the SCC Website.
Action All: please take photographs at all your events over the coming year and email them to firstname.lastname@example.org along with a short paragraph for inclusion in next years annual report.
Recognise and Remember Update
· Armed Forces Week
· Reserves Day
· Veteran Hubs
Verbal update given by Brig Paul Evans.
Successful meeting held on 14 April 2023 attended by representatives from most districts and boroughs, Surrey Police and Police and Crime Commissioners Office.
Surrey and Sussex Police are introducing an Armed Forces Support Group. Two key aims:
Action: To arrange a presentation on this at October SCMPB
A new hub will be opening at Banstead Community Centre on 21 June 2023 which has been supported by Surrey County Council.
Surrey hubs have been contacted to gauge the type of support they require, which included equipment, food vouchers, support with rent as well as engagement of services. The Surrey Social Value Market Place has been successfully used – to date Guildford and Woking Veterans’ Hubs have received hot water urns and supermarket vouchers. Further requests from other hubs will be posted on the site.
Action: Ensure relevant nursing and care homes have details for local veterans’ hubs.
· Gold Leadership Luncheon
· Surrey Gold and Silver applications
Verbal update given by Col Patrick Crowley
Employer engagement continues to grow in Surrey with increasing numbers having gained Employer Recognition Scheme gold, silver and bronze status. Full breakdown contained in the annual report.
SERFCA organised a successful ERS Gold Leadership Luncheon held recently at Sandhurst. This is a benefit exclusively for those who have achieved the gold level of recognition.
4PWRR are to receive their new colours imminently, which will be a memorable event.
An update on the number of Cadets and Cadet Force Adult Volunteers was circulated.
Exploring how the Board can help promote volunteering opportunities within:
· Cadet Force Adult Volunteers
· SSAFA Case Workers
Cadet Force Adult Volunteers
There is an ongoing need for more people to volunteer to run cadet forces across the county. The Board is committed to promoting this where possible and encouraging people to volunteer.
SSAFA Case Workers
Kevin Large provided a verbal update on SSAFA Surrey and the need for additional caseworkers.
SSAFA provides support to those who have served and their families who may be in need.
All SSAFA caseworkers are volunteers. They work to find the best source of support, most often from a service charity, to match the identified need.
The role is rewarding, but demanding. Caseworkers have to undergo training and checks which can take time. SSAFA is desperately short of volunteers and the Board was asked how they could help promote the opportunity or share ideas about how to do so.
Action: To circulate information that can be uses to promote the opportunity to become a SSAFA caseworker, including key locations where the need is the highest.
Veteran Friendly GPs
To discuss next steps to encourage further GPs to become veteran friendly
Update from Tony Shipley.
The Armed Forces Covenant is part of the NHS constitution and now the Armed Forces Act 2021 enshrines part of the Covenant in law. The new Surrey Heartlands Integrated Care Board has signed the Armed Forces Covenant and embedded it within its structure. This includes a commitment to increasing the number of Veteran Friendly GP surgeries in Surrey. Some of the work towards this includes:
Forces Connect Round Up
· Forces Connect App
· Armed Forces Awareness training
Forces Connect App
Continues to grow in regions and has over 20k downloads. Surrey County Council and the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust are currently sponsoring the app.
Hampshire County Council has recently agreed to automatically install the app on all phones. It was suggested that Surrey County Council should explore doing the same.
Armed Forces Awareness Training
2,300 people across the South East have received Armed Forces Awareness training over the past 18 months, with over 1,000 of those being in Surrey. Attendees provided very positive feedback on the sessions and the trainers.
The project, which was funded by the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust concluded at the end of March 2023, but Peter will continue to provide training in Surrey. Online sessions are currently scheduled for 28 June and 22 September 2023, with additional sessions available on request.
Public thanks were given to all those on the Board who supported the funeral of the 106 year old Dunkirk veteran in Runnymede which was hugely appreciated by the family.
On behalf of the Board Brig Paul Evans gave formal thanks to Helyn Clack for all she has done over the past two years, citing her infectious enthusiasm, hard work and successfully turning aspiration in to real achievements.
Date of next meeting
10am-12pm on Wednesday 11 October 2023. Venue TBC
10am – 12pm, Wednesday 11 October 2023. Venue TBC