Agenda and draft minutes

Surrey Civilian-Military Partnership Board - Wednesday, 11 October 2023 10.00 am

Venue: Army Reserve Centre, Farnham

Contact: Sarah Goodman 

No. Item


Welcome and Apologies

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    Chair Saj Hussain welcomed all to the meeting, especially those new to the Board. Apologies were noted as above.



Minutes of the last meeting and matters arising pdf icon PDF 355 KB

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    ·         Linked in Active Surrey with HQSE and ATC Pirbright who are looking for opportunities to work together going forward

    ·         Covenant funding was promoted to schools – no successful bids

    ·         Care homes in Surrey have been written to with information about veteran hubs, the Forces Connect App and training available

    ·         SSAFA caseworkers and Cadet Force Adult Volunteers have been promoted through SCC intranet


    ·         Further to discussions at last SCMPB meetings Active Surrey has been linked with HQSE and ATC Pirbright to find opportunities to work together going forward.  ATC awaiting dates from Active Surrey to support some young people at Pirbright. 


    ·         Covenant funding was promoted to schools, but no bids have been successful.  The criteria was quite restrictive as 40% service children needed and Surrey schools would need to bid together due to the distribution / spread of service children in the county.


    ·         Care homes in Surrey have been written to with information about veteran hubs, the Forces Connect App and training available.  One has since been in touch inviting veterans to their local remembrance Sunday lunch.


    ·         SSAFA Caseworkers and Cadet Force Adult Volunteers have been promoted through SCC intranet.  We are aware of two people who have contacted cadets re adult volunteering. 

    Will continue to promote. 

    Suggestion that a cadet (could be police and army)can come and speak to council meeting in the New Year to try and promote the opportunity.



Joint Strategic Needs Assessment and Census Data pdf icon PDF 458 KB

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    Board received a presentation from James Palmer – Surrey Heartlands


    The Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) identifies and describes the health, care and well-being needs of the population in Surrey. This is used to inform the prioritisation and planning of health and social care services to meet those needs.


    The JSNA uses a ‘chapter’ structure, looking at the needs around a specific area of health and social care including priority populations.  A chapter for the Armed Forces Community is proposed and support and input from the SCMPB was sought to ensure it is as effective as possible. 


    Key points raised:

    • This chapter is for the entire Armed Forces Community.
    • Help requested to connect with armed forces communities and the voluntary sector to capture their voices.
    • Plan is to form a small working group - would like to include a lead from the armed forces and voluntary sector. .
    • The Surrey JSNA is locally focused, but each area will have one.  It was agreed it would be helpful to create a chapter that has the potential to be adapted and adopted by other areas if feasible.
    • Census data has helped provide greater insight regarding veterans living in Surrey.  It was mentioned that knowing how many military pensions are being drawn in the county may also be helpful – these may be being collected by family of those who have served as well as veterans.


    Action: Col David Kenny to speak with Chief of Defence team regarding any broader strategies being discussed and will feedback.


    Action: Andrea Newman to be part of the working group.  Meeting to be arranged to discuss this further.


    Action: James Palmer to speak with SSAFA re how to capture input from armed forces community and voluntary sector.


    Action: Include relevant links for reference within minutes (below):



    Veterans’ strategy:



Suicide Prevention in the Armed Forces Community

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    Canon Peter Bruinvels shared presentation from Nanu Chumber-Stanley with the Board (attached – Annex 1)


    Suicide prevention work is going on across the county and this includes the Armed Forces.  Key points raised in the discussion that followed:


    • Andy Man clubs work in a similar way to Men in Sheds but are specifically around suicide prevention.

    Action: Identify if there are any running in Surrey and share details with Board. Find your nearest group | Andy's Man Club ( is a club operating in Woking.

    • It was suggested that a link be made with Surrey Search and Rescue team as they are often called out for attempted suicides.

    Action: Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner to share relevant contact details.

    • Data:

    -       It would be interesting to know if there was a difference in suicide rates between reservists and regular forces

    -       Care needs to be taken when interpreting data.  The fact someone has served does not automatically mean that their service had an impact on the suicide. 

    • It was noted that the Military has a Mental Fitness course.  It is mandatory that someone from each unity attends.

    Action: Col Dave Kenny to look in to provision of Assist Training.



Service Children Update pdf icon PDF 934 KB

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    ·         Service children attainment

    ·         Royal Alexandra and Albert School Update

    Additional documents:


    Board received an update from Maggie Mackie regarding the attainment of Service Children in Surrey schools.  Key data was shared with board ahead of the meeting (Annex 2)


    It was noted that generally service children are performing well, particularly Early Years and Key Stage 1 (infant). By the end of Key Stage 2 (junior) there is a dip. 


    There is currently a focus in Surrey schools looking at ways to improve the outcomes for children with an additional challenge, which may include being a service child, as they are currently not performing as well in Surrey as the national average.


    Ofsted are currently analysing the ways Service Pupil Premium funding is being spent in schools nationally to support military children with an aim to share best practice.


    Discussion held around the impact of moving schools regularly and the choice being made – assisted by shifts in military policy – for families to remain in one place and the person serving to move if needed. 

    It was agreed that narrative is needed alongside the data in order to provide an accurate picture.


    Action: Maggie to drill down further in to the data and provide the board with an overview of changes to attainment over the past ten years.




    Following a visit to the school Saj Hussain provided the Board with an overview of Royal Alexander and Albert School in Surrey.

    A state boarding school which currently has 180 service children it is keen to build on its strong connection to the military.

    A number of service children from the school will be attending a Passing Off Parade at Pirbright ATC in the near future and they have set up an Armed Forces Group which will meet regularly with Peter Bruinvels.



Headquaters South East Update pdf icon PDF 104 KB

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    ·         HQSE update including key priorities, current deployments and engagement with Surrey schools

    ·         Task Force Commander updates



    The Chair welcomed Col Dave Kenny to the Board.  Col Kenny provided a verbal overview of the armed forces and changes relating to Surrey and South East. 

    There are two key functions for the Armed Forces, fighting and support.  HQSE’s role is support.  It has four key outputs:

    • Supporting the lived experience of soldiers
    • Connecting with wider society through engagement
    • Adult Volunteers – supporting and enabling these key people
    • Promote and expand the MOD Employer Recognition Scheme.

    Continuing to work in partnership with SERFCA. 

    An update detailing local engagement work in schools had been shared with the Board ahead of the meeting.


    ATC Pirbright

    Lt Col Michael Bysshe was welcomed to the Board and provided a verbal update of changes at ATC Pirbright.

    Major infrastructure changes continue to support the transition to officially becoming Soldier Academy in 2024.  Looking forward to the opening of the Alexander Soldier Centre on the base in 2024.

    Soldiers will receive all non-combat training at Pirbright.  Combat training will take place at Catterick.


    It was noted that the numbers of personnel at Pirbright will not change dramatically as a result of the planned changes.


    Irish Guards

    Apologies were received from Capt Paul Cody. 



Surrey Police Armed Forces Support Group

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    Ben Wisdom spoke to the Board about his work within Surrey Police to promote links between the Force the Armed Forces.  Strong belief in the value and transferable skills of those who have previously served. 

    Work includes:

    • Internal support – a network for those working within the police who have previously served. 
    • External support such as visiting barracks
    • Recognition and recruitment – looking to promote the option of working for the police when you leave service and to ensure the value of the skills they can bring are recognised by the force.

    Each police force has an Armed Forces lead, but at the moment there is a lack of central direction from the Home Office in this area.


    Action: Canon Peter Bruinvels to raise this with the Home Office. 

    Action: Ellie Vesey-Thompson to brief Chief Officer of Surrey Police.




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    ·         His Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Surrey Awards Night – 7pm on 19 October 2023 at Guildford Cathedral

    ·         Latest Employer Recognition Scheme Awards


    The Board received written and verbal updates on the work of SERFCA as attached to the minutes (Annex 3A and 3B)Lt col (Retd) Peter Ellis QGM

    The written updates are attached (Annex 3A and 3B)


    Key points to note:


    Invitation has been circulated to all Board members to attend the Lord-Lieutenant of Surrey’s Awards at Guildford Cathedral on Thurs 19 October 2023.


    An invitation was also extended at the meeting for members to attend events or camps to see what the cadets are doing.  It was felt that some members of the Board would welcome the chance to visit the annual camp.


    Action: Details of the annual camp to be circulated when appropriate.

    Action: Peter Ellis to link with Ben Wisdom regarding supporting Police Cadets.



Recognise and Remember Update pdf icon PDF 2 MB

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    ·         Armed Forces Champions and Armed Forces Awareness training

    ·         Plans for Remembrance

    ·         Veteran Hubs and RBL befriending

    ·         Outdoors activities for veterans



    A written update from Brigadier Paul Evans is attached to the minutes (Annex 4)



General Updates

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    ·         MoD National Covenant Conference – 14 Sept in Newcastle

    ·         Surrey Covenant Conference – provisional date Thursday 7 March 2024

    ·         SCMPB visit to HMS Kent

    ·         Unit Welfare Officer Meeting

    ·         Armed Forces Covenant Fund -

    ·         LGBTQ+ reports for information - and



    Peter Bruinvels and Sarah Goodman attended the annual MOD Conference in Newcastle in September 2023.  A report has been attached to these minutes (Annex 5)



    Date and venue of next conference confirmed as Thursday 7 March 2024 at ATC Pirbright.

    Further details to be circulated in due course.


    HMS Kent

    An opportunity to visit HMS Kent was greatly appreciated by all who attended.  Much was learned and links with the Navy were strengthened.


    Unity Welfare Officer Meeting

    Very positive meeting held on Mon 25 Sept 2023 bringing together Welfare Officers and partners from local authorities and relevant organisations to discuss issues affecting the Armed Forces Community in Surrey.





Date of next meeting

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    10am-12pm on Thursday 18 April (venue TBC)


    10am – 12pm, Thursday 18 April 2024 – Woodhatch