Armed Forces/Veterans' Champions

Discussion in 'Transition & Veterans Research' started by napier, Sep 6, 2013.

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  1. napier

    napier LE Moderator Reviewer

    Many of you will be aware that Armed Forces/Veterans' Champions now exist in local government and various agencies (job centre, NHS, etc.). I have met with some and have, on the whole, found them to be keen to ensure that rules are interpreted as favourably as possible for the services family and veterans (although I'm sure there will be regional/personality based variation). I'd like to hear examples of your experiences - good, bad and indifferent - of support in accessing services and any observations you might have.

    If you don't want to post publicly, you can PM me or use Welcome to the Veterans' Transition Review wesbite

  2. How would one going about becoming such a person?
  3. napier

    napier LE Moderator Reviewer

    I haven't had any major dealings with the NHS, but I am aware that each cluster of CCGs will have at least 1 military champion on board. Those champions I have come across have tended to be in local authorities, where they are a mixture of elected councillors and appointed council officers. Andy Bacon at NHS England is the man to talk to.
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  4. oldbaldy

    oldbaldy LE Moderator Good Egg (charities)
    1. Battlefield Tours

    The one in my local authority is very keen & he combines it with other responsibilities. His title within the council is 'External Funding Specialist'. He's on a steep learning curve despite having spent 7 years as a drop short. He has made contact with all the Service Units in the County & they have semi regular meetings, TRBL, ssafa, HIVE, & AGE UK attend those as well.
    So it's so far so good.

    Edit to say, I've emailed him your link.
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  5. Many thanks.

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  6. All a bit late really. Still, better 5 minutes early than not turning up at all.
    I joined in 1975 just before my 21st birthday so I believed I had some experience before I joined. When I left after 22 years and 14 days, I thought I would have few problems adjusting.
    How wrong can one be? I was smart punctual and attentive. Keen to make new experiences worthwhile and fit in with my new colleagues, most of whom were ex military.
    While my colleagues had adjusted, I could not. i was a manager with 60 staff and my job was to effectively roster and manage those staff. That was the easy part.
    My own supervisor, an ex RN officer, told me to spend less time on my staff issues and more time cutting waste. I did both but I was informed that staff were not the issue, profit was. Rude awakening.
    Profit before people disillusioned me, so I left and bought a pub and started a landscaping business. Abusing civilians from my side of the bar and overcharging wealthy folk who were too idle to do their own weeding led to early retirement.
    The Thai jungle is as unforgiving as civilian management but knowing your fauna is helpful. Been here nearly 5 years and still undecided about air con.
  7. oldbaldy

    oldbaldy LE Moderator Good Egg (charities)
    1. Battlefield Tours

    Bit unsure how someone working for central government can tap into the local market. I know where I live very few 'decent' jobs are advertised with the Job Centre.
  8. Being ex-service, do you not go back to RFEA, it's there for life?
  9. Wasn't asking about work as even then it was obvious I'd not be able to. I wrote and basically asked what her job description as a Forces Champion was so I could see if there was anything she may be able to help me with such as NI, industrial injuries, state benefits or help with SPVA.

    Dingerr, when I was between jobs in my post regular/FTRS period (1993-99) I did go back to RFEA but it was not as simple as I remembered it as you could no longer pop into the local office for a chat about the local jobs market. Instead everything was on-line and after the balls ache of registering again (you only get so long before they deny you access to the web-site) they had absolutely no jobs in my area.
  10. Armed Forces Champions should welcome hearing from serving personnel, families and veterans about issues and problems, however the sheer numbers involved (in local authorities anyway) mean that they cannot be generally available as individual caseworkers/counsellors.

    This from an MoD document about the Community Covenant may help to clarify the sort of thing they do:
  11. Haven't heard of this Armed Forces/Veterans' Champions scheme, though I'm skeptical to be honest and never ever needed it. Apart from Plymouth our local Devon councils struggle to acknowledge Armed Forces Day every year. Local Devon businesses and councils around Exeter couldn't be less bothered. And yes, why should they be, indeed. While other info would be welcomed, I doubt much of Devon has even heard of Armed Forces/Veterans' Champions and if they did they haven't advertised it. In my own circle we all know nobody's going to welcome disabled people in to jobs with open arms unless they're forced or the DEA at the Job Centre gets half heartedly involved. But on a fair note, if anybody could prove us wrong we'd be grateful. Til then, the disabled and 'veterans' in this area can apparently get the square root of nothing and never expected anything. Sounds like a load of soundbite crap tbh. DWP and Councils could never run a bath. There you go, honest feedback.
  12. Do you not think sneaking out a change in the Minister for Defence Personnel, Welfare & Veterans, the third person holding this appointment since the coalition took charge, says everything about the way this government values the Armed Forces and it's Veterans?

    So far we've had:

    1. Andrew Robathon
    2. Mark Francois
    3. Anna Soubrey

    Shame they moved Mark Francois on as I found him to be much more responsive on Veterans' issues with SPVA than his predecessor who only ever sent out condescending letters answering questions that hadn't been asked to avoid getting involved answering those he had!
  13. Is it? Not in my experience. They couldn't provide me with anything that I could do, but when they caught up with me after I finished at University, they asked if they could put me down as 'one of their success stories'. What's this 'their' shit was my first thought. They never helped me get into Uni. They didn't even know that I'd been until I told them. I've never heard from them since. When I left the mob, I had an interview with them, and they sent me the details of three or four jobs which were outside my skill area or simply too far away. They must wipe your name off the board after a while. I've never approached them since, but that was down to their cheek. It sort of summed them up for me.
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  14. they have no magic formula, in my case (1993 resettlement) not a clue about the local market and a non existent network they could tap into.

    Sent me photo copies of the job adverts from the local papers about two week after I had seen them on the day the paper was sold.

    REFA is a old boys network job for the Officer Corp - didn`t have a clue about civi jobs or the local market

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