The Armed Forces Covenant was launched in 2012 following the Armed Forces Act 2011 with responsibility sitting across Government. It is “a promise by the nation that those who serve or have served, and their families, are treated fairly.” It ensures that members of the Armed Forces Community “should face no disadvantage compared to other citizens in the provision of public and commercial services. Special consideration is appropriate in some cases, especially for those who have given the most such as the injured and the bereaved.”
The Armed Forces Community comprises:
There are two broad areas in which members of the Armed Forces Community are at risk of suffering disadvantage:
In 2016, we were commissioned by Forces in Mind Trust and the Local Government Association to research the delivery of the Armed Forces Covenant by councils in England, Scotland and Wales. Our Community – Our Covenant was published in August 2016, with a second edition published in 2017. These report can be downloaded here from the Forces in Mind Trust website.
In October 2018, Si were awarded with the Lord Ashcroft Research Award at the inaugural FiMT and Veterans and Families Research Hub Research Awards. This was awarded in recognition of the impact that Our Community – Our Covenant has had and is continuing to have in improving the delivery of the Armed Forces Covenant in local government.
At the start of the research, there were three clear outcomes that we wanted the project to achieve:
Our research was able to address each of the above aims. We found that:
Alongside the above, we identified areas that could be improved upon at a national level which have been taken forward by central government’s Covenant Reference Group. This includes: clearer and more proactive communications on the Covenant and the expectations that flow from it; the encouragement of local partnerships; and the exploration into ways to improve the transition process.
In developing the recommendations, we worked collaboratively with local and national organisations to ensure that our evidence gathered led to recommendations that were implementable. This process enabled our recommendations to be addressed more effectively and has led to the research having the impact that it has been recognised for.
We have undertaken a number of other Armed Forces related projects at Si since Our Community – Our Covenant. These include:
If you have any questions or comments on any of our Armed Forces related work, please contact Charlotte Boulton at email@example.com
(Si is a signatory of the Armed Forces Covenant).