Council launches Armed Forces Guide for city’s military community

Armed Forces representatives with Craig Cooper, Strategic Director - City Operations, and Sheila Stephenson, Vice-Chair of the Birmingham Armed Forces Covenant Partnership at today's launch.
Published: Thursday, 27th June 2024

Birmingham City Council and its Armed Forces Covenant partners launched its first guide to support and services today (27 June), as part of its ongoing commitment to the city’s armed forces community.

The Armed Forces Covenant Guide, complements the city’s commitment to support its armed forces community, by highlighting the support and services available to serving and veteran personnel.

It brings together services and support from various across the city, including the council, military charities and private sector partners – to help support serving, reservist and veteran personnel.

Chair of the Armed Forces Partnership – and council’s Armed Forces Champion -  Honorary Alderman Anita Ward, and vice-chair Sheila Stephenson, engagement team lead for Army West Midlands, led the launch at the Council House earlier today.

Craig Cooper, Strategic Director - City Operations for Birmingham City Council -  and an Army veteran himself - said: “Days like today are out of this world, compared to what  it was like when I left the Army.

“I signed up at 17 and served until I was 36, having done several tours of Northern Ireland and  other places around the world - but when I left to return to civilian life, there was none of this support, so it could be a very difficult place to be.

“Birmingham has a proud, long track record of supporting our Armed Forces community, with many of our citizens joining the Army, Navy or RAF to serve their country.

“A guide like this, which complements our commitments under the Armed Forces Covenant, would have really been helpful when I was leaving the Armed Forces – so I am confident this can offer help and support to the wider community.”

The guide can be found on the council’s website, also profiles the work its partners do with the Armed Forces and raises the profile of the covenant.

Partners represented at this event include Army West Midlands, Royal British Legion, Royal Air Force, West Midlands Reserve Forces and Cadets Association, as well as council reservists.

First signed in 2011, the council refreshed the Armed Forces Covenant in 2020, with its renewed commitments shaped and agreed with Birmingham Armed Forces Covenant Partnership.

It sets out the expectation that this community should be treated fairly, not disadvantaged as a result of their service.

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