Archive | November, 2010

MOD Improves Support For Our Armed Forces and Veterans

29 Nov

The MOD has launched a new regional network to help veterans, serving personnel and their families access welfare support in their local area.

The Ministry of Defense (MOD) has launched a new regional network to help veterans, serving personnel and their families access welfare support in their local area. The one year pilot scheme will see 13 new ‘Veterans Advisory & Pensions Committees (VAPCs)’ across the United Kingdom.

The VAPCs replace the previous ‘War Pension Committees’ but this is not simply a change of name. The new committees have been completely re-constituted and have a fresh focus and a much wider role

This includes:

• Acting as advocates for implementing improved cross-Government support, including the services outlined in the Service Personnel Command Paper and the Armed Forces ‘Welfare Pathway’.

• Raising awareness within their regions of the support available to veterans and the Armed Forces community. This includes compensation and pension schemes for those injured, disabled or bereaved through Service, advice services and the work of the MOD’s Veterans Welfare Service.

• Assisting serving personnel, their families and veterans in accessing the above services and other local support. This will include providing specific assistance and guidance to individuals in their areas and ensuring they are put in touch with the relevant organisations who can help. The committees will also provide an independent element to the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency’s complaints process.

Chairmen and members have now been appointed to all 13 committees. All are volunteers and come from a cross-section of the local community, including health, social care, legal professionals and veterans groups.

Administration support and guidance for the VAPCs is provided by the MOD’s Service Personnel and Veterans Agency. Jon Parkin, the Agency’s Head of Veterans Services said:

“We know from talking to veterans that problems they face can often result from issues affecting a specific area of the country. The new VAPCs will have a vital, on the ground, local knowledge of these issues and will help ensure that Service personnel and veterans needing assistance get the help that’s right for them, wherever they live.”

Lt Col Ray Holland, a Chairman of one of the new Veterans Advisory and Pensions Committees said:

“The new committees will ensure that the needs of Veterans and their dependents are championed at every level from central government to the local community. We will assist in the implementation of the Military Covenant and work closely with local authorities, primary care trusts and Service charities in the delivery of services and benefits.

The committees comprise of members drawn from all walks of life providing a wide range of experience and knowledge, a number of whom have previously served in the Armed Forces. Located on a regional basis, our local knowledge makes us well placed to serve the veteran community.”

Members of the Armed Forces or Veterans community wanting to contact their local committee should contact the Veterans Welfare Centre for their area (see below) or the Veterans-UK Helpline 0800 169 2277.

Alternatively more information can be found on the VAPC web-site Veterans

Welfare Centres South East and London – 02392 702232

Wales and South West – 01452 540825

The Midlands and Eastern – 01562 825527

Scotland and Ireland – 0141 224 2709

North West, North East, Yorks and Humber & Isle of Man – 01253 333494

Books – DIVER and IN2DEEP

12 Nov

These books signed by the author Falkland Vet Clearance Diver (and SAMA (82) Member) Tony Groom are now available for purchase from the SAMA Office.

DIVER tells the story of Tonys exploits as a Royal Navy Clearance Diver and Bomb Disposal expert before during and after the Falkland War and as a Civilian diver after that in some pretty hairy places in the world.

IN2DEEP is a novel that many ex servicemen will relate to – it is being released on 21st November 2010.

Tony has generously donated these books at a knock down price to SAMA so that you can purchase them at the RRP and SAMA can make a small profit on their sale. Thank you Tony.

Go to the Drop Down Merchandise page for price and purchase details.

Joe Erskine
SAMA (82)Trustee

Falklands Veteran RFA Stromness Sunk

8 Nov

After giving service to two navies over 40 years, RFA Stromness was sunk by the USN on 27th October 2010

RFA STROMNESS (Captain Barry Dickinson RFA) was in the thick of the action in San Carlos Water. After the conflict she was sold to the USN, had a helicopter hanger added to her flight deck, and renamed USNS SATURN served as a Combat Support Ship until withdrawn from service in 2009. She was sunk by the USN as a ‘Sinkex’ by gunfire and anti-ship missile in the North Atlantic off North Carolina on 27th October 2010.

It is ironic that having avoided the fate of ending up at the bottom of the South Atlantic RFA STROMNESS now rests on the floor of the North Atlantic.

Full story and pictures will be in the next Newsletter

BFBS TV – Life in the Forces

3 Nov

BFBS TV has made a series of five x half hour programmes for Sky Three. ‘Life in the Forces’ will be shown on Sky Three at 7 pm every week night during Remembrance week, from 8th – 12th November.

The series, made by BFBS, is an exclusive look at the challenges and triumphs, the lows and the highs, of British Forces and their families, away from the headlines.

Life in the Forces, will also be shown on BFBS TV around the Forces world at 17.40 CET each evening from 8th – 12th November.

Organisations featured/mentioned include:

SAMA82, Combat Stress, Veterans Aid, Blesma, Headley Court, RBL, RAF Benevolent Fund.

Problems with Access to Discussion Board

1 Nov

There is a problem in getting on to the Discussion Board. Every effort is being made to sort out this problem.

This could take a day or so to resolve but every effort is being made to get it up and running again as soon as possible.