Calls for more forces support after Forest Council pledge

By Jake Chown  
Friday 6th May 2022 6:00 am
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The Forest Council’s Armed Forces Champion Cllr Nick Evans re-signed the Armed Forces Covenant last week

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THE Forest’s Armed Forces Champion Nick Evans says he hopes to see “more support and initiatives” available for military personnel in the district after re-signing the Armed Forces Covenant on the council’s behalf.

The council has joined Gloucestershire partners in re-signing the covenant, which aims to make it easier for service personnel, their families and veterans to access help and support from the Ministry of Defence.

The scheme, which brings together local authorities, health partners, businesses and charities, is intended to be a two-way arrangement, encouraging local Armed Forces members to do as much as they can to support their community and promote activity which integrates service personnel into civilian life.

Cllr Evans (Con, Tidenham), who is also the Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for Gloucestershire, says he hopes that re-signing the covenant can bring “new vigour” to the support and initiatives available in the Forest.

He said: “Serving and former members of our Armed Forces and their families make a number of sacrifices in their own lives in order to protect our nation’s safety, security and way of life.

“The Armed Forces Community Covenant gives thanks for those sacrifices, and promises to help meet the unique needs of our forces community as a result of their service.

“I’m incredibly proud to represent our District’s only military establishment at Beachley, and to continue to encourage strong links between our reserve forces, cadets and veterans organisations with communities across the Forest as Armed Forces champion.

“By re-affirming our commitment to the armed forces covenant, I hope that we can give a new vigour to this work, and see more support and initiatives operating right across our area.”

Leader of the council Tim Gwilliam, added: “It’s extremely important to us that we support members of the Armed Forces and we are pleased that Forest of Dean District Council has re-signed the Armed Forces Covenant.

“We want to encourage communities to support members of the Armed Forces, as well as assisting service members to help the wider community, whether through participation in events and joint projects, or through other forms of engagement.

“We must never forget those who make the ultimate sacrifice and by signing this document we underline our commitment to members of the Armed Forces across the Forest of Dean and beyond.”

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