Monday, 31 July 2017

Latest From The Defence Discount Directory

Some of these offers are not applicable for Northern Ireland are are for information only.

Friday, 21 July 2017

Whats on In North Down & Ards

For information on the whole of Northern Ireland please visit:http://www.discovernorthernireland.com/ and while in Northern Ireland please visit any of the 31 networked Tourist Information Centres.
For North Down and Ards go to  visitardsandnorthdown.com

More From The Defence Discount Directory


Thursday, 20 July 2017

NHS Veterans Mental Health Services

This Blog post is for broader awareness only and is not applicable within Northern Ireland.
NHS veterans’ mental health services now available for armed forces personnel approaching discharge

Information for patients

Armed forces personnel approaching discharge can now get treatment and support at NHS veterans’ mental health services across England and thereafter into their civilian life, whether this is months or years later. 

If you are experiencing mental health difficulties, these services can provide a range of treatment and support in close liaison with Defence Medical Services (DMS).  This includes recognising the early signs of mental health problems and providing access to early treatment and support, as well as therapeutic treatment for complex mental health difficulties and psychological trauma.  Patients are also provided with help, where appropriate, with employment, reduction in alcohol consumption, housing and social support.

To access these services whilst you are still in the armed forces, you must meet the following criteria:

·         be a resident in England
·         have an identified or diagnosed mental health illness / disorder; AND
·         have a discharge date from the Ministry of Defence (MOD) or be found to be unfit for continued military service by their medical board; OR
·         have been identified by the Departments of Community Mental Health as requiring follow on psychiatric care on discharge from the MOD; OR
·         have had their pre-release medical and been identified by their DMS GP as requiring mental health transition support; OR
·         have had a pre-release medical before they self-refer.

If you wish to access these services once you are a veteran, you must meet the following criteria instead:

·         be a resident in England
·         have served in the UK armed forces for a full day
·         be registered with a GP practice in England or be willing to register with a GP
·         be able to provide your military service number or another form of acceptable proof of eligibility.
If you meet either of these criteria, you can self-refer or request referral via a health care professional or service charity. 

Upon receipt of referral, patients will be offered an initial face to face assessment within two weeks and where appropriate a clinical appointment two weeks thereafter. 

Do you need help?
To find out more, speak to your DMS GP or use the information below to get in contact with your local service.

                                                           North of England
(County Durham, North Yorkshire, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Merseyside, East Riding of Yorkshire, North Lincolnshire, North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire)
Service contact
Email
Contact number
Anna Burke
0191 441 5974

Midlands and East of England
(Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire, Rutland, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, West Midlands, Worcestershire, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk)
Service contact
Email
Contact number
Diane Palmer
0300 323 0137

London and South East England
(Greater London, Kent, Surrey, East Sussex and West Sussex)
Service contact
Email
Contact number
Sue Ferrier
020 3317 6818

South Central and South West England
(Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Bristol, Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly)
Service contact
Email
Contact number
David Wilcox
(Gloucestershire, Bristol, Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly)
0300 365 0300

Adele Stevens
(Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight)

Further information
Information on the service can be found on NHS Choices.

JSHAO - Housing Matters Magazine - Summer 2017

To Read The Latest On-Line Edition, Please Click HERE

Easy Resettlement Magazine - Summer Issue Online

To read this issue online

Queen Victoria School Dunblane Open Morning

Veterans Housing Advice


Armed Forces Bereavement Scholarship Scheme


Customer Satisfaction Survey


Quest - July Issue

http://edition.pagesuite.com/html5/reader/production/default.aspx?pubname=&edid=f3856f0c-1d26-483a-ad00-7348047880c6


Extended Childcare Entitlement - Overseas Locations (Outside UK)

EXTENDED FREE CHILDCARE ENTITLEMENT IN OVERSEAS LOCATIONS
BACKGROUND
1.               In overseas locations the MOD provides services (or access to services) that, so far as is reasonably practicable, conform in type, scope and standard to that required by legislation in England (but paying due regard to the equivalent legislation in the Devolved Administrations).
2.               The 2006 Childcare Act provided for 15 hours of childcare per week for 38 weeks of the year for 3 and 4 year olds free of charge.  In overseas locations the MOD currently delivers this entitlement through places at MOD-provided settings or through access to the MOD Overseas Nursery Allowance.
3.         The 2016 Childcare Act provides for an extension of the current entitlement and offers an additional 15 hours per week for 38 weeks of the year of free childcare for children that are eligible, with effect from 1 September 2017.
4.         The additional 15 hours will be available to families where both parents are working (or the sole parent is working in a lone parent family) a minimum of 16 hours each per week. Parents each earning £100,000.00 or more do not qualify for the additional entitlement.
ENTITLEMENT
5.               The additional entitlement will be introduced by government on 1 September 2017 across England and is mirrored in MOD locations overseas, using the same eligibility criteria defined under the 2016 Childcare Act above.
6.               The additional entitlement has been trialled across England prior to the rollout on 1 September 2017. The MOD entitlement will not be backdated to include these periods.
7.               In overseas locations where the MOD-provided settings have sufficient capacity, the additional entitlement will be provided through those settings, free of charge. Free childcare cannot be claimed when using childminders or nannies.
8.               In overseas locations where there are no MOD-provided settings, or where MOD-provided settings lack sufficient capacity, the additional entitlement will be provided through the MOD Overseas Nursery Allowance.
9.               The entitlement applies to eligible Service Personnel and entitled Civilians only. The latter means UK Based Civil Servants posted overseas or Specially Recruited for Overseas Service. Fee-paying contractors cannot apply.


ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR THE ADDITIONAL 15 HOURS
10.            The MOD currently delivers 15 hours per week for 38 weeks of the year free early education to all Regular Service Personnel, Reserve Personnel undertaking Full Time Reserve Service (Full Commitment) (FTRS FC) and entitled Civilians who are assigned overseas where they are accompanied by their eligible children, through places at MOD-provided settings or through access to the MOD Overseas Nursery Allowance.
11.            In order to be eligible for the additional 15 hours of free childcare each parent must be working (or the sole parent is working in a lone parent family) a minimum of 16 hours each per week. These limits are measured for eligibility purposes on average over a period of three months on a reasonable expectation basis.
12.            In order to be eligible for the additional 15 hours of free childcare, the maximum income per parent is £100,000.00 per annum.
13.            For Dependants working overseas who pay Income Tax to HMRC or devolved equivalents, confirmation of eligibility is required from their employer (DBS).
14.            For Dependants working overseas as Locally Engaged Civilians (LECs) not paying Income Tax to HMRC or devolved equivalents, it will be the responsibility of the local Command through the LEC employer or agency, to confirm their eligibility.
15.            Dependants working overseas on the local economy will be required to provide proof from their employer in order to confirm their eligibility.
16.            To ensure stability for children, parents and providers, the government has introduced a grace period should families cease to be eligible, before the existing entitlement is withdrawn.  This grace period will be mirrored, where reasonably practicable, by the MOD.

HOW TO APPLY
17.         If you currently qualify for the free 15 hours in an MOD-provided setting and fulfil the above eligibility criteria for the additional 15 hours entitlement, please complete Annex A to this DIN and forward to the address on the Application Form.
18.         If you qualify for MOD Overseas Nursery Allowance and fulfil the above eligibility criteria for the additional 15 hours entitlement, please complete Annex A alongside your application for MOD Overseas Nursery Allowance and forward to the address on the Application Form.
CONTACT


19        Please contact SO2 Policy, DCYP for further information on DCYP-DCYP-Mailbox@mod.uk.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Tax-Free Childcare



Please click on image to enlarge

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Defence Discount Service: Bull Dog Skin Care


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Bulldog Skincare are offering members 25% discount off orders over £35.
For this offer please visit www.defencediscountservice.co.uk and visit the Bulldog offer.

INtouch mail service for UK armed forces personnel: service guide


The INtouch system replaced the e-bluey service on 1 April 2017.
INtouch messages are alternatives to Forces Free Air Letters (FFALs), known as ‘blueys’, and are also free to send.
The service allows users to upload letters, photos and documents via the internet, which are then securely printed and sent to their recipient.



SENDING MAIL USING INTOUCH : CLICK HERE...

Imail INtouch service: quick start guideCLICK HERE

Help for Heroes BBQ Campaign - July 2017



Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Dogs Trust - Hot Dogs Campaign

We all love to get outside and enjoy the sunshine when comes out. However, for dog owners it’s very important to remember the hot weather might not be as much fun for our furry friends. Dogs heat up quickly and cool down very differently to humans and heatstroke can result in serious complications for dogs. We cool down in the warm weather with an ice cream or cold drink, by relaxing in the shade and with the clothes we wear. Dogs sweat through their paws and pant to keep cool – and don’t have a choice of what to wear!  This is why each summer, Dogs Trust reminds owners of the importance of keeping your dog’s happy and safe in the warm weather.
That means things like:
Never leaving your dogs in a car
Don’t excessively exercise your dog
Planning walks at cooler time of the day
Always having plenty of water for your dogs
Make sure your dog has shade to cool off in, wither when inside or out
Try and keep your dog out of the direct sun. Dogs can get sun burned – especially white dogs or those with little hair
Think twice about any car trips with your dog and, if essential, plan time for water breaks and try and avoid congested roads at busier times of the day


Monday, 10 July 2017

CareersTransition Partnership - Resettlement Support for Service Leavers



Resettlement Support for Service Leavers: Career Transition Partnership
The Career Transition Partnership (CTP) is a partnering agreement between the Ministry of Defence and Right Management Ltd, who are global career development and outplacement specialists and part of the ManpowerGroup.
The CTP provides free resettlement services for those leaving the Royal Navy, Army, Royal Air Force and Marines. Regardless of rank, time served, or reason for leaving, all members of the Armed Forces can benefit from CTP support when leaving Service.

Resettlement support through the CTP covers three broad areas: Transition, Training and Employment. From creating a CV through to completing relevant vocational training, learning interview skills plus researching and applying for jobs, what the CTP offers can help Service leavers not just with their first civilian job, but throughout their working lifetime.

Additionally, specialist support is provided to Wounded, Injured and Sick personnel via CTP Assist, and to Early Service Leavers via CTP Future Horizons.

The programme is delivered at nine Resettlement Centres in the UK and one in Germany, along with the Resettlement Training Centre in Aldershot, and includes face-to face support, online resettlement planning via myPlan, the personalised area of the CTP website, and access to the CTP’s ex-military job board, CTP RightJob.

CTP RightJob lists thousands of live vacancies for Service leavers from local, national and international employers, with opportunities ranging from apprenticeship to executive. The CTP works with hundreds of organisations who recognise the benefits of recruiting from the ex-military talent pool, and value the experience and strong working ethos Service leavers bring with them.

CTP support is provided to Service leavers from two years prior to discharge, and up until two years after discharge. Click here to check eligibility.


It is vital that Service leavers register for resettlement with their Second Line Service Resettlement Advisor prior to discharge. Visit www.ctp.org.uk to find out more.

AFF - Press Release














AFF secures better access to student loans for Army spouses and partners

The Army Families Federation (AFF) is celebrating a change to Student Finance England's loan qualifying criteria, which will allow more Army families to access a loan when undertaking a UK based course.

As of 1 August 2017, families posted overseas who wish to undertake a qualifying UK based university or college course can now access a loan via Student Finance England even if they are not in the UK on the first day of their chosen course. This applies to both full and part time courses.

An AFF win
This AFF win was originally announced by the Universities Minister Jo Johnson back in 2016, after much lobbying by the charity and joint working with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

The change applies to new students starting a distance learning course in 2017/18 and also to those who have already started a distance learning course before and who are continuing that course in 2017/18.

Unfortunately, this does not apply to those from the devolved nations. To be eligible, you must qualify for the English student support package.

Putting families first
AFF continues to prioritise spousal employment and training, and this includes those posted overseas who sometimes cannot work and so choose to undertake a course during that time.
AFF Chief Executive Sara Baade said: "AFF is delighted that the new, more inclusive student funding rules have now come into force; Armed Forces families who are posted abroad will now have access to the same opportunities as those living in the UK, when accessing Student Finance England loans. We look forward to seeing the positive impact on military spouses this change will bring."  
Find out more
For more information about the work AFF does in support of Army families, visit their website www.aff.org.uk