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Friday, 28 July 2017

Armed Forces Covenant Customer Survey

The Armed Forces Covenant website has now been live for over a year and is being updated continually but to ensure the content meets the user's needs, we are currently hosting a customer survey - the feedback will help us improve the website's content. 

The survey will run until 31 July and can be accessed via the front page, https://www.armedforcescovenant.gov.uk  

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Changes to Food Recycling for Vale of White Horse and South Oxfordshire County Council occupants

NEW! For occupants living in 
Vale of White Horse (Abingdon, Wantage Grove, Southmoor) 
South Oxford (Didcot)  
You can now line your food waste caddy with plastic bags (e.g carrier bags, pedal bin liners, bread bags) or compostable liners and newspaper.

Carillionamyey - Moving In? Can't be there for your appointment? Need a Proxy ?

Moving in and can’t be there for the appointment? 
You can nominate a Service proxy or your spouse to act on your behalf by completing the Notification of Proxy form http://ow.ly/RLEQ30dVndF

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

The Nurturing Programme - Taster Session running at Dalton Barracks on Wednesday 13th September 2017

Oxfordshire Autistic Society - Coffee & Chat - Dalton Barracks Community centre - Friday 6th October 2017

DIO Customer Survey

Extended Childcare Entitlement - Overseas Locations

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.

Veterans Mental Health - Transition, Intervention and Liaison Service

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
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
Contact number
Diane Palmer
0300 323 0137

London and South East England
(Greater London, Kent, Surrey, East Sussex and West Sussex)
Service contact
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
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.

MOD Supporting Families with Childcare Costs

Monday, 24 July 2017

GIVE US TIME - Matching Donated Holidays with Service Families

Further information can be found herehttps://giveustime.org.uk/

Carillionamey: Help from your Accommodation Officer

What type of issues do Accommodation Officers look after?

Each accommodation officer is responsible for looking after 300 – 350 Service family homes on their patch and managing some of the local works going in the area.
Accommodation Officers look after issues such as:

  • Graffiti
  • Potholes in the road
  • Litter around the area
  • Issues with blocked garages
  • Fallen trees
  • Street lights not working
  • Vandalism
  • Blocked drains in the street
  • Emptying the dog litter bins
  • Fencing
If you call our Customer Service Centre to report an issue with your area, the Accommodation Officer responsible will assess the issue and make sure any work required is carried out.

Telephone: 0800 707 6000 (lines open 24/7, 365 days per year). Call us from overseas: +44 151 728 1630

Cherwell District Council - Waste & Recycling collection days are changing from 1st August 2017

Bicester Military BABS (Bumbs and Beyond Support group) - Every Thursday, Bicester Children and Families Centre

Thames Valley Alert - Crime prevention advice regarding purse thefts around Abingdon Town Centre

Crime prevention advice regarding purse thefts
We have received a number of reports of purse thefts in and around Abingdon town centre. Please ensure you keep your belongings safe and follow the advice to help deter potential offenders:
  • Keep your purse/ wallet out of sight, preferably in a bag securely done up each time you put your purse/wallet back in your bag. If at all possible, wear your bag towards your front where it can be seen rather than behind you where it cannot.
  • Do not put your purse/wallet in a clothing pocket where it may be visible to thieves. Do not leave your handbag on your shopping trolley.
  • Be aware of who is around you and keep your belongings close by. Do not leave belongings unattended.
  • If possible, do not carry more cash than is necessary on your person/ in your purse/wallet.
  • Do not write down your PIN number or leave it with your bank card.
  • Please pass on this information to family and friends, especially the elderely and vulnerable.
For any further advice please visit https://www.thamesvalley.police.uk/advice/ or speak to the Abingdon Neighbourhood Team by calling 101 or emailing abingdontownnhpt@thamesvalley.pnn.police.uk

Thames Valley Alert - Burglary in Gozzards Ford, Abingdon

Are you in the RAF? Going Away? Have you heard of Storybook Wings?

Bicester Army Education Centre - ECDL course dates

Mapledurham at War this August

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

An Introduction to Tax Free Childcare - replacing Child Care Vouchers

Armed Forces Bereavement Scholarship Scheme

Shell Shock Military Community Mental Health Project Now On Tour

Veterans Housing Advice

Samaritans - 24th July 2017

24th July is 24/7 Samaritans Awareness Day, so get involved in the worthwhile cause of raising awareness for the important work that The Samaritans carry out.

Please click HERE for more information

Find out more about becoming a volunteer with the Army Cadets

Little Troopers new app Little Troopers Treasures

Little Troopers Treasures is a free, easy to use app that can make story time precious every day and will ensure children never miss a bedtime story from their parents again; they can watch the recordings over and over whenever they miss their mummy or daddy.

For further details please click HERE

Service Families Accommodation

See information from DIO about Service Families Accommodation in these video links

Monday, 10 July 2017

AFF Oxfordshire

Your local Army Families Federation Co-ordinator post is gapped. 
We are busy recruiting, but in the interim, if you have a query or issue that you need to discuss, please contact Julie Mounfield , the Regional Manager, on regmgrsouth@aff.org.uk.

Thames Valley Police - The Armed Forces Referral Service

We have today (6/7) launched a service that provides support for members of the Armed Forces community to prevent re-offending.

The Armed Forces Referral Service aims to help reduce crime, rates of offending and re-offending by providing better access to support for veterans and their families that come into contact with the police.

Thames Valley Police is one of the first forces in the UK to launch a service that provides members of the Armed Forces’ community with opportunities to access practical support from SSAFA, the oldest national military charity, upon coming into contact with the police through either welfare or criminal incidents.

TVP Armed Forces Referral Service Lead, PC Antony Colton, said: “Anyone who comes into contact with TVP and who is identified as having any links with the British Armed Forces will be offered the opportunity to be referred to SSAFA, a charity that offers practical, emotional and financial support to serving personnel, veterans and their families.

“The purpose of this service is to better support our Armed Forces community whilst helping reduce crime and rates of offending and re-offending.

WIN £500 worth of kit by joining the BFBS Cadet Takeover!

WIN £500 worth of kit by joining the BFBS Cadet Takeover!
Forces Radio BFBS is challenging cadet members and units worldwide to submit 10-60 second videosthat capture their activities.
And now it’s getting competitive as every video is in with a chance of winning £500 worth of kit from The Cadet Kit Shop.  

Entries are open now until Friday 1st September 2017, when the winning video will be chosen by the Forces Radio BFBS judges.
The short films are published with the #CadetTakeover hashtag online on the www.forces.netwebsite and Forces Radio BFBS’s social media channels.
Hundreds of air cadets have already taken part, andAir Commodore Dawn McCafferty, Commandant ATC, has supported the initiative with a video that’s been viewed more than 50,000 times on Facebook.
The BFBS Cadet Takeover aims to raise the profile of local units and its members, illustrate the benefits of joining a cadet force, and foster inter-unit competition.

This also brings ownership of a key part of our radio and digital content and develops the digital skills of young people. Examples of videos could include parades, cadet tutorials, or ‘How To’ guides.

Tips for shooting videos and details of how to send them to Forces Radio BFBS are available online. Before submitting a video, cadets must obtain authorisation from local unit officers and parental consent.

The Cadet Unit Consent Agreement form, the BFBS Cadet Takeover Competition Supplementary Rules, and a pdf link with the full competition prize, areall available online at: http://forces.net/radio/join-bfbs-cadettakeover
And don’t forget you can also nominate a ‘Cadet of the Week’ for BFBS’s Access All Areas programme on Sundays 10-1pm (UK) – just email access@bfbs.com or cadets@bfbs.com.