The Community Covenant scheme was launched by the Government in 2011 following a high profile Legion campaign on Armed Forces Covenant issues. The scheme was announced by the Prime Minister as part of a wider Armed Forces Covenant package in May 2011: this followed concerted cross-party campaigning in Parliament and a meeting between the Prime Minister and the Legion’s Director General, Dr Chris Simpkins, at which it was agreed that the principles of the Armed Forces Covenant would be written into law.
This has now happened.
- recognising the unique nature of Service,
- ensuring that there is no disadvantage, e.g. in accessing public services, as a result of service in the Armed Forces, and
- allowing special treatment where justified, e.g. in the case of injured personnel have been enshrined in the Armed Forces Act 2011.
A key test of those principles is the extent to which they are applied in practice on the ground, which is why Community Covenants are so important. Community Covenants are voluntary statements of mutual support between civilian communities and their local Armed Forces community. They are intended to complement, at a local level, the Armed Forces Covenant, which outlines the mutual obligations between the Nation, the Government and the Armed Forces.
Community Covenants aim to:
- encourage local communities to support the Armed Forces community in their areas;
- nurture public understanding and awareness of the issues affecting the Armed Forces community;
- recognise and remember the sacrifices made by the Armed Forces community;
- encourage activities which help to integrate the Armed Forces community into local life; and
- encourage the Armed Forces community to help and support the wider community, whether through participation in events and joint projects, or other forms of engagement.
Signing a Community Covenant not only offers a unique and low-cost way for local authorities to do their bit to honour the Armed Forces Covenant locally; it also offers groups, organisations and individuals within their area access to a £30M Government funding stream, the Community Covenant Grant Scheme.
The first point of contact for veterans seeking support: Veteran's Gateway
View: Ashfield District Council's Community Covenant