MOD main building in Whitehall, London

Wednesday 19th December 2018

Armed Forces Disability Champion, Air Vice Marshal, Garry Tunnicliffe, shares his Christmas message. From he, Brigadier Fred and all of the team in the CanDiD (Chronic Conditions and Disability in Defence) Network Executive, they wish you a restful and Merry Christmas. 

The appointment of the Armed Forces Disability Champion is not just new, it is ground breaking. It recognises that for some Service personnel, chronic conditions and/or disabilities are a feature of Service life – physical and/or mental, which may be temporary, recurring or even permanent. Defence hasn’t often thought in these terms with regards to its military workforce; however, as Defence increasingly challenges itself to become a diverse and inclusive organisation it is closing the gaps in its approach.

A willing and enthusiastic group of volunteers has worked hard over the last six months to produce a network structure, a network proposition, fill network posts and agree a programme of activities. We will finish the year with everything in place to start addressing next year’s priorities which we have assessed as employment barriers, training and education, single-Service inconsistency, carer and Service family inclusion, and medical care.

This is very much the start of our journey, and with so much preparatory work already complete we are in an excellent place to continue with our plans. The next 12 months will be exciting and, with so much support, I see the Network continuing to thrive presenting the opportunity to make a real difference to those we aim to support and to wider Defence.

Finally, I’d like to take the opportunity to thank all who have been directly involved with the Network, and those who have supported us to date. The very existence of CanDiD would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of its members and the Defence community. I very much look forward to continuing this journey with you in the New Year, and wish you and yours, health & happiness in 2019.

AVM Garry Tunnicliffe, Armed Forces Disability Champion © Crown Copyright 2018


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