Tuesday 29th January 2019

People in South Kesteven, Rutland and Harborough with a connection to the British Armed Forces are being encouraged to share their views and experiences as part of a wide-ranging survey looking at military life – the first of its kind ever to take place across the three local authority areas.

Regular armed forces personnel, reservists, veterans of all ages and extended members of forces families are all being encouraged to take part in the survey, which launched today (Monday 14 January 2019) and runs for three months.

The survey has been developed by Rutland County Council, Harborough District Council, South Kesteven District Council and Healthwatch Rutland as part of their shared commitment to support the UK’s national Armed Forces Covenant.

It aims to gather information that can be used to help improve local services for individuals and families who are connected to the Forces and asks questions about type and length of service, physical health, mental health, employment and education.

For South Kesteven District Council, Armed Forces Champion and Council Cabinet Member Cllr Nick Neilson expressed his appreciation for the role played by the services and the need to ensure they are supported within the district. He said: “There should be no disadvantages of service and we need to ensure that issues, whatever they are, are addressed.

“I am personally delighted to see us reaching out to the services community working in partnership with our sister councils, and stress SKDC’s commitment to acting on survey findings.”

Councillor Richard Foster, an Armed Forces Champion for Rutland County Council, said: “We are all aware of the incredible job done by our Armed Forces. British servicemen and women, together with their families, make incredible sacrifices in order to protect our county and we’re committed to repaying them by providing all the help and support they need at home.

“The Armed Forces survey is an important part of this commitment. Through it, we want to shed light on any disadvantages of having served and remove any barriers. This includes housing and employment issues, isolation, loneliness and unmet mental health needs. By understanding as much as we can about these issues we hope to overcome them and make sure that forces personnel, veterans and families can all prosper as part of our community.”

The Armed Forces Survey runs until April 2019 and people can take part in the online Survey

Paper copies of the survey are also available to collect from public libraries and council offices across South Kesteven, Rutland and Harborough and can be returned to:

Healthwatch Rutland c/o Rutland Community Hub Lands’ End Way Oakham, LE15 6RB

As well as gathering information, it is hoped that the survey will help to identify and engage with individuals and raise awareness of local support services that are available to them.

Following on from the survey, a detailed report will be produced examining the areas where more can be done to help current and past members of the Armed Forces and their families.

For more information and to take part visit: www.rutland.gov.uk/armedforces, email: [email protected] or call: 01572 722 577.

You can follow the work of this survey on Facebook.

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