Friday, 27 January 2017

Important Information for Parents and Schools 

Changes to the Special Educational Needs Addition to the MOD Continuity of Education Allowance

(JSP 752 Part 2(V29.0 Jan 17) Chapter 9, Sections 2 and 4)

To view the complete document CLICK HERE

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Medway Craft Fair Calendar 2017

It's now 2017 and we are back and ready with our new dates As always please email with all your question and/or for a booking form if you'd like a stall.

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Service Family Hot Topics - January 2017 Newsletter

To read the Service Family Hot Topics January 2017 Newsletter

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

SSAFA Got Your Back Campaign

SSAFA has joined forces with celebrities to launch "Got Your Back" Campaign, encouraging vulnerable members of the UK Military Community to ask for help.

New research published by SSAFA, The Armed Forces charity, has revealed that less than 1% of the personnel currently serving in the United Kingdom’s Armed Forces or veterans would seek help from a charity if they found themselves in need.

Currently serving members of the Armed Forces, veterans and their families in need can contact SSAFA’s Forcesline on 0800 731 4880 or via email at Forcesline is a free and confidential helpline and email service that provides support and advice and operates independently from the military chain of command.

Volunteer with SSAFA

For further information CLICK HERE

Using Social Media

The use of social media is accepted by Defence and, when used appropriately, should be encouraged. The issue we face is not why or how we use social media, but how well we use it.

A useful trifold guide has been produced to help. This guide tells you what is and isn’t acceptable social media behaviour for military personnel.

To access the  leaflet, CLICK HERE

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Call 105 if you have a Power Cut

Do you know who to contact if you have a power cut?

105 is the new number to call.

It’s free of charge and will put you through to your local network operator who can give you help and advice.

More information at

Advice on Dealing with Emergencies in your Home

Changes to the Special Educational Needs Addition to the MOD Continuity of Education Allowance

Important Information for Parents and Schools 

Changes to the Special Educational Needs Addition to the MOD Continuity of Education Allowance
(JSP 752 Part 2(V29.0 Jan 17) Chapter 9, Sections 2 and 4)

Details can be seen at this link

SSAFA's Ride to the Somme Challenge - 30th August 2017 to 2nd September 2017

Ride to the Somme will commemorate the cycling soldiers that fought and fell during the Battle of the Somme in 1916 as we ride 200 miles over 3 days.

The Ride to the Somme will commence on Wednesday 30th August and will culminate at The Thiepval Memorial, The Memorial to the Missing of the Somme, which marks the 72,195 British and African soldiers with no known grave, on Saturday 2nd September.

CLICK HERE for further information or to join in.

Blind Veterans UK - Introduction Weeks

Blind Veterans UK runs week-long introduction courses give veterans crucial guidance and support as our blind veterans adjust to their loss of sight and regain their personal independence.

The courses are held in 3 locations; Brighton, Llandudno and Sheffield. These weeks are life-changing. Veterans who have shared similar experiences can meet and explore ways to overcome the challenges of sight loss. Time and again people who join us nervously on the first morning tell us they don't want to leave at the end of the week. If you know of a veteran with sight loss request a callback to discuss FREE support or download an application form.

Pickleball is Coming to Medway Park

New to Medway Park Leiesure Centre. Try this fun and fast-paced racket sport! It's a cross between badminton, table tennis and tennis.

All ages and abilities welcome. Free session Wednesdays from 6pm to 8pm at Medway Park. No booking required.

For more information about Pickleball  CLICK HERE

Volunteer with the Army Cadet Force

Like the idea of inspiring and leading young people to achieve things they never thought possible?  Looking for something exciting to do in your spare time?
Then why not register now to find out more about becoming an Army Cadet Force adult volunteer?
With 41,000 cadets (aged 12-18) in over 1,600 locations in communities all around the UK, the ACF is one of the country’s largest voluntary youth organisations.  We have thousands of enthusiastic and committed adult volunteers - but we are always on the hunt for more!
No particular experience is required and we provide all necessary training.  So if you can give up one or two evenings a week and want to do something different with your free time, this could be exactly what you are looking for.

Volunteer with Forces Children on a SSAFA Short Break

For further information and to request an application form see
or phone 020 7463 9275
Deadline for applications is 2nd March 2017

Exmoor Family Break - Saturday 29th July to Friday 4th August 2017

For further information see
or phone 020 7463 9275

Medway Homestart - Support for Under 5s

To download a trifold leaflet containing further information, CLICK HERE

SSAFA Free Short Breaks

SSAFA offers FREE Short Breaks for currently serving families and reservists who have a child or a parent with an additional need or disability in their family. The breaks are an opportunity for children to gain some independence and new experiences, and for families to spend quality time together.

SSAFA co-ordinates Short Breaks that focus on offering new experiences and activities for children and young people from Service families. The breaks are free but transport to and from the venue is for the family to arrange. Any families interested in finding out more or booking on a course, please go to

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Transition to Civilian Life

This guide covers resettlement, housing, leave, and pensions as well as the administrative procedures, for the smooth transition to Civilian Life. 

The guide is written for those who are going to live in the UK. 

If you are leaving the Army from the UK and returning to your country of origin you will need to ask about matters relating to that country.

Your Unit Welfare Officer (UWO) would be a good place to start seeking help and advice.

This guide tells you about the ex-Service and civilian welfare agencies which are there to help you, if you wish, once you have left the Army.

It will also explain procedures for all Service Leavers (SL)

To read or download the guide CLICK HERE

Career Transition Partnership - Employment Bulletin January 2017 - London and South East

On behalf of the Career Transition Partnership (CTP), welcome to the London and the South East Employment Bulletin, which will provide you with the latest jobs and business news from across the region and highlights a selection of the latest regional vacancies on our job site,

In addition to this bulletin, there are plenty of other resources available to assist you in your job search: the monthly Focus e-newsletter provides job-finding, resettlement and training news via email, our bespoke Industry Sector Guides are regularly updated with the latest industry news, and the CTP website is full of useful tips, advice and dedicated employer microsites, where you will find information from a range of companies with ongoing opportunities for ex-military personnel.

To read the whole Bulletin, please CLICK HERE

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Brompton Military Wives Choir

Thefts from Motor Vehicles in the Medway Area

Medway residents are being urged to keep their vehicles locked and secure following recent reports of thefts.

Kent Police officers have received reports of items being stolen from vehicles which have been left unlocked by their owners, making the vehicles an easy target.

Thefts from unlocked vehicles have been reported across Medway, with no particular pattern of offending except for the victim not locking their car.

Kent Police Inspector of the Medway Community Safety Unit said: 'I urge all motorists to ensure they physically check their vehicle is locked before leaving it, and not to rely on remote door locking devices.

'It is not a regular occurrence in Medway for thieves to smash car windows, however we are seeing a rise in the opportunist thief taking advantage of unlocked vehicles.'

Anyone with information about thefts from motor vehicles in Medway can call Kent Police's appeal line on 01634 792209 or alternatively call Kent Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Monday, 16 January 2017

When to Renew 2017 School Bus Passes in Medway

Term 3
3 January 2017 – 10 February 2017
Send Term 4 Renewal Letters and Emails – 23 January 2017
DEADLINE – 10 February 2017

HALF TERM – 13 February – 17 February 2017

Term 4
20 February 2017 – 31 March 2017
Send Term 5 Renewal Letters and Emails – 13 March 2017
DEADLINE – 31 March 2017

Holiday – 3 April – 17 April 2017

Term 5
18 April 2017 – 26 May 2017
Send Term 6 Renewal Letters and Emails – 8 May 2017
DEADLINE – 26 May 2017

HALF TERM – 29 May – 2 June 2017

Term 6
5 June 2017 – 21 July 2017
Send Term 1 Renewal Letters and Emails – 19 June 2017

DEADLINE – 14 July 2017


Friday, 13 January 2017

Online Mental Health Apps Library

Lots of people have found talking therapies helpful for mental health problems such as depression, anxiety and stress.

Evidence confirms that talking therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can be as effective as medication for some mental health problems.

While CBT and other face-to-face talking therapies are widely available privately, you may have to wait to get them on the NHS.
Online help for mental health

NICE has approved the use of computerised cognitive behavioural therapy (CCBT) for the treatment of depression, generalised anxiety disorder and panic disorder. CCBT is the name used for delivering CBT via computers, tablets and phone, usually online. Research suggests it can be just as effective as having face-to-face therapy with a therapist if you are supported by a remote therapist.

As well as CCBT there are a range of other online mental health services available to support people with their mental health.

You may be able to use CCBT and other online services for free on the NHS. Ask your GP or mental health professional, or contact the services themselves directly to find out.

To access the online apps library CLICK HERE

Soldier 2 Civilian

The  Chatham HIVE has a supply of these new booklets.  If you are leaving the Army shortly, pop into the Chatham Hive at the Lampard Centre and collect yours.

Online University Degrees in Management Are Now Available to Families gives military personnel the opportunity to study for a university management degree online.

Now, BA (Honours) in Business Management and a MBA (master’s degree) are being offered to family members who want to go to university but at a cost that they can afford.

These degrees are from the award winning Anglia Ruskin University, which is in the top ten UK universities for distance learning (see

By using military experience and a 2-part qualification, our distinct system allows Servicemen and women to gain eligibility points, even when they do not have sufficient academic qualifications for a direct application. The procedure has recently been adapted to reward military families, by crediting their unique experiences and extra responsibilities.

The better UK universities are well regarded by multi-national employers due to a combination of prestige, history, English language and world-leading research. We have a number of reports from studies on pay and employment success that support this fact and will gladly respond to any enquiry on ‘what can a management BA or MBA degree do for me?’

You can research both the university ( and its online provider LSM (, who will run your study programme.

Alternatively, you could just contact us by email ( or go to our website. Our brief is to manage your application at no cost to yourself but you will also benefit from our funding advice and support right through to your graduation.

Project Firefly - Regular to RNR Seamless Transfer

If you are an ex-regular and have left the service within 2 years, you can join the RNR on a 'seamless transfer'.

Project Firefly is an NPT(Reserves) led initiative and an important work strand in supporting the manning requirements laid down in the Future Reserve Forces 2020 (FR20) white paper.

The projects aims include the creation of a seamless transfer scheme from Regular to Reserves, for Service leavers (SL); and an engagement campaign to promote the Transfer Scheme and raise the profile of the Maritime Reserves to the Regular and ex-regular Naval Communities.

For further information CLICK HERE

Employment Opportunities for Service Leavers at Asda

SERFCA Website - Jobs for Reservists and Veterans

The purpose of the SERFCA website is to put reservists, who are seeking employment together with employers who have vacancies to fill and who are 'reservist friendly'. Ex military personnel or veterans may also apply for jobs on this site.

For further information, visit the website at:

Resettlement Support Continues When You Leave the Forces

Resettlement support doesn't end when you leave the Armed Forces.

You can seek help if eligible from your Regional Resettlement Centre for up to two years after your discharge date.

Career advice and guidance

If you attended a Career Transition Workshop or worked with a CTP Career Consultant on a one-to-one basis prior to leaving, you’re eligible for advice and information from your Career Consultant for up to two years post-discharge.

You can contact them by phone, email, or in person, whether it’s to discuss a job application, get feedback on your CV, or simply review your career direction.

Mail Redirection

When Moving Out of your Service Family Accommodation please make sure that you have arranged to redirect your mail.

The Post Office offers a redirection service at:

National Insurance for Forces' Dependents Overseas

Joining Forces - Savings and Loan Repayments Taken Straight From Pay

The Ministry of Defence is supporting three of the UK’s leading credit unions to join forces and make saving simple and loans more affordable to the Armed Forces and its Veterans. The money is deducted straight from your pay or pension so you don’t have to think about it.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Future for Heroes - Free Residential Courses in the Lake District

Future for Heroes is a charity organisation serving the British armed forces.  Formed in 2008, the charity was originally called Remount, using the strap line ‘the future for heroes’.

It was recognised that some armed forces personnel leaving the military needed help in making the physical and emotional adjustments necessary to successfully reintegrate into civilian life.  Many who struggle to make the adjustment can end up living rough or in prison.  Others can look to dependency for the answers.  We provide free  residential courses where individuals are encouraged to reflect and learn from their past, realise their current circumstances and begin to plan for their future.

The object of the charity is to develop the ability of both serving and retired members of the armed forces, as well as their spouses/partners, to manage the dramatic change in cultures when resuming civilian life.  The individuals, from across all ranks of the 3 services, are better able to identify and meet their post-military needs and so can participate fully in society.

Over a 4-day period,  Future for Heroes runs FREE courses to help people make the physical and emotional adjustments required to successfully reintegrate into civilian life

Whilst delegates include all military leavers irrespective of their individual situations, a number who attend are referred to Future for Heroes from organisations that support the more vulnerable, those for whom falling into unemployment, offending and destructive behaviour is a real risk.  Whatever personal circumstances are, all leave Future for Heroes having benefited from attending.
The charity’s official title is: Remount T/A Future for Heroes Ltd

For further information CLICK HERE

UK Schools Directory

SSAFA Mentoring for Service Leavers

SSAFA Mentoring can motivate, support and empower service leavers who are leaving the Forces.

Whether you are leaving on a medical discharge, are an early service leaver or have come to the end of your career, mentoring is a powerful tool to help achieve your true potential outside the military.

SSAFA will give you one-to-one support during your transition onto Civvy Street and afterwards for up to one year. During that time your mentor will support you to achieve your personal goals as you move into civilian life.

For further information CLICK HERE

30% Discount on a Merlin Pass

Unleash your inner wizard with the Merlin Annual Pass, which is the key to 31 amazing new worlds that are packed full of adventure. For 12 spellbinding months there is definitely something for everyone, from thrill seeking adventures to a fun-loving family day out.

(For full list of UK attractions


Merlin Annual pass now available with a Defence Discount Service discount when calling 0871 222 4001 and quoting code MOD.

Standard Annual Pass price:individual - DDS price was £143.20 now £125.30
Standard Annual Pass price:family - DDS price £111.20 per person now £97.30

Premium Annual Pass price:individual - DDS price was £175.20 now £153.30
Premium Annual Pass price:family - DDS price was £143.20 per person now £125.30

For further information about this offer visit:

Defence Discount Service - There's an App for that

DRM (Defence Relation Management)

DRM is a single point of contact linking employers with the Ministry of Defence (MOD).

About DRM

We offer advice and support on employing members of the armed forces community, and enable organisations to develop a mutually beneficial working relationship with the MOD. DRM builds on the successful SaBRE (Supporting Britain’s Reservists and their Employers) information campaign and continues defence’s work with reservists, their employers, and those organisations who want to partner with defence.

CarillionAmey Move in / Move Out Standard Tick Sheets

These booklets detail the Move In and Move Out standards required of your SFA ensuring that you know exactly what is required from you to get your property to the agreed standard.

Getting Married?

For a useful Q&A sheet from the Army Families Federation

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Medway Festival of Sport 10k, Medway Park - Sunday, 4th June 2017

The fifth annual 10k event will be held again this summer on Sunday, 4 June at Medway Park Leisure Centre. Entries are now open online

The race will, once again, be looking to attract runners of all abilities, from experienced athletes to those new to running.

Road closures will be in place to enable a track start and finish at Medway Park.

Medal and Finish Line goodies to all finishers, plus prizes/awards for leading runners in all age categories and team prizes.

You can find a copy of the course map here.

Floodlit Track Race Series, Medway Park Leisure Centre - Wednesdays, 6.30pm, February, March and April 2017

Following the success of the Summer 5K Series, Medway Sport is launching a new Floodlit Track Race Series at Medway Park.

The Wednesday evening races run fortnightly through February, March and April 2017 and alternate between 5k and 5 miles.

All races will be fully chip timed, with runners placed in heats with runners of a similar ability. First heats will begin at 6.30pm. Prizes will be available for the overall series winners. Entry fee is £10 per race (£8 for Premier Gym and Ready 2 Run Group Members) or £50 for the whole series (£40 for Premier Gym and Ready 2 Run Group Members .)

Remaiing race dates:

Wednesday, 5 April 5k
Wednesday, 19 April 5 miles

Monday, 9 January 2017

Hero Walk: Yorkshire Three Peaks - Saturday 12th August 2017

The Yorkshire Three Peaks is a one-day challenge of epic proportions: three mountains, over 25 miles and all in just 12 hours!

You'll be tackling the three highest peaks in the Yorkshire Dales: Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough.

Experience the breath-taking scenery of the Dales with this great trekking challenge. The countryside, shaped by the age of the glaciers, is your playground, with limestone pavements and rocky, rugged tracks to follow.

When:  Saturday 12th August 2017
Where:  Horton-in-Ribblesdale
Distance:  25 miles

Exclusive New Year offer: enter discount code Y3P10 to get 10% off your registration fee between 1 – 15 January 2017

For further information or to register for a place CLICK HERE

Climb Kilimanjaro in 2018 for Help for Heroes - Register interest now

H4H's popular trek to the summit of Kilimanjaro will return in 2018.

The snow-capped summit of the highest free standing mountain in the world rises high above the dusty plains of Africa offering spectacular views, huge glaciers and beautiful ice formations as reward for your physical and mental endeavour.

H4H is working to confirm the 2018 trek. If you would like to be the first to hear when we launch, please register your interest.

For further information or to register your interest CLICK HERE

Alternatively you can email or telephone 01725 514106

For details of other H4H Trekking Challenges CLICK HERE

Help For Heroes Dawn Raid Cycle Challenge - Sunday 18th June 2017

2017 will see the return of H4H's  hugely popular southern Dawn Raid. Whether you’re a cycling enthusiast or a relaxed rider, this exciting one-day challenge has something for all abilities. 

So, what makes Dawn Raid unique?

Chase the sunrise and choose a distance that suits you:

100-mile ride: London to Portsmouth, setting off from Horse Guards Parade at 03.00 before conquering the breathtaking Box Hill.

50-mile ride: Aldershot to Portsmouth, setting off from the home of the British Army at 09.00 – and cycle down the runway at RAF Odiham.

DIY ride: Thinking of riding your own route? Now you can, which is perfect for putting a team of family and friends together of mixed abilities.

Enjoy our family fun day after crossing the finish line at Southsea Common, Portsmouth.

Cycle with wounded, injured and sick Servicemen and women – the very people you’ll be raising money to help.

From reaching your fundraising target to crossing the finish line, our H4H Events Team will be with you every step of the way.

For further details of this challenge and other HFH Cycling Challenges taking place this year, CLICK HERE

Housing Matters - Winter Issue

The Winter issue of Housing Matters is available online
by clicking HERE

Hard copies are also available free from the Chatham HIVE

Help for Heroes - Hidden Wounds

What is Hidden Wounds?

Free and confidential support for Veterans, their families and the families of those currently serving who are suffering with anxiety, depression, stress, anger and alcohol issues. Symptoms can include a lack of motivation or interest in everyday activities; an uncontrollable sense of worry; a fear of crowds; physical tension in the head or shoulders, or any number of other depression symptoms. Support is delivered by phone, Skype or face to face.

For further details or to contact the Hidden Wounds team CLICK HERE

Friday, 6 January 2017

Service Pupil Premium 2017

This message is for the attention of Regular Forces Service parents based in England. If your child attends a state school, Academy or Free school in England and has been registered with the school as a Service pupil, the school will be granted a Service Pupil Premium of £300.

The Service Pupil Premium (SPP) is provided by the Department for Education to enable schools to offer additional, mainly pastoral, support during challenging times, which could include anything from a Service parent being away, being injured on active service to bereavement. Funds are paid directly to schools; with Head Teachers and school Governors deciding how the funds are used.

Schools with Service children in Reception to Year 11 classes are eligible to receive SPP, but only if your child’s name appears on the school roll as being a Service child. The annual census takes place on 19 January 2017 and children must be registered with the school before this date. You are encouraged to contact the school and make them aware your child is from a Service family. This information is not shared with other organisations and is protected on the National Pupil database.

For more information on eligibility, please CLICK HERE

For any other queries regarding Service children contact the Directorate Children and Young People’s educational advisory arm, Children's Education Advisory Service (CEAS) via email: or telephone: 01980 618244.

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Phoning CarillionAmey Helpdesk from a Mobile or from Abroad

Calls to the CarillionAmey Helpdesk 0800 707 6000 number from a mobile will incur a cost. Please use the direct line number provided below.  

The number is 0151 728 1630

This goes to the same option number so is no different to the 0800 one, but will be included in talk time plans, or may cost less when calling from abroad.

Courses for Forces: Winter Edition

To read this issue online