Friday, 28 April 2017

Stay MoneyFit During Your Career

You’ll see lots of things in your Armed Forces career – after all, that’s what you signed up for.

Make sure your money stays as MoneyFit as you by taking control of it in every aspect of your career.

Make the most or your career opportunities

Find out all you need to know about your pay and living arrangements Before you join the Services.

Then see what you can expect from early career through to deployment and all the other issues you may come across during Service.

For further information and a fun 'career quiz'   CLICK HERE

MoneyForce - Car Buyer Calculator

Are you MoneyFit enough to own a car?  Buying a car can be an expensive decision, but it’s not just the cost of buying it that you have to  plan for.

Before you make any decisions look at MoneyForce's motoring pages with advice on buying a new car, buying a used car and information on car loans and finance. You should also think about saving for the deposit or purchase price.

The CarBuyer calculator helps you think about the total monthly cost of running a car so you can make an informed decision. Use this in your budget planning to stay MoneyFit!

To access this useful tool

Thursday, 27 April 2017

NHS Veterans' Mental Health Transition, Intervention and Liaison Service

For further information CLICK HERE

Medway 10k Run Challenge, Medway Pak - Sunday 4th June, 8am Start

The Medway 10k race on Sunday 4th June at Medway Park Leisure Centre is organised on behalf of Medway Council by Nice Work as part of the Medway Festival of Sport and The Wisdom Hospice is their Charity of the Year.

The Scarecrow's Wedding, Chatham Central Hall - Saturday 8th July, 2pm

Presented by Scamp Theatre and Watford Palace Theatre, and based on the book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, Betty O’Barley and Harry O’Hay invite you to The Scarecrows' Wedding:

The best wedding ever, the best wedding yet,
The wedding that no one will ever forget.

Betty O’Barley and Harry O’Hay are excellent scarecrows (they scare a lot of crows). Harry loves Betty, and Betty loves Harry - so they decide to get married and Harry sets off to search for their wedding day essentials including a dress of feathers, a bunch of flowers and a necklace made from shells.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

The Great Brompton Bake-Off

Defence Discount Service - Deal of the Week

Cotswold Outdoor Offer - Receive a 15% discount online.

Cotswold Outdoor are offering Defence Discount Service members a 15% discount online. 

Visit the Defence Discount Service Website to get the code and then shop on the Cotswold Outdoor website.

Remember there is also an app for the Defence Discount Service.

Sepsis - The Symptoms

For further information, visit or

Terrorism Guidance

For further information
and to view a short video

Tax Credit Payments over Bank Holiday Weekends

Long bank holiday weekends are coming, which means changes to tax credit payment dates.

May brings two bank holidays, the Early May bank holiday on the first Monday of the month and the
Spring bank holiday on the last Monday. In 2017, Monday, May 1 and Monday, May 29 will be bank holidays. This means you may be paid earlier than usual if you are entitled to tax credits.

If your usual tax credit payment date is May 1, you will be paid on Friday, April 28.

If your usual tax credit payment date is May 29, you will be paid on Friday, May 26.

Just for Her Issue 12 - Now Online

To read, print or download this issue

Ex-Military In Management Virtual Careers Fair - Change of Dates

SaluteMyJob and the Officers’ Association are moving the launch date of their Ex-Military in Management Virtual Careers Fair from April 4th and 5th to June 6th and 7th 2017.

There was a very high number of registrations and positive response from job seekers and the organisers are keen to bring on board some additional employers to make it a bigger and more encompassing event. 

You do not need to re-register for the new date and further details of all the employers and programme of events will follow.

The Details
Would you like the chance to engage with employers interested in hiring former Service men and women - without leaving your home or office?  If the answer is YES, then join us and take part in the Ex-Military In Management Virtual Careers Fair!

The Ex-Military in Management Virtual Careers Fair, brought to you by the Officers’ Association (OA) and SaluteMyJob, will take place on 6th and 7th June.

For further details or to register CLICK HERE

Learn to Skate at Silver Blades, Gillingham

Location:   Ambley Rd,   Gillingham Business Park,  Gillingham,  Kent,  ME8 0PU
Tel: 08700 852929  or  01634 388477

Skating for Children 18 months to 5 years, Silver Blades, Gillingham

Location:   Ambley Rd,   Gillingham Business Park,  Gillingham,  Kent,  ME8 0PU
Tel: 08700 852929  or  01634 388477

Medway ParkSport is Back

Parksport returns for 2017, bringing fun, informal sports to parks and open spaces across Medway.

Drop in, have fun and try lots of different sports in a park near you this summer.

No booking, no commitment, no pressure and no equipment needed. Just pitch up to play and let our Parksport coaches look after the rest.

The Parksport programme includes weekly multi-sport sessions as well as weekend parksport Festival days.

Sports on offer vary week to week and include archery tag, NFL American football, pop-up tennis, parkour, softball, soccer and Frisbee.

Monday, 24 April 2017

The Southeast Air Show, Herne Bay - Saturday 19th August 2017

Displays by the Red Arrows and the Typhoon have now been confirmed  and so the airshow will go ahead.

Other displays will include the Wildcats, Terry Martin's Westland Wasp, the Kent Spitfire, a Hurricane, Strikemaster and the Aerosparx Twilight Display. It is possible that the Sea Vixen will also display, but this is still being negotiated.

The flying line will be from the pier eastwards, centred more or less in line with the bandstand.

On the ground, attractions will include static aircraft, the 'Trench' experience with a converted 40ft container featuring the sights and sounds of a Great War trench, live music and the usual trade stalls on the lawns either side of the bandstand and on the sea side of Central Parade.

For further information CLICK HERE

Veterans Re-Org Course, Lilleshall - 19th to 23rd June (Residential)

Service Leavers and Home Owners - Understanding Council Tax

While you are living in Service Families Accommodation you are exempt from paying Council Tax but instead you pay CILOCT (Contribution In Lieu Of Council Tax) which is shown on your pay statement.

When you move out of SFA and into your own home or rented property you will need to register with the local council to pay the correct rate of council tax for that property.

When you enter your postcode online you can find out what Council tax band your house is in and how much your local council charges for that band.

The valuation bands for your home in England and Scotland are based on the price a property would have achieved if it had been sold on the open market on 1 April 1991. In Wales assessments are based on the value of property on 1 April 2003.

A Council Tax bill tells you:

How much you have to pay for the year

How that amount has been worked out

The dates you have to pay

Find out more on

Passport Photo Requirements

What are the photo SIZE and signing rules for YOUR passport application?

for a useful article and video which give excellent guidance

Friday, 21 April 2017

Stricter Speeding Fines in Force

Speeding fines are set to rise this month with significantly harsher penalties for the worst offenders.

Motorists who are caught speeding will come up against a new set of regulations from 24th April 2017.  

For those a couple of miles an hour over the limit, nothing will change - but the big difference is a significant increase in fines for the worst offenders. 

A TV Licence is Not Standard issue

For further information

Lifeworks Families has been Extended – Now Offering Even More Remote Support

The LifeWorks Team at RBLI is very excited about the new and improved Remote Employment Support Service we can now offer to ALL UK ARMED FORCES DEPENDENTS. 

For the first time, LifeWorks is extending the already successful support service to service dependents of school leaving age as well as university leavers. This is IN ADDITION to the service already offered to military spouses and their partners.

The Standard Learning Credits Scheme

The Standard Learning Credits Scheme allows personnel to obtain financial assistance for learning costs.

Military personnel are able to claim 80% of course fees, up to a maximum of £175 per financial year.

To qualify for SLC funding, the course of study must lead to a nationally recognised qualification, have substantial developmental value and directly benefit the Service.

Click HERE for further details

Are your Dependent Children Registered on JPA?

Declaring dependent Service children on JPA can enable appropriate allowances to be obtained, enable paternity and adoption leave requests and can have an influence on allocation of Service housing and potential assignments.

To complete the registration process, the military member of the family should provide a copy of the child’s birth certificate to their unit HR who will complete the JPA process.

For more information, contact

Thursday, 20 April 2017

UK Visa Fees as of 6 April 2017

For Immigration and Nationality fees for all applications made from outside and within the UK please CLICK HERE

Vacancy - Poppins Pre-School/Practitioner, Lampard Centre

Vacancy details:  Poppins Nursery is looking to employ a pre-school practitioner, who is passionate about early year’s education, to join a friendly, ambitious team. This setting is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and expects all staff to share this commitment.

For further information CLICK HERE

The National Army Museum, London

Discover the impact the British Army has had on the story of Britain, Europe and the world, and see how the actions of a few can affect the futures of many.

The National Army Museum is the British Army's central museum. It is located in the Chelsea district of central London, adjacent to the Royal Hospital Chelsea, the home of the "Chelsea Pensioners".

There is a special area within the museum called the Play Base. This is an immersive experience for under 8s, offering a variety of fun and engaging activities.  Whether your child wants to take on the assault course, climb aboard a truck or prepare scoff in the cookhouse, Play Base lets every child shine. An hour's session costs £4.50 per child.

Become a Home-Start Volunteer

For further information
ring 01634570717

Home-Start Medway's Financial Fitness Champions

Further information from
or ring 01634570717

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Tax-Free Childcare

Tax-Free Childcare will be available to millions of working families across the UK, and over time it will replace childcare vouchers, which will close to new entrants from April 2018. Voucher schemes remain open to existing members.

Eligible parents with children under 12 (under 17 for disabled children) will be able to set up an online childcare account to pay their childcare providers directly. For every £8 parents pay in, the Government will add £2, up to a maximum contribution of £2,000 per child, per year (£4,000 per year for disabled children). To qualify, parents must be in work, this includes self-employment, and each expected to work a minimum of 16 hours per week and earn no more than £100,000 per year.

Service Family Accommodation - Compensation Scheme

To read, download or print the whole document, please CLICK HERE

Broadband Providers Drop Cancellation Fees for Armed Forces Personnel

Mark Lancaster, Minister for Defence Veterans, Reserves and Personnel has announced that armed forces personnel will no longer have to face cancellation fees for their broadband and media packages when posted overseas or to another part of the UK not covered by their current provider.

The commitment from the UK’s biggest broadband providers representing 95 per cent of Britain’s broadband market comes into force immediately, and will benefit tens of thousands of forces households in the UK and abroad.

The change agreed to under the tenets of the Armed Forces Covenant includes BT, EE, Plusnet, Talk Talk and Virgin Media, who have all committed to treating military personnel fairly when cancelling their contracts.

Armed Forces Bereavement Scholarship Scheme

To read or download a larger copy of the above flyer CLICK HERE
For further information, CLICK HERE

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Brompton Surestart Timetable - from 17 April 2017

RAC Discounted Membership

The RAC is providing a discounted membership for Service personnel. The discount will be greater than that which can be obtained through on-line membership. This offer is only available via an RAC promotional stand which will visit Garrisons and Stations every 4 to 6 weeks.

The first visit of the RAC promotional stand to Chatham Stn will be on Thursday 27th Apr 17. The stand will be situated next to the World War memorial on Pasley Road and opposite the HQ RSME building. The stand will be open from 1115 to 1430 hours.

Although the promotional stand is visiting Chatham Stn, 36 Engr Regt Service personnel may also use this opportunity to obtain discounted RAC membership.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Jimmy Carr Live, London and Southend

Tickets available from Tickets for Troops

Tickets for the London show can be booked, but there is a ballot for the Southend show.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Medway Council Domestic Abuse Helpline

No one should have to suffer abuse. Everyone has the right to be treated with respect and dignity. And the earlier you report abuse, the less harm someone will suffer.

Medway Council's adult social care team will support you with any concerns you might have about abuse or neglect in adults.

How to report abuse

If you are worried - report it. Staff are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to talk to you about your worries.

To contact the Helpline:

Phone 01634 334466 (Text relay 18008 01634 334466) Monday -Friday 9pm -5pm

Or phone 03000 419191 (Text relay 18008 03000 419191) outside of these hours.


If you think a crime is being committed, or someone is in immediate danger contact the emergency services on 999.

New FASD Awareness and Support Charity in the Medway Area

FASD is a series of preventable birth defects caused entirely by a woman drinking alcohol at any time during her pregnancy, often even before she knows that she is pregnant. Beer, wine, spirits - it's all the same to the developing baby.

FASD Awareness Kent & Medway run monthly support groups, offer FREE FASD Information Sessions for local schools & nurseries and will soon be providing Specialist Accredited Training Courses, delivering information about Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and practical guidance for those dealing with FASD.​

The course is designed for health/mental health workers, social service providers, educators and any professionals in the UK working with children, adolescents and adults affected by FASD. Parents, caregivers and family members will also find this course useful.

Please visit our website to find out more about FASD Awareness Kent & Medway.


Monday, 10 April 2017

Big Day Out Festival, Maidstone - Saturday 1st July

Music, Childrens' Entertainers, Food, Drink, & much more

Further details, when available, will be published on the Big Day Out Festival Website

Friday, 7 April 2017

Chatham HIVE

Don't Forget.......Your HIVE can help you by finding answers to questions about many aspects of living within a military community and has useful information to help with relocating including how to apply for Service Families Accommodation, Schools, Finding Doctors and Dentists and much more.

In addition, your HIVE always has up to date information about your military community and the local area.

Your HIVE Information Centre is located at The Lampard Centre, Sallyport, Brompton, ME7 5BU and you are welcome to drop in.  The HIVE opening hours at Monday to Thursday 8am - 4.30pm and Friday 8am - 12.20pm.

Alternatively you can e-mail or telephone 01634 848163.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

New GCSE Grades in England

Students taking GCSEs in England this summer will receive a mixture of number and letter grades. English language, English literature and maths are the first subjects to use the new system, with most other subjects adopting numbers by 2019. Eventually all GCSEs taken in England will receive numerical grades.

Haven for Heroes - Victory Services Club, London

The Haven for Heroes scheme offers an exclusive 50% discount on our room rates for the British Armed Forces who are members of the VSC.

This offer is available to personnel returning on mid-operational tour R&R from named operations in overseas theatres or those who are within 6 months of returning at the end of an operational deployment on a named operation overseas.

CLICK HERE for the full details and T&Cs.

Easy Resettlement Magazine - Spring Edition Online

To read, download or print CLICK HERE

Veterans' Gateway

Veterans' Gateway is made up of a consortium of organisations and Armed Forces charities, including The Royal British Legion, SSAFA - the Armed Forces charity, Poppyscotland, Combat Stress and Connect Assist.

For further information please click HERE

Tax-Free Childcare: 10 Things Parents Should Know

Tax-Free Childcare will be available to around 2 million households to help with the cost of childcare, enabling more parents to go out to work, if they want to, to provide greater security for their families.

To find out about all the government’s childcare offers visit the Childcare Choices website.

Ten things to know about Tax-Free Childcare: Click Here

All Stars Cricket - Across the UK

Do you want to get your kids outdoors and more active this summer?

All Stars Cricket is a brand-new programme from the England and Wales Cricket Board, which is aimed at girls and boys aged 5-8. It’s a fun, first-time experience of cricket which develops your child’s movement skills.

They can learn; catching, throwing, hitting a moving ball and teamwork – all whilst making new friends in a safe and inclusive environment.

All Stars Cricket starts in May 2017 and they have over 1,500 centres across the country. It’s an 8-week course and each session lasts one hour. Sessions are run by trained and accredited activators and Mum and Dad are encouraged to take part too, so you can spend some time with the kids.

Once you are signed up to the All Stars Cricket club, your child will receive a personalised pack, which includes; a backpack, cricket bat, water bottle, cap and shirt!

For further details, and to register CLICK HERE

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Education in Scotland - An Introductory Guide for Service Families

Education in Scotland – An Introductory Guide has been produced with the full backing of the Scottish Government, and provides personnel either in Scotland or moving to Scotland with a comprehensive guide to all phases of education, with handy information and advice. 

The document can be viewed at

Transition information Sheet 10 - Resilience and Wellbeing

To read, download or print this information sheet

Maidstone Leisure Centre - Free 7 Day Trial Gym Membership

Maidstone Leisure Centre offers a free 7 day trial gym membership.

This entitles you to:
  • Work out in the gym. We have state of the art equipment with helpful staff on hand to show you how it all works
  • Take a dip in the pool – swim for fitness, swim to relax
  • Book onto one of our workout classes. Exercising together is proven to help people stay on track and reach their goals
  • Free car parking
  • Boditrax body composition scanner - measure what really matters.
Visit the centre or give them a call on 01622 220213 to speak to one of the health and fitness team to find out more. Or better still  book a tour online so that you can be shown around.

For further information and to watch a short video CLICK HERE

Forces Help to Buy Scheme. Q&A

A helpful Q&A page about the Forces Help to Buy Scheme has been published on the Evolution Forces Families website.

Q: Is Forces help to buy the same as government help to buy?

A: No it isn’t. Forces Help to Buy is very different from the standard Help to Buy scheme and they are not to be confused with each other. There are in fact a number of other Help to Buy schemes available,

For further questions and answers CLICK HERE

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

British Forces Post Office (BFPO) Smart Phone apps

You can find BFPO numbers, find UK retailers who post products to BFPO addresses, and calculate your postage costs by downloading:

the BFPO app for Apple devices

the BFPO app for Android devices

You can find out when your items will be delivered by downloading:

You can only use these apps to track mail in the BFPO system. You may have to use other websites or apps to track mail sent to a UK address.