Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Responding to Children Affected by the Media Coverage of the Manchester Incident

 Parents, teachers and others caring for children who are affected by the media coverage of incidents like that in Manchester are asking Winston's Wish how to respond to children's questions.

The Winston's Wish Charity has compiled some questions and answers by drawing on experiences of supporting children, young people and families bereaved through all causes, including through murder or manslaughter. 

Please see the list of contact details for organisations at the end if you would like to ask other questions on how best to support children affected by these events or by other bereavements.

To read more, visit the Winston's Wish website

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

AWS re-Start

Amazon Web Services have a brand new programme called AWS re:Start. A free training and job placement programme running throughout 2017 which aims to equip service leavers, reservists, veterans, cadets, cadet force adult volunteers and spouses with the knowledge and skills to build a career within the digital economy.

For further information

MoodZone, NHS Choices: Stress, Anxiety and Depression

Am I depressed? How can I feel less stressed? Why am I so anxious?

Whatever you need to know about coping with stress, anxiety or depression, or just the normal emotional ups and downs of life, the NHS Choices Moodzone is here to help.

It offers practical advice, interactive tools, videos and audio guides to help you feel mentally and emotionally better.

- Tips and advice to boost mental health
- Self-help and treatments
- Other people's stories

To enter the MoodZone CLICK HERE

UK Schools Directory 2017-2018

Monday, 22 May 2017

Get Qualified with CRS

Book online or contact Corporate Risk Systems for further information
Phone: 01332 527107

Great Lines ParkRun - Every Saturday 9am

What is the Great Lines ParkRun?
It is a 5km run - it's you against the clock.

Where is it?
The event takes place in Great Lines Heritage Park, Brompton Road, Gillingham, ME7 1HF. See Course page for more details.

When is it?
Every Saturday at 9am.
What does it cost to join in?
Nothing - it's free! but please register before your first run. Only ever register with parkrun once. Don't forget to bring a printed copy of your barcode (request a reminder). If you forget it, you won't get a time.
How fast do I have to be?
We all run for our own enjoyment. Please come along and join in whatever your pace!
The Great Lines ParkRun needs you!
It is entirely organised by volunteers - email to help.
We're friendly!
Every week we grab a post parkrun coffee in the Falcon café, Marlborough Rd, Gillingham - please come and join us!

For further details, see

MOD Childcare Vouchers

Are you aware of changes to your childcare support in 2017?

If not

Understanding Autism

Do you know what small actions could reduce the overload that autistic people face?

CLICK HERE to find out

Protect Your Online Identity

We all have some sort of online presence whether it's on social media, for retail and banking or an email account. Our reliance on digital information is increasing every day.

While it's natural to want to make our lives easier, avoid being tempted to use the same password for multiple accounts or use a password that's very easy to remember (ie password123).

Criminals know that sometimes we don't use secure passwords and use it against us to steal our data.

CLICK HERE for some more useful tips from the Kent Police.

Using Social Media - A Guide for Military Personnel

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. The government has produced a useful guide that tells you what is and isn’t acceptable social media behaviour for military personnel.

CLICK HERE to read or print the guide.

The Army Reserve, 3rd Battalion (Rochester) - Recruiting Now

For further information on the 3rd Battalion, visit the website at

Approaching the Market - Personal Strategies for Ex-Service Personnel

Success in your job search results from having a well thought-out strategy and a solid plan of action. While luck sometimes plays a part in landing a job, do you really want to leave something so important to chance? Instead, seize control of your career by taking the next step proactively. With this approach, you can bring the luck, and the jobs, to you!

For a useful guide, produced by the Career Transition Partnership CLICK HERE

Service Complaints Ombudsman for the Armed Forces

The Service Complaints Ombudsman was established by the Armed Forces (Service Complaints and Financial Assistance) Act 2015. The Ombudsman is the successor to the Service Complaints Commissioner for the Armed Forces, a role established by the Armed Forces Act 2006 as part of significant reforms to the Service complaints process.

The role of the Service Complaints Ombudsman is to provide independent and impartial scrutiny of the handling of Service complaints made by members of the UK Armed Forces.

For further information, visit the website at

Redirect Your Personal Mail

It's important you make sure you continue to receive your mail when you move home:

- You won't miss important documents

- You’ll help prevent your personal details falling into the wrong hands and becoming a victim of fraud

- You will receive home mover offers

Veterans’ Gateway Launch - 20th June 2017

In November 2016 the Ministry of Defence announced £2 million of funding from the Covenant Fund for a one-stop service to better support British Armed Forces veterans in need. The service responds to calls from veterans’ charities and groups for help in navigating the wide range of services and organisations set up to support those who have served in the Forces.

The service will be the first point of contact for veterans and their families to access information, advice and support on a range of issues including healthcare, housing, and employment. It will allow information and services from partners to be accessed from one place and all enquiries will be followed up to ensure that veterans receive the right support.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Pregnancy Matters

Whatever your pregnancy-related problem, help is just a click, text or call away

If you’re late and worried about being pregnant, considering abortion or you’ve just found out you’re pregnant and don’t know what to do, Pregnancy Matters can help. Maybe you’re pregnant and have nowhere to live or need some practical support. Or perhaps you’re dealing with the loss of a pregnancy or need to talk to someone after an abortion.

Forces Cars Direct - New Cars Discounts

Sports Supplements, CDT And Your Military Career

If you are taking or considering taking sports or dietary supplements you should watch the video ‘Supplements, CDT and Your Career` in which WO2 QMSI Miller gives advice on supplements, the impact of banned and illegal substances and what it takes to achieve and maintain a high fitness level.

Support from Alcoholics Anonymous

Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism.

The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for AA membership; we are self-supporting through our own contributions.

AA is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organisation or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy; neither endorses nor opposes any causes. Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety.

A selection of AA leaflets and pamphlets are available to read online, download or print.  Click the links below to access the pamphlets.

Recruit for Spouses - Returning Talent to the Workplace

Most modern families in the UK recognise that where once a second income might have been an advantage, it is increasingly a ‘must-have’, and military families are no exception. Too frequently, skilled, career-minded spouses are overlooked in the workplace in favour of candidates perceived to be more geographically stable.

Recruit for Spouses’ message to business is simple: recent changes throughout the British military mean its families are more settled then ever before, and Forces’ spouses deserve rewarding income opportunities from a level playing field.

If you’re a military spouse with aspirations of saving for a house deposit or funding a mortgage so your family can put down roots, we can help you to make it happen.

CLICK HERE to visit the website to register with Recruit For Spouses

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 via this site.
For further information CLICK HERE

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Penguin Club at Silver Blades, Gillingham

Penguin Club sessions are designed to give toddlers and their parents the time to discover ice skating, all under the supervision of a fully qualified coach!

Penguin Club sessions are exclusively open for toddlers between walking age and 4 years, along with any accompanying parents or guardians. Without the older kids around, the toddlers can feel right at home on the ice. With toys and games on the ice as well, it won’t be long before little ones are skating all by themselves!

You don’t need to make a booking for toddler time, just show up 15 minutes before the session starts.

For further information CLICK HERE

MOD Police Authorised Firearms Officers - Recruiting Now

As part of your initial training, you’ll have to successfully qualify as an Authorised Firearms Officer (AFO). At any one time 90% of officers on duty will be performing this role. Officers are trained to National Police Standards and are required to maintain this competency annually.

During your firearms module you’ll receive training in weapon handling, shooting skills, less lethal options and tactics. In scenario-based training, this will allow you to demonstrate critical decision-making in a pressured timeframe.

You will also have the opportunity to gain further firearms skills if you want to develop your career in a specialist post.

For more info visit

Thursday, 11 May 2017

25 Best Things to do in London

Attracting 27 million visitors every year, London is the most visited city in Europe. It’s no surprise that London is top of so many people’s travel plans: the city was founded by the Romans and has thrived over the centuries. Today, London is one of the most diverse cities in the world, with a rich history and some of the most outstanding culture on the planet.

The City of London is the ancient centre of London but is actually the smallest city in England. The London that we’re familiar with covers a much wider metropolitan area and is home to almost 9 million people. Split into the vibrant and distinctive areas of North, West, South and East London – as well as the commercial and tourist hub of Central London – every district has its own recognizable neighbourhoods. There is always something to see and do in London. With some of the world’s best art, entertainment, shopping, dining, and history, it’s impossible to be bored in London.

With this list of the 25 best things to do in London you’ll browse through some highlights to get you started on your next trip to this buzzing multicultural city.

And don't forget to check to see if tickets for sporting and music events are available.

Information on the MOD Referral Scheme

The MOD Referral Scheme is coordinated by JSHAO to assist some service leavers to get accommodation via housing associations.

Some housing associations ask JSHAO to nominate personnel as tenants for vacant properties. Being on the MOD Referral Scheme provides an additional route to secure housing.

The MOD have recognised that some service leavers have difficulty in accessing social and affordable housing. Through this scheme the donating housing associations are able to help people who otherwise may have problems being prioritised high enough to have a realistic chance of being housed by local authorities.

- those who have difficulty proving a local connection
- couples with no children
- single personnel

Adapted and sheltered (both supported and unsupported) accommodation is also available through the scheme. Please ensure that any needs are fully explained on the application form.

Monday, 8 May 2017

Big White Wall

Deployment is tough on any family.
Make sure they get the support needed with  Big White Wall

Balancing service & family commitments is tough
Big White Wall is available for support

Being Mum & Soldier is stressful.
Be sure to get the support you need with Big White Wall

Retiring from service is stressful.
Use family & external networks like Big White Wall to help

Discounts from the Defence Discount Service

Coffee Mornings Invicta Park, Thursdays 9.30am - 11am

Save Our Bees with a Bee Saver Kit

Our bees are dying out fast and a huge reason for this is the loss of their natural habitat. They've lost 97% of their grassland habitats in the past 60 years. But disaster can be averted.

Right now, people are working together to help create bee-friendly spaces all over the country - and you can too.

Find out how you can help by requesting a Bee Saver Kit, packed with everything you need to fight for our buzzy little friends.

For further information CLICK HERE

Hounds for Heroes Support Dogs

Hounds For Heroes assistance dogs can help overcome some of physical barriers and obstacles caused by your disability; promoting an increased sense of freedom, providing a loyal comrade and just maybe the beginning of a new life.

The application process is open to all UK Armed Forces and Emergency Services personnel who have become disabled or been injured.

Life with an assistance dog from Hounds For Heroes could soon benefit you in many ways, from helping to increasing your self-esteem to enabling you to do more on a daily basis. An assistance dog will help you overcome some of your disabilities by assisting you in those everyday tasks that you currently struggle with. An assistance dog may even inspire you to lead a more active and outgoing lifestyle, and help you embark on new adventures that at one time seemed unattainable.

Service Dogs UK

Are you a veteran with a physical disability or PTSD and living in Sussex, Surrey or North or East Hampshire?

Because Life is Better with A Dog…

Dogs can make all the difference that’s why Service Dogs UK trains and provides assistance dogs, selected carefully from mainly rescue, to support members of the Armed Forces and Emergency Services (including Coast Guard & RNLI) who have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

For further details CLICK HERE

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

State Benefits for Ex-Service Personnel

This useful guide produced by the Career Transition Partnership will help you find out more about State Benefits, including:

What benefits exist
  • Eligibility
  • Benefits for those being medically discharged
  • Where to find further information and advice
  • Some frequently asked questions on the topic
You will also find details on some additional benefits and discount schemes for service and ex service personnel.

To read the guide CLICK HERE

Armed Forces and Tax

Serving personnel, veterans, their families and their advisers can follow this LINK to access to information on how to deal with the tax and benefits issues faced by them.

Childrens Education Advisory Service

CEAS is part of the MOD’s Directorate Children and Young People (DCYP) and are a small dedicated team, who are experienced in advising service parents on a wide range of issues regarding the education of service children in the UK and overseas.

CEAS provides a dedicated service exclusively for service and MOD families providing professional advice about all aspect of children’s education both in the UK and Overseas.

CEAS has 13 full time advisors to answer queries via telephone, email or in person. CEAS provides the best advice available, free of charge, to all service parents irrespective of rank or location.

All 4 devolved areas in the UK have their own arrangements for providing and choosing the curriculum, and monitoring their education services. An overview of education service provision in England and Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland has been provided with useful contact numbers and links.

If you choose for your child to be educated outside of the state system your family may be entitled to help with Continuity of Education fees. Overseas education is dependent on the area you are posted to.

For further information visit the website at 

Friday, 5 May 2017

Armed Forces Pensions on Divorce and Dissolution of Civil Partnerships

This booklet explains the various options available to split or share an Armed Forces Pension on a divorce or civil partnership dissolution.

Information is contained that is relevant to the Service person and the estranged spouse.

Solicitors dealing with an Armed Forces Pension on a marriage breakdown may also find this booklet useful.
To read the booklet online CLICK HERE
To view other Armed Forces Pension guidance booklets (2005 Scheme) please click here

1st Gillingham Scouts and Beavers

Volunteer with the RBLI

Contact RBLI on

Action Fraud Warning

Fraudsters are stealing large sums of money from victim’s bank accounts by taking control of their mobile phones and intercepting calls/texts messages sent by banks.
Fraudsters are once again gathering as much information as possible on victims and using a method we have warned the public about in the past called SIM splitting, to gain access to people’s bank accounts.

A recent This is Money investigation found that one victim from London lost £22,300 when fraudsters raided their Santander accounts using this method. Another two victims had £19,500 drained from their Santander accounts after criminals intercepted the bank's text messages.

For further information and advice CLICK HERE

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Winston's Wish - Supporting Bereaved Children

Winston's Wish was the UK’s first childhood bereavement charity and has been supporting bereaved children since 1992.

A Child’s Grief

Since then we have understood the impact of bereavement at a young age and has developed a range of practical support and guidance on bereavement to children, their families and professionals via a national helpline and publications for all ages. We offer specialist support programmes for children affected by deaths related to murder, manslaughter, suicide or the military community.

We believe in a society where every bereaved child has access to support as and when they need it.

For further information, CLICK HERE

A useful booklet called 'Living with Bereavement' can be downloaded HERE

Tackling Terrorism - How You Can Help

Terrorists have to live somewhere. They store their equipment and materials somewhere. They need vehicles. They have people who help them - and these people might come and go at strange times of the day and night. They may make unusual financial transactions or use false documents to hide their real identities. They may be behaving differently to how you've known them to behave in the past.


If you think that you may have seen something suspicious or you are unsure about somebody’s activities or behaviour, however insignificant it may seem at the time, call the Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321.

Calls are taken in confidence by specialist officers who will analyse your information. They’ll decide if and how to follow it up. Your call could be vital to us, however uncertain you may be about making it.

Don't rely on others to make the call - we would rather you call the Anti-Terrorist Hotline than do nothing and hope the problem will go away.

Call 999 if there is an immediate threat to life.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

UK Forces Partner Support

This is a Facebook group open to wives, husbands, girlfriends, boyfriends and partners of any UK military personnel.

You're welcome to chat about absolutely anything whether it's military related or not.

Lost your SFA Keys?

SSAFA Big Brew - Organise a Coffee Morning

Find out how your morning tea break could help SSAFA continue supporting the Forces and their families.

Put the kettle on, have a Big Brew Up and support our Forces and their families in times of need.

By taking part in the biggest fundraising event of the year you will help raise vital funds for SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity. We provide lifelong support to all our Forces and their families.

Armed Forces Week starts on the 19th June so we are encouraging our supporters to hold their Big Brew Up that week, but if that doesn't work for you just pick a date that does.

Sign up  *HERE*  and receive a fund-raising pack