'We are committed to support to the local armed forces community': Achievements of South Tyneside community covenant celebrated

The achievements of South Tyneside’s community covenant are being celebrated across the borough.

South Tyneside Armed Forces Community Covenant event at South Shields Town Hall.
South Tyneside Armed Forces Community Covenant event at South Shields Town Hall.

The covenant is a statement of mutual support between the civilian and local armed forces communities and it was first signed in South Tyneside eight years ago.

In that time it has been instrumental in providing support for the armed services community, allowing them to access vital services in the borough as well as helping improve the transition from service life to civilian life.

This helps the armed forces community to contribute their skills and experience to the local community.

Coun Ed Malcolm, Lead Member for Resources and Innovation and Chair of the Armed Forces Forum said: “We are committed to support to the local armed forces community and make it easier for service personnel, families and veterans to access the help and support available to them.

“The work we have undertaken since signing the covenant in 2011 is having a really positive effect on the lives or both serving and ex-servicemen and women in South Tyneside.”

All South Tyneside council and South Tyneside Homes staff have received awareness training on the needs of ex-service personnel and where to direct them.

The council and its partners also work together on a number of projects which have a clear focus on improving the health and well-being of the armed forces community.

The borough is one of only 17 UK councils to hold the Gold award in the Armed Forces Covenant Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS).

Among its achievements is the armed forces accommodation scheme – dedicated ‘move-on’ accommodation that has been developed to provide veterans with support to enable them to progress into a more independent life and employment, education or training.

Veterans are also given housing priority status by South Tyneside Homes.

Coun Ed Malcolm added: “To date, our covenant work has made a real positive impact on the lives of our armed forces, reservists and veterans but we certainly aren’t complacent.

“We recognise that there is always more that we can do.

“We are constantly challenging ourselves to see if there is positive impact ourselves or our partners can make.”