The Armed Forces Community Covenant is a voluntary statement of mutual support between the civilian community and the local Armed Forces community in Bristol

The Covenant will:

  • encourage local communities to support their local Armed Forces community and vice versa
  • promote public understanding and awareness of issues affecting the Armed Forces community
  • recognise and remember the sacrifices made by the Armed Forces community
  • encourage activities which help to integrate the Armed Forces community into local life

This Bristol initiative reflects the governments Armed Forces Covenant. This reflects government policy to improve the support available for the Armed Forces community.

Visit the national website for the Armed Forces Covenant.

The Bristol Covenant will build relationships and local support, between the council and other organisations, the bases and the charities that support in-service and ex-service personnel and their families.

We're working with the Armed Forces community on a range of priority areas within Bristol including:

  • building communities
  • education, skills and employment
  • housing, benefits, health and welfare

pdf Armed Forces Community Covenant for Bristol (114 KB)

If you have any questions about the covenant, contact 

The Armed Forces community

You're part of the Armed Forces community if you're serving or have served in the Army, Navy or Airforce.

The Armed Forces community also includes:

  • families and dependents
  • reservists
  • veterans and
  • cadets

We've carried out a Needs Assessment to explain the number of people in the Armed Forces Community in Bristol.

pdf Armed Forces in Bristol Needs Assessment (111 KB)

Help for Armed Forces personnel

Forces Connect South West

Were working with neighbouring councils to improve services and support for the military community. This partnership is known as Forces Connect South West.

The Forces Connect South West website Go to (opens new window) has



  • SaBRE (Support for Britains Reservists and Employers): provides help and advice for people who are reservists and for their employers.

Bristol City Council

Armed Forces Personnel who need help from Bristol City Council or NHS can get help from:


To contact the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group:

Call: 0117 976 6600

Mental Health support

Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership: provides a mental health service for veterans, their relatives and close friends across the south west of England.

Community support

SSAFA: provides lifelong support for forces personnel and their families. This can include practical, emotional and financial support.

Specialist help for transition to civilian life

The Career Transition Partnership (CTP) provides resettlement services for those leaving the Royal Navy, Army, Royal Air Force and Marines. They provide flexible support from two years before discharge, through to two years after. CTP also operates as an intermediary service for employers wishing to hire Service leavers; this is offered at no cost to the employer.

Military personnel should access the services of CTP through their Chain of Command.

Employers/companies who want to employ Service leavers should contact the Central Employment Team:

Telephone 0121 236 0058

Family support

Free one-to-one support to ex-service families for up to three months.

Telephone 01453 751676

How local people can help

Local people already support the Armed Services community by:

  • fundraising
  • taking part in Armed Forces Day
  • attending homecoming and repatriation ceremonies
  • providing practical support to the Armed Forces community particularly individuals and their families.

Future activities could include:

  • helping ex-servicemen or women to take part in local activities
  • providing training and employment opportunities for those about to leave the Armed Forces or veterans.

The benefits are intended to be mutual, with the local Armed Forces community committed to getting involved in local projects, educational and sporting events.

Who can take part

  • individual members of the public
  • charities and community groups
  • colleges and schools
  • businesses such as shops and restaurants
  • health service providers
  • town and parish councils
  • councils

Armed Forces Community Covenant Grant Scheme

The Government has also launched the Community Covenant Grant Scheme to financially support projects, at a local level. 

This money from the Ministry of Defence budget totals over £30million over four financial years and will help communities carry out projects.

Anyone with a suitable project that fits the criteria can apply for this grant funding.

Useful contacts

The National Ministry of Defence helpline: 0800 022 3366.

A free national helpline run by the Ministry of Defence. It offers automated options for both in-service and ex-service personnel, their families and widows to use to help find the right people to ask for help and advice. It's not intended to replace existing sources of advice, but it provides a safety net for those who are completely unaware of what is available.

Veterans Shareline: 01752 816257

A free weekly hour long telephone friendship and support group for injured armed forces veterans.

Combat Stress support helpline: 0800 138 1619 (24 hours)


A free national helpline run by Rethink Mental Illness and funded by the Government. It's been launched to help veterans and their families access expert advice from people trained and experienced in dealing with ex-servicemen and women and their often complex mental health needs

The helpline provides:

  • round-the-clock support for veterans
  • ways to access mental health support including advice via telephone, text, email and websites
  • support to veterans' families with improved support to help them access mental health services in their local area and
  • help in accessing further advice on other social problems affecting veterans, including housing and employment advice.

Samaritans freephone: 116 123

Partner organisations

Reserve forces

Official service charities