Armed forces covenant

The armed forces covenant is a promise from the nation that those who serve, or have served, and their families, are treated fairly.

We deliver on this promise at a local level by encouraging awareness, understanding and integration between the armed forces community and the wider local community.

Our armed forces covenant

The covenant is a voluntary agreement encouraging local communities to develop a relationship with the armed forces community in our area. This includes serving members of the armed forces, their families and veterans.

The aims of the covenant are to:

  • encourage local communities to support the armed forces community in their areas
  • nurture public understanding and awareness of issues affecting armed forces communities
  • recognise and remember the sacrifices faced by the armed forces community
  • encourage activities which help integrate the armed forces community into local life
  • encourage the armed forces community to help and support the wider community, whether through participation in events and joint projects or other forms of engagement

Download the Newark and Sherwood District Council Armed Forces Covenant 2021 (PDF File, 980kb)

Download the Nottinghamshire Armed Forces covenant (PDF File, 3,315kb).

Find out more information on the government's armed forces covenant web page.

Meet our Armed Forces Champion

If you'd like to find more about our Armed Forces Champion, follow this link to read about their background and how they can help.

Recognising and supporting the armed forces

The Council is proud to have received Gold status in the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme.

The scheme acknowledges employers who support defence personnel, including reservists, veterans, wounded injured and sick, families and cadets.

The council's armed forces champion is Councillor Neil Ross. The Transformation team lead on the armed forces at an officer level and they can be contacted at

The covenant fund

The covenant fund, made available by the Ministry of Defence, supports projects which improve ties between the armed forces and the wider community. Grant decisions are made by a national panel based on the recommendations of regional panels.

Applications can be made by:

  • local authorities 
  • charities
  • commercial organisations
  • community groups
  • any other part of the community

Find out more about the covenant fund and apply for a grant on their website.

Armed forces support

Being a member of the armed forces community, or returning to civilian life after serving, can be challenging, but there are lots of organisations who can help.

Veterans' Gateway

Veterans' Gateway is the first point of contact for veterans whether you're based in the UK or abroad. It's a partnership between The Royal British Legion, Poppyscotland, SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, Combat Stress and service provider Connect Assist.

The service will connect you with the right support and organisations quickly and easily, offering support in seven key areas:

  • housing
  • employment
  • finances
  • living independently
  • mental wellbeing
  • physical health
  • family and communities

Get in touch using the chat function or email on the Veteran's Gateway website, or by calling 080 802 1212 or by texting 81212.


The Career Transition Partnership (CTP) provide support with getting a job after you leave the armed forces. From creating a CV and developing interview skills to supporting the transition into self-employment, retirement or an alternative career, they're well worth a look.

Jobcentres help people get into work. Every Jobcentre Plus district has an armed forces champion to ensure that the support provided meets the needs of the armed forces community. Find out more about how Job Centres help members of the armed forces and their families.

Find out more about how the Council helps people into work on our Job Vacancies pages.

If you are applying for a job with us, we have put together some videos designed to provide you with support and guidance on completing an application form and to help you prepare for visiting Castle House:

If you require any further support regarding application forms and interview preparation, please email us at


The Joint Service Housing Advice Office (JSHAO) provides service since personnel and their dependents with housing information. They can advise on purchasing and renting property, finding social housing and affordable home ownership schemes such as the Forces help to buy scheme.

Newark and Sherwood's Council properties are allocated considering the allocation scheme. This scheme dictates that former and serving members of the armed forces with urgent housing needs receive additional preference when they fulfil one of the reasonable preference categories. Find out more about applying for a home when you're leaving the armed forces (PDF File, 238kb).

Sports and leisure

Serving forces personnel can receive discounted corporate membership at Active4Today leisure centres.


Help for Heroes Hidden Wound Service provide free and confidential mental health support for Veterans and military families living with challenges such as excessive worry, depression, stress and alcohol problems.

The Veterans mental health complex treatment service provides treatments, therapies and support for ex-service personnel who have military attribution complex mental health problems that have not been previously supported. It is delivered in our community by East Midlands by St Andrew's Healthcare and access is by individual self-referral or referral form from a GP or military charity.


The Children Education Advisory Scheme (CEAS) provides expert and impartial advice about the education of service children. They provide a range of pupil and family services as well as advising on education in the UK and overseas.

The School Admission Code provides regulations on the admissions process for service families with the intention of removing disadvantage for service children. If you're returning from overseas, you can apply in advance for a school place for your child and a place will be allocated to your child upon evidence of a future address in the area.

Service Pupil Premium (SPP) was introduced in England under the armed forces covenant in recognition of the impact of service life on children.

Local networking and support groups

There are armed forces and veterans breakfast clubs across Nottinghamshire, offering free food and conversation.

The Veteran's Information Network Nottinghamshire group works to enhance the welfare and wellbeing of the Armed Forces and veteran community in Nottinghamshire by sharing information and knowledge. The steering group is comprised of the founding partners made up of charitable and statutory agencies and will meet a minimum of four times per year. Vacancies on the steering group will be advertised across the network and members who wish to join the steering group should contact the chair of the VINN.

Op Courage

Op Courage is an NHS mental health specialist service designed to help serving personnel due to leave the military, reservists, Armed Forces veterans and their families. 

Everyone at Op Courage is either from the Armed Forces community or is experienced in working with serving personnel, reservists, veterans and their families. They understand military life and the courage it takes to speak with someone. They will work with you to make sure you get the right type of specialist care, support and treatment.

Find out more about Op Courage and the support available.

Armed Forces Hub

The new Armed Forces Hub has been launched on the Nottinghamshire County Council website to support the Armed Forces community. Help available comes from a range of internal and external sources, including links to an emergency helpline, NHS support services, and employment support. The hub has information available on local charities, including Newark Patriotic Fund and Nottinghamshire branches of Care After Combat and Age UK. The hub will also include details of the county‚Äôs Armed Forces heritage, including links to local regiment museums, and a list of Victoria Cross recipients.

Staff reservist policy

We recognise the vital role of Britain's reserve forces and valuable contribution that reservists make to our defence, communities and the civilian workplace.

Use the map to search reservist and cadet units within the district.

We support membership of the reserve forces by our employees and wherever possible will be flexible in granting time off to enable employees to undertake reserve service training.

To support this we have developed a policy providing a clear framework when dealing with requestions for mobilisation of reservist employees. All reservists are encouraged to inform their line managers that they are members of the volunteer reserve forces so that we can comply with the relevant legislation.

We also support employees who are compulsorily mobilised for service in the armed forces. During the period of compulsory or voluntary mobilisation, the contract of employment continues but there is no entitlement to pay or pay-related benefits.

For a copy of the policy please contact Human Resources by calling 01636 655715 or emailing