Armed Forces Community
Somerset has long-standing links with the armed forces; particularly the major units based here, such as RNAS Yeovilton and Norton Manor Camp (40 Commando). Local organisations, including councils, already have good relationships with these bases and the charities that support in-service and ex-service ('veterans') personnel, their families and dependants.
The Somerset Armed Forces Community Covenant (SAFCC) brings together charities, local authorities, other public sector organisations, businesses, communities, individuals and the military in a pledge of support between local residents and the armed forces community in Somerset.
The Somerset Covenant builds on existing relationships between these organisations and provides a more consistent and comprehensive approach to a range of priority areas including education, employment, health and welfare. It supports the key principle of ensuring members of this community experience no disadvantage in accessing timely, comprehensive and effective services.
As a first step towards understanding the health and wider wellbeing needs of the armed forces community population in Somerset, this section pulls together data from the 2011 Census and Ministry of Defence on current service personnel.
Identifying numbers of veterans and their families now living in the county is much more difficult as there is no single reliable source of such data nationally or locally. In the absence of such data, we have provided estimates based on a range of sources, including a major 2014 survey commissioned by the Royal British Legion with Compass Partnership.
Furthermore, a report commissioned by councils in the South West of England was published in 2018 with the aim of understanding the presence and needs of the wider armed forces community in the South West.
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