Berwick MP welcomes new Armed Forces Covenant Duty

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Berwick MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan has welcomed the new Armed Forces Covenant Duty, which has now come into effect.

It means a new legal obligation for public bodies in healthcare, education, and housing services to pay due regard to the principles of the Armed Forces Covenant.

Ms Trevelyan welcomed the milestone in the improvement of treatment for our veterans, serving personnel and their families.

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She said: “A life in service can create barriers for personnel and their families. The aim of the Armed Forces Covenant is to help remove some of those barriers by ensuring they face no disadvantage for their service to our nation.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan and Veterans Minister Johnny Mercer after taking part in the Royal Marines Commando Challenge.Anne-Marie Trevelyan and Veterans Minister Johnny Mercer after taking part in the Royal Marines Commando Challenge.
Anne-Marie Trevelyan and Veterans Minister Johnny Mercer after taking part in the Royal Marines Commando Challenge.

"It means organisations must pay due regard to the challenges faced by personnel and their families, and understand that additional support may be appropriate in some circumstances, especially in relation to healthcare, education and housing.”

The MP, who established the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Armed Forces Covenant, has been campaigning for years to raise awareness of the nation’s obligations under the Armed Forces Covenant.

The new measure comes just after the launch of the first ever Veterans’ Survey which Ms Trevelyan is encouraging all Northumberland veterans to complete. It is the first ever Government-funded ONS survey of veterans, their needs and views and runs for 12 weeks. It ought to take no longer than 30 minutes to complete.

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Anne-Marie said of the survey: “Data is key when delivering for those who need it. We were successful in our campaign to have a veterans section in the Census for the first time, and now we have a dedicated survey to ensure the needs of our veterans are properly understood.

Please do complete it. It is so vital that our new Officer for Veterans’ Affairs – headed by my friend and colleague Johnny Mercer – hear from veterans about their needs and issues they may be facing in accessing services and support. The North East has a high proportion of veterans, and it is really important their voices are heard.”

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Johnny Mercer said: “Public services need to reflect the people they serve and so it’s really important we hear from veterans on their experiences in accessing support.”