The Mayor and Greater Manchester Leaders have reaffirmed their commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant as £232,000 of funding was announced to improve access to services and online learning resources
Leaders of all Greater Manchester Local Authorities, The Mayor, Greater Manchester Police and NHS leaders, alongside representatives of the Ministry of Defence signed an updated Armed Forces Covenant.
Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said: “Our Armed Forces embody the best of Britain and we must redouble our efforts to support them, their families and veterans in a way that honours their service.
“That’s why today I’m very proud to be reaffirming Greater Manchester’s commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant alongside Leaders from across the city-region. I’m also very pleased to announce that Greater Manchester’s local authorities will use the nearly quarter of a million pound grant we’ve received to improve the way Forces personnel, their families and our veterans’ access local services.
“Last week people across Greater Manchester came out in fantastic numbers to show their support on Armed Forces Day. Today we’re matching that support with action.”
Colonel Phil Harrison, Commander Headquarters North West said: “I am delighted that the Mayor and leaders of the Greater Manchester Boroughs have chosen to reaffirm their commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant. The Armed Forces Covenant represents the nation’s support to our soldiers, sailors, and airmen and we are extremely grateful to the people of Greater Manchester for that continued support. I am also delighted that we have been able to support this commitment through the Covenant Fund. The Covenant Fund enables key projects to support and integrate our serving personnel, veterans and families including the delivery of improved local services. I look forward to working with our colleagues in Greater Manchester to take the Covenant forward”
The Armed Forces Covenant aims to improve support and help integrate the armed forces community into local life. In December 2014 the Greater Manchester Combined Authority became the first combined authority to sign the Armed Forces Covenant and this led to the establishment of a city-region wide group to support the development of the Covenant across each of the ten councils.
The commitments in the previous Armed Forces Covenant resulted in Manchester City Council establishing Greater Manchester's first Veterans Village by bringing a disused row of terraced housing back into use for ex-service personnel, with some welcome publicity and support from BBC's DIY SOS. There have also been improvements in the local NHS, with a partnership between local authorities and Defence Medical Welfare Service establishing a team of full time key workers in every hospital across Greater Manchester to help veterans who are over 65 get the care they need. Other moves to improve the lives of Forces personnel, their families and veterans have been made by Councils and public services across Greater Manchester.
Now the Ministry of Defence Covenant Fund has awarded Greater Manchester a grant of £232,000 so that Greater Manchester authorities can step up and continue their work in support of the updated Covenant.