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NCC Covenant

On the 17 March the Chairman co-hosted with the Armed Forces Commissioner a 5th Anniversary Reception of the signing of the Norfolk Armed Forces Covenant.  The reception was a celebration of the work of the Covenant over its first five years and attended by the Deputy Lieutenant Jamie Athill, along with representatives from the armed forces, charities and community support organisations as well as District Councils.

The Covenant was launched by the Ministry of Defence in 2011 and sets out the moral obligation between the Nation, the Government and the Armed Forces.  It is a voluntary statement of mutual support between a civilian community and the serving members, veterans and families of their local Armed Forces Community.

David Collis, Chairman of the Council said: "This time five years ago, 32 organisations signed our Norfolk Armed Forces Covenant. Five years on I am pleased to say the Covenant is still going strong. We are rightly proud of our armed forces friends based in the county, including 1st The Queen Dragoon Guards at Swanton Morley, the Royal Air Force at Marham and the 3rd Royal Anglian Reserves.

"Today, we celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Norfolk Armed Forces Covenant, and we formally recognise the special relationship we hold with the military community, from the past, to the present and looking to continue in the future.

"The County Council has always backed our Armed Forces and their families, without them Norfolk would not be the county it is today with its thriving military bases and military personnel living and working at the heart of our communities. We continue to fly the standard for Norfolk's Armed Forces and do as much as we possibly can to support their personnel and families as they endure very tough times, on the battlefield with gruelling deployments to the Middle East; in Sierra Leone training their National Army and here, at home, where we are enduring one of the toughest financial climates of modern times.

"We know there is a great deal of positive work being done by agencies across Norfolk. The Covenant continues to build on this existing support by bringing together civilian and Armed Forces communities to provide practical help and support to make certain our armed forces personnel and their families know how very welcome they are here in Norfolk."

Tony Tomkinson, Armed Forces Commissioner said: "It has been a privilege to chair the Norfolk Armed Forces Covenant Board for the past five years and be able to work with a team of people to offer practical support and solutions under the three themes of: Building Communities; Health, Welfare and Housing; and Education, Skills and Employment. The relationships we have built with the Armed Forces Community and other partners continue to go from strength to strength and I would like to sincerely thank everyone for this".

Major Tim Jones of the 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards, added on behalf of the serving personnel: "Norfolk's Armed Forces Covenant is one of the strongest in the country. When our regiment moved from Germany to Swanton Morley, the Covenant provided information on everything we needed to know about the local area, in particular schools and the NHS. Since then, we have received support for both our Regimental Health Day and our Regimental Family Day. We are very grateful to the Covenant and to the County Council for assisting us to integrate smoothly into the local community".

John Boisson, County Chairman Norfolk, for the Royal British Legion, speaking on behalf of Armed Forces charities working in the County, said: "The Royal British Legion has worked hard to ensure that the needs of our Armed Forces community are appropriately recognised through the Covenant.  We are absolutely delighted to see this developing in our County.

"The Royal British Legion together with the Service Associations, SSAFA, Combat Stress and many others are keen to further develop existing partnerships, establish new ones and improve communication to those in need, regarding the health and welfare provision that we can offer.  We look forward to continuing to work collaboratively with the Armed Forces, Armed Forces Charities and statutory organisations, with the ultimate aim of improving access to support for serving and ex-service personnel across Norfolk. 

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