Aberavon AM welcomes support for Armed Forces Community

A new package of support for the armed forces community in Wales has been welcomed by a local Assembly Member.  Aberavon’s AM, David Rees, has commended the Welsh Labour Government’s refreshed Package of Support which details the support available to the Armed Forces community in Wales, in relation to devolved services. The support package, entitled ‘Giving and Receiving: Supporting our investing in our Armed Forces Community’, outlines the support available.

The package includes

  • Providing annual funding of £585,000 to Veterans NHS Wales to improve support and treatment for veterans suffering from mental health issues, provide flexibility to maintain demand for the service and sustain shorter waiting times for veterans to access the service.
  • From April 2016 £25 per week of war disablement pension will be disregarded when assessing social care needs. During 2017 the war disablement pension will be disregarded completely.
  • The Welsh Labour Government has committed funding of up to £100,000 to support nationwide delivery of the Armed Forces Free Swimming Scheme from November 2015 – March 2017. All Local Authorities in Wales have signed up to the scheme enabling Veterans across Wales to access free swimming at local participating pools.
  • Supported the development of Ty Dewr to ensure that veterans in Wales have access to high quality and affordable housing. The facility offers housing support specifically for vulnerable veterans. Including a mix of high and low level support accommodation the grounds have an outdoor gymnasium for use by residents and the local community to encourage community integration.

It is estimated that there are some 385,000 members of the Armed Forces community in Wales, around 12% of the population. This includes Serving Personnel, Reservists and Cadets as well as their families and ex-Service personnel. Many will have experienced conflict, directly or indirectly, and the challenges that can arise following this.

The refreshed Package of Support ensures that serving personnel, veterans and their forces families have access to services which meet their specific needs. It demonstrates the Welsh Government’s continued commitment to fulfilling the commitments set out in the Armed Forces Covenant.

Mr Rees said “This package of support is about recognising all that the armed forces community have sacrificed to keep us safe and showing that we want to give them something back”

“I am delighted that the Welsh Government has unveiled this new and enhanced package of support for those men and women who have served, or continue to serve, in our Armed Forces. They deserve our unwavering respect and gratitude in recognition of their dedication, commitment and bravery.

“We should all support the simple principle that veterans and those currently serving should not be disadvantaged as a result of their service, they should be rewarded.