Making a connection

We are committed to supporting the entire forces community – serving, regular and reservist personnel, veterans, spouses and children – in accessing good quality public services, and upholding the principles of the Armed Forces Covenant.

Recently, through the Forces Connect South East partnership, we have developed bespoke packages of training aimed at councillors and frontline multi-agency staff. We have established a ‘champions’ network across the public sector, and launched e-learning modules and mentoring schemes. We have embarked upon an engagement journey sharing toolkits and best practice around the UK. Lastly, we have developed the ‘Forces Connect’ app.

Working alongside our fantastic developers, the Wow Factory, we have designed this easy-to-use app targeted at the entire Armed Forces community, as well as the frontline staff who work with them.

In four easy clicks, it signposts users to help and support from statutory and voluntary-sector organisations. It offers multichannel results and can be used offline. Best of all, it is free!

Now I know what you’re thinking. There are a multitude of apps around, often going out of date rapidly and with huge amounts of duplication. Our app has been designed so it can be updated very quickly.

The content is drawn directly from, and maintained by, NHS England’s Armed Forces Networks. This safeguards against obsolete information and enables the addition of new services. Ensuring ongoing sustainability was critical to the design, making it as resource-light as possible to maintain.

The final element of the app design was supporting further geographical expansion, should other areas want to come on board. In addition to our fellow South East local authorities, we have recently welcomed Cambridgeshire and North Yorkshire to the app, with other regions – including London and Oxfordshire – due online imminently.

So if you work in areas covered by the app, or you might be interested in joining us, why not download it today. Search ‘Forces Connect’ in your app store now.

For more information on the Forces Connect app, or on Forces Connect South East, please email FCSE@surreycc.gov.uk.

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