Veterans and the armed forces community

As a Trust we are committed to supporting veterans and the armed forces community and align our values with the Armed Forces Covenant.

Support for veterans and the armed forces community

Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust (GHC) has affirmed its support to the armed forces community by signing the Armed Forces Covenant.

The Corporate Covenant commits the Trust to upholding the key principles of the Armed Forces Covenant, which are:

  • no member of the Armed Forces Community should face disadvantage in the provision of public and commercial services compared to any other citizen; and
  • in some circumstances special treatment may be appropriate, especially for the injured or bereaved.

It also means the Trust will demonstrate its support by:


  • promoting the fact that we are an armed forces-friendly organisation
  • seeking to support the employment of veterans young and old
  • striving to support the employment of service spouses and partners
  • endeavouring to offer a degree of flexibility in granting leave for service spouses and partners before, during and after a partner’s deployment
  • seeking to support our employees who choose to be members of the reserve forces, including by accommodating their training and deployment where possible
  • offering support to our local cadet units, either in our local community or in local schools, where possible
  • aiming to actively participate in Armed Forces Day
  • ensuring quick and easy access to healthcare services, and in some cases ‘fast tracking’ treatment where symptoms are as a result of military service or related experience.

We’re extremely proud and honoured to have received the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award. Read more>


Healthcare for the armed forces community

How the NHS can help if you’re in the British armed forces, a veteran or a family member of someone who is serving or who has served.

Read more>>

We are proud to be Veteran Aware

We are proud to be a Veteran Aware Trust. This accreditation from the Veterans Covenant Healthcare Alliance (VCHA) recognises our commitment to driving improvements in care for veterans, reservists, members of the armed forces and their families, as well as supporting the armed forces as an employer.
Read more here>>

Enhancing Awareness

Having served in the military for a number of years, veterans Ashley and Lee found the transition to civilian life extremely difficult. To help raise awareness of the mental health issues faced by serving and ex-military personnel, they bravely share their experiences in this short film, and talk of how they overcame their own personal difficulties.

Defence ERS Gold Award

Our Trust has been awarded the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) Gold Award in recognition of its commitment and support for defence personnel and the armed forces community.

This means we are open to employing reservists, armed forces veterans (including the wounded, injured and sick), cadet instructors and military spouses/partners.


Useful information

  • Becoming a reservist is a great way to progress in your career in health and obtain new skills.
    Find out more>>


  • 243 (The Wessex) Field Hospital is part of the Army Reserve Medical Services. It is looking for healthcare professionals from all clinical specialities and grades (HCAs and consultants) from across the South West and Hampshire.
    Find out more>>
National support
National organisations which provide support for veterans:


  • Royal British Legion
    Wide-ranging support available for all serving and ex-service personnel and their families.
    The national helpline is 0808 802 8080.
  • Combat Stress
    Help for veterans who are worried about their mental health.
    The Armed Forces Charity
  • PTSD Resolution
    Providing counselling for former armed forces, reservists and families.
  • Veterans’ Gateway
    Support for mental health and employment.
  • Help for Heroes
    Lifetime support for the armed forces community and their families.
  • NHS support for veterans
  • NHS England has produced a leaflet about support for veterans.
  • Op COURAGE: The Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service
    The new name for the Veterans’ Mental Health Transition, Intervention and Liaison Service (TILS), Veterans’ Mental Health Complex Treatment Service (CTS) and Veterans’ Mental Health High Intensity Service (HIS).
  • Veterans UK
    Provides free support for veterans and their families, including a helpline, Veterans Welfare Service, Defence Transition Services and injury/bereavement compensation scheme payments.
  • The ATS and WRAC (Women’s Royal Arm Corps) Association Benevolent Fund awards one-off and recurring financial grants to purchase specific goods, services or facilities for eligible former servicewomen, or their dependents, in need.
  • Togetherall
    Togetherall (formerly Big White Wall) is a unique mental health service offering an anonymous and safe support community, moderated by professionals and counsellors.
  • Change Grow Live
    Change, Grow, Live Drug and Alcohol Recovery Service is a social care charity that works with individuals who want to change their lives for the better and achieve positive and life-affirming goals.
  • The Ripple Pond
    The Ripple Pond is a UK-wide self-help support network for the adult family members of physically or psychologically injured British service personnel and veterans. It offers a range of support including closed Facebook groups, talks and events, meet-ups, signposting and one-to-one support.
  • Veterans railcard
    Veterans can apply for a railcard for 1/3 off rail travel here.
  • Veterans badge or medal
    Veterans can apply for a veterans badge or medal from the Ministry of Defence.
  • The Women’s Royal Naval Service Benevolent Trust provides worldwide advice and financial relief in cases of necessity or distress for its members. Every former Wren or female serving member of the Royal Navy who joined the service between 1st September 1939 and 1st November 1993 is a member. (There are other organisations that the Trust works with, for those who served prior to September 1939.) The Trust helps both officers and ratings. If you ever hear of a former Wren who you think may be having difficulties, do please tell her about the Trust or approach them on her behalf.
Local support
Local organisations which provide support for veterans:


  • Armed Forces Community Covenant
    Gloucestershire County Council
  • Royal British Legion
    In Gloucestershire, the RBL runs free ‘pop-ins’ for help and advice in Cheltenham, Gloucester, Lydney, Stroud and Tewkesbury.
  • Let’s Talk
    Support with stress, anxiety and depression, provided by Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust.
  • Age UK Gloucestershire can help older veterans and their families, and has produced this guide to sources of support in the county.
  • Veterans’ Get-Togethers in Gloucestershire
    Find out about regular monthly veterans clubs, held in every district in the county, welcoming all veterans of any age.
  • Op COURAGE: The Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service (formerly TILS, CTS and HIS)
    Provides support for veterans and/or their partners or spouses who are struggling to cope. Referrals for Op Courage in the South Central and South West regions should be made through a single point of access. The referral form should be completed and sent to or you can call 0300 365 2000 and select option 4. People can also self-refer by dialling this number.
    Welfare, health and support services for the UK military’s serving personnel, veterans and their families.
  • Stroud District Council drop-ins
    Budgeting, mental health issues and housing support are just some of the areas that military veterans can get support for at a new monthly drop-in service at Stroud District Council. Nicky Wallace, Advice & Information Officer for the Royal British Legion in Gloucestershire will be based at the council’s offices at Ebley Mill on the second Monday of each month to provide support and information for members of the armed forces, veterans and their families.
  • Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership Trust
    NHS Transition, Intervention and Liaison Veterans Mental Health Service, South West and South Central.

Case studies

Latest news and updates