Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Tougher Penalties for Using a Mobile Phone at the Wheel from 1 March 2017

It’s illegal to use a hand-held phone or similar device while driving, or riding a motorcycle.

The rules are the same if you’re stopped at traffic lights or queuing in traffic.

It’s also illegal to use a hand-held phone or similar device when supervising a learner driver or rider.

You must stay in full control of your vehicle at all times. The police can stop you if they think you’re not in control because you’re distracted. This includes if you’re using devices like your sat nav or car radio.

When you can use a phone in your vehicle:

If you’re the driver, you can only use your phone in a vehicle if you need to call 999 or 112 in an emergency and it’s unsafe or impractical to stop, or if you are safely parked

Monday, 27 February 2017

Reserves Mental Health Programme


The Reserves Mental Health Programme, run in partnership with the NHS, is open to all current or former members of the UK Volunteer and Regular Reserves who have been demobilised since 1 January 2003, following operational deployment overseas as a reservist and who believe that their deployment may have affected their mental health.     

For more information, please CLICK HERE   

NPower Hotel Offer


NPower are offering members a one night hotel stay for two people when they switch via the offer on the Defence Discount Service website www.defencediscountservice.co.uk

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Combat Stress Magazine Online - Spring 2017


To read or download the online edition
CLICK HERE

Apply Online for a Passport


You can apply for, renew, replace or update your passport and pay for it online.

You’ll need a debit or credit card to use this service.

It should take 6 weeks to get your first adult passport once your form has been received. For all other application types, it should take 3 weeks.

It can take longer if more information is needed or your application hasn’t been filled out correctly.

You should use a different service if you need your passport urgently.

Don’t book travel until you have a valid passport - doing so is at your own risk.

To access the online service CLICK HERE


Raise Money for Blind Veterans UK - 100k in 24 Hours



For further info on this and other challenges CLICK HERE


New Vehicle Tax Rates From 1st April 2017


The way vehicle tax is calculated will change for cars and some motor homes that are first registered with DVLA from 1 April 2017.

CLICK HERE to read....

Cyberbullying


Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Become a Special Constable for Kent Police


Special Constables are volunteer police officers, with full police powers, uniforms and equipment.

As a Special you'll support regular officers, undertake patrols, support calls for assistance from the public and investigate reports of crime.

Volunteering as a Special is a great way to give back to your local community, build new relationships and develop new skills.

Kent Police Specials work in a range of policing areas, so whatever your interests, you will be given a volunteer role that works well for you.

For further information and a list of Information Events taking place in the local area, please CLICK HERE

Become a Kent Police Support Volunteer

Kent Police are looking for local people to become Police Support Volunteers. Anyone aged 16 upwards can apply.

PSVs are citizen volunteers who give their time freely to perform tasks which complement the duties performed by police officers and staff. This helps free up officers and staff to perform key operational duties. Volunteer roles range from providing front counter services and administration to following up crime reports and incidents with members of the public. These volunteer roles provide significant benefits to the Police Service and to local communities.

Volunteering for the police provides opportunities for people to use their skills, experience, knowledge and enthusiasm to help the force reduce crime and anti-social behaviour. By working alongside a range of police professionals, you can also help reduce the fear of crime.

There are many benefits to volunteering;

- Make a positive contribution to help reduce crime, disorder and fear of crime in your community.

- Gain valuable skills, experience and knowledge in one of the UK's most innovative police forces.

- Engage and interact with people from different backgrounds.

- Work as part of a team in a professional working environment.

- Meet new people and make new friends.

No previous experience or formal qualifications needed - just enthusiasm.

Find out more:
Call 01622 653212



Service to Civvy - Are you Pension Ready?



MOD’s Veterans UK organisation, part of Defence Business Services (DBS), has launched a campaign to encourage Service Personnel, Veterans and their families to get ‘Pension Ready’.

The campaign aims to promote the Armed Forces Pension Schemes, which are administered by Veterans UK, and motivate the Armed Forces Community to start thinking about their Pension throughout their Service career and not just as they are reaching the end of it.

To read the complete News Release, please CLICK HERE

Monday, 20 February 2017

Scottish Veterans' Residences



Scottish Veterans Residences (SVR) is a Registered Scottish Charity (SC015260) established in 1910 in reaction to the sight of veterans sleeping rough on the streets of Edinburgh. SVR’s operational arm is Scottish Veterans Housing Association (SVHA) which provides high quality, supported accommodation for veterans who are homeless or in need. The charity can house ex-service men and women of all ages in residences in Edinburgh and Dundee and now in the new Bellrock Close development in Glasgow.

As well as accommodation, a housing support service is available, and at Bellrock Close a transitional support programme.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

The Armed Forces Covenant - Snapshot on Education

To learn more about accessing these services,

To read or download the whole document, which includes information on education in Scotland and Wales, CLICK HERE

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

SSAFA: Royal Parks Half Marathon, Sunday 8th October 2017 - Sign Up NOW


Take in all four Royal London parks during Autumn as you run for our Armed Forces family. This the only event of its kind in central London and the flat course is perfect for newcomers and for those looking for personal bests.

To take part SSAFA asks that you pay a registration fee of £35 and pledge to raise a minimum of £400.

Why not run as a team? Get your friends, family or colleagues to take on the race together.

For further information or to sign up CLICK HERE

RBLI: New Apartments for Wounded Veterans in Maidstone

RBLI is seeking veterans who suffer from a disability, illness or injury for their brand new specialised apartments which are due to be completed in spring 2017.

The apartments, situated on Hermitage Lane near Maidstone, just outside the Royal British Legion Village, will be individually adapted for ex-service personnel who are homeless, at risk of homelessness or have specific requirements due to health issues. As the construction nears completion, RBLI is looking to find Veterans who can make the apartments their home.

For further information CLICK HERE

Royal Navy to Open New Reserve Unit in Rochester

The Royal Navy has announced plans to build a brand new Royal Naval Reserve (RNR) training unit in the centre of the Medway town Rochester.

The new purpose-built building will be located at the Army Reserve Centre in Fort Clarence Barracks and will house Royal Navy reservists from the Medway Tender, a sub-unit of London-based HMS President, and who are currently lodging with the Royal Engineers in Brompton.

The new building will provide state-of-the art classrooms and training facilities for the Navy reservists and they will share accommodation and sporting facilities with their Army Reserve counterparts.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Child Benefit Information

You are entitled to Child Benefit if you’re responsible for a child under 16 (or under 20 if they stay in approved education or training).

Only one person can claim Child Benefit for a child.

You must report any change of circumstances to the Child Benefit Office.

You may have to pay a tax charge if your or your partner’s individual income is over £50,000.

You can choose not to get Child Benefit payments, but you should still fill in the claim form because:
it will help you get National Insurance credits which count towards your State Pension
it will ensure your child is registered to get a National Insurance number when they’re 16 years old
CLICK HERE for the full details and updates....

Armed Forces - Foreign & Commonwealth families CLICK HERE to check details of how to claim. Details can be found in the What benefits can I claim? section.

Manage Your Tax Credits



Use this service to tell the Tax Credit Office about changes to your circumstances, for example if you’ve moved house. You can also find out how much and when you’ll be paid.

New Discounts from the Defence Discount Service

Log into your account at https://www.defencediscountservice.co.uk/ to access these offers.









SLI365 Service Life Insurance



You can protect the future of your family from today until 2042 at a fixed price FOR THE WHOLE TERM. Perfect for safeguarding your mortgage and with a Government guarantee of payment for operational casualties.

Service Life Insurance 365 was designed and introduced by MOD in 2007 to provide a robust, trustworthy solution for enduring Military Life Cover – when purely commercial operators declined to provide cover for Service Personnel facing the threat from war, weapons of mass destruction or terrorism.

Monday, 13 February 2017

Combat Stress Magazine - Spring 17

To read or download the online edition

Combat Stress - Confidential Helpline for Veterans, Serving Personnel and their Families

Visit the Combat Stress website at http://www.combatstress.org.uk/
or e-mail the helpline at helpline@combatstress.org.uk

Forces Help to Buy Scheme Extended to 2018


With the news that the Forces Help to Buy scheme has been extended to 2018, comes the real promise of increased home ownership for members of our Armed Forces. This valuable scheme coupled with the Armed Forces Covenant has the potential to change lives for many families.

The Government backed Forces Help To Buy Scheme (FHTB) recognises the service given by the Armed Forces and is a practical demonstration of gratitude.

Civvy Street Magazine has published several useful articles to help you decide whether home ownership is right for you. For further information CLICK HERE

Friday, 10 February 2017

Nationality Checking Services

List of local authorities in England that offer a checking service for UK nationality applications.

- provided by Local Authorities.
- will accept and forward your application to the Nationality Directorate.
- will ensure that your form is correctly completed, and will copy your documents and return them to you.
- will not give you nationality advice.

For more information and to find out where your nearest one is click here.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Raise Money for the RBL with an Overseas Charity Challenge


Looking for a memorable and rewarding experience? Why not take on an exciting challenge whilst raising money for The Royal British Legion?


Charity Challenge organise over 100 expeditions each year, including treks, bike rides, mountain climbs, rafting, sky diving, dog sledding, skiing and community challenges in over 30 countries worldwide.

Whether you want to lose weight, get fit, experience new cultures or achieve an impressive goal, check out the Charity Challenge website for more details. Sign up to take on one of their incredible challenges and raise vital funds for our Service people, veterans, and their families.

For further information CLICK HERE

Junior Diving Lessons at Medway Park Pool, Wednesday and Friday Evenings

Is your child looking for safe, structured sports coaching outside of a school or club setting?

This is Medway Sport's junior programme that runs across our sports centre facilities, designed to teach young children the fundamentals of sports in a safe, controlled environment with the emphasis on fun and enjoyment.

Diving - stages 7-10:

Wednesdays:
4.30pm-5.15pm - Beginners
5.30pm-6.15pm - Improvers

Fridays:
6.30pm-7.15pm - Beginners
7.15pm-8pm - Improvers

*Prices on request as will vary according to number of weeks per term. Swimming lesson discounts available for Premier members. For more information and bookings contact our swimming development officer for more details 01634 336644 or email medwaysport@medway.gov.uk

Also see the Medway Council website http://www.enjoymedway.org/events/junior-diving-lessons

Rookie Lifeguarding at Medway Park Pool, Thursday Evenings

Is your child looking for safe, structured sports coaching outside of a school or club setting?

Medway Sport's junior programme is designed to teach young children the fundamentals of sports in a safe, controlled environment with the emphasis on fun and enjoyment.

Rookie Lifeguarding:   Thursday evenings at Medway Park
5pm-5.45pm Beginner
6pm-6.45pm Improver
6.45pm-7.30pm Advanced

*Prices on request as will vary according to number of weeks per term Swimming lesson discounts available for Premier members. For more information and bookings CLICK HERE

The Penguin Club, Silver Blades, Gillingham


For further information CLICK HERE

Ice Hockey Coaching for Under 16s at Silver Blades, Gillingham

For further information CLICK HERE

The Law on Child Car Seats is Changing on 1st March 2017

From 1 March 2017, car seat manufacturers will no longer introduce new backless booster seats for children less than 125cm tall or weighing under 22kg.

CLICK HERE to find out what the new law means for you, plus how it affects current boosters and children of different ages             
For further information and guidance, also visit this helpful website http://www.childcarseats.org.uk/

Tri-Service Results of the MOD's Future Accommodation Model Survey: 2016


Following the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) commitment to make a new accommodation offer to help more personnel live in private accommodation and meet their aspirations for home ownership, the Ministry of Defence is considering, through the Future Accommodation Model (FAM), how it provides service personnel and their families with accommodation in the future, whether they are single, in a relationship or married.

The survey captures the views of service personnel on their priorities and preferences of the possible package options under FAM.

To read the survey and related documents CLICK HERE

Little Troopers at School

For further information click the link below

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Tempted to Join the Australian Army?


Soldier Applications

All Expression of Interest (EOI) from Soldiers for consideration for October 2017 appointment /enlistment through the Overseas Lateral Transfer Scheme (OLTS) will close on the 4 April 2016.

If invited to proceed further all applicants will receive an Application to complete and return with certified copies of requested documentation. All applications must be complete and returned by 2 May 2016.

New Expression of Interest processing will commence from 3 May 2016 for appointment October 2018, applications submitted prior to this date will not receive a response within 28 days of the application being submitted.

Note: Processing time for appointment through the Overseas Lateral Transfer Scheme will take 18 to 24 months to process.

Click here for further information

Big White Wall


#PTSD can impact everyone. @BigWhiteWall1 offer guidance to all personnel, family members & veterans

#strongbonds 

Safeguarding Children Online



As parents – or relatives, teachers and other adults responsible to children’s safety – we want our children and those we look after to be healthy and happy … and to develop well both physically and mentally. Above all, it’s also instinctive that we want kids to be safe.

Children learn through exploration and natural curiosity, and it is part of our job as parents and carers to encourage that. However, as our children grow up, develop and discover new experiences, we have to take more and different steps to ensure their safety.
Until their understanding and instincts catch up with their curiosity, our children need to be protected from everyday dangers – whether crossing the road, in and around the home, trying new foods or talking to new people they meet.

And sooner or later … going online.

Get switched on about:

Tuesday, 7 February 2017