Welfare

These welfare guidance notes for veterans apply to us as members of the founding regiments. They are as published by the Rifles Association

Hardship Grants 

Financial assistance will usually be given in one of the following forms: 

  • Grants for disability adaptation, mobility equipment, priority debts, food vouchers, clothing and household necessities. 
  • Weekly pensions to the very old or sick. An application will be made to the Army Benevolent Fund (ABF) The Soldiers Charity, who provide such assistance. 
  • Education and Training. Assistance may be given where an individual has been identified by a welfare agency as requiring retraining due to circumstances caused by a disability or long-term unemployment. Please note – you will need to provide evidence of being registered with the Regular Forces Employment Agency (RFEA) before accessing a training grant from The Rifles Benevolent Trust. 

In all cases there must be genuine hardship brought about through circumstances and not by the individual’s own design. 

Where to go for Help and Advice 

If you need financial assistance or advice, then you should contact SSAFA or The Royal British Legion (TRBL). Both organisations have a network of local branches, which means that help and advice is always close at hand. When contacting SSAFA or TRBL they will put you in touch with one of their experienced advisors. Where further assistance is required, a caseworker will be appointed who will visit you in your home or at a suitable location. 

Working together with the caseworker, you will need to complete a Form A; this provides some basic information about you and your current circumstances. The caseworker will then load the completed Form A onto the Case Management System (CMS). It will then become visible to the relevant Service charities, including The Rifles Benevolent Trust. 

The Rifles will respond directly to the caseworker. Please be aware that the Service charities involved are not able to deal directly with applicants. Please put all queries though your caseworker. 

Mental Health Support 

The following organisations provide free, confidential support for veterans: 

Combat Stress 24-Hour Veterans Mental Health Helpline 

Free, confidential helpline available to all veterans and to families and friends that may have concerns.
Website: combatstress.org.uk 
E-mail: helpline@combatstress.org.uk 
Tel: 0800 138 1619 open 24/7
Text: 07537 404 719 

Samaritans 

Provides a safe place to talk about anything that’s bothering you, 24/7.
Website: samaritans.org 
E-mail: Jo@samaritans.org 
Tel: 116 123 

SSAFA Forcesline 

Free confidential helpline and e-mail service providing support independent of the military chain of command.
Website: ssafa.org.uk/help-you/forcesline 
Tel: 0800 731 4880 open 9:00 – 17:00 Monday – Friday 

Togetherall 

A safe anonymous 24/7 online community where you can talk to people, who feel like you, whilst guided by trained professionals.
Website: togetherall.com 
E-mail: theteam@togetherall.com 

Veterans’ Gateway 

The Veterans’ Gateway is made up of a consortium of organisations and Armed Forces charities, including The Royal British Legion, SSAFA – the Armed Forces Charity, Poppyscotland, Combat Stress and Connect Assist. It is a good place to look if you are looking for a specific type of assistance. They even have an app that you can put on your smartphone.

Find more information Contact

The Rifles Team

Peninsula Barracks
Romsey Rd
Winchester SO23 8TP
UK

 admin@the-rifles.co.uk

 01962 828527 


COBSEO Briefing Note (Posted 02Nov2021)

NOTE The Army Operational Legacy Branch – supporting Army personnel and Veterans involved in operational legacy matters such as Legal processes and Welfare concerns 

Read the full briefing note here The Army Operational Legacy Branch The Army Operational Legacy Branch (AOLB) is the Army’s focus for all… 


The Army Operational Legacy Branch

The Army Operational Legacy Branch (AOLB) is the Army’s focus for all operational legacy issues and has been established to lead Army activity in support of the operational legacy legal processes, and to support Army personnel and veterans involved in operational legacy matters.

The operational legacy process relates to investigations, inquests and enquiries arising from operations in Northern Ireland (Op BANNER), Iraq (Op TELIC) and Afghanistan (Op HERRICK), although currently Northern Ireland and Op BANNER sees the greatest demand for support as this forms part of wider efforts to address the legacy of ‘the Troubles’. This process has resulted in a series of Coroner led Inquests to establish the facts surrounding a number of incidents, and criminal investigations led by either the Police Service of Northern Ireland or other Home Office appointed Police Forces, but all of which involve veterans or serving members of the Armed Forces.

Welfare support to veterans involved in the legacy process

A fundamental role of the AOLB is to provide welfare support to those involved in the legacy process. For many veterans the first thing they know about an inquest or investigation is when they receive a letter from the Coroner or a phone call from the Directorate of Judicial Engagement Policy (DJEP) informing them that they are required to give witness testimony as part of the process. This will be unsettling, and so the AOLB has established a network of Veteran Visiting Officers (VVO) to provide direct support to the veterans involved. The VVOs are FTRS Captains with a wealth of experience; they have a background of service on operations and the expertise in providing welfare support that will enable them to assess the needs of each individual to ensure they receive the support they require. 

The Veteran Visiting Officer will provide ‘End to End’ support to the veteran. This will include regular home visits and check ins to reassure the veteran as they progress through the legacy process, coordination of any broader welfare or administrative support they may require, but importantly they will remain alongside them throughout the process, including attendance in court if that is necessary. But this is a team effort and the VVO will work very closely with the Regimental Headquarters/Regimental Associations to ensure there is a strong network of pastoral support in place so that the longer term needs of the veteran are also captured and met.

Although the AOLB is the Army’s focus for operational legacy issues, personnel from the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force affected by operational legacy matters can also contact the AOLB who will assist where possible and where appropriate, provide details of the support available from their respective single Services.

If you have been contacted in relation to an operational legacy issue or are aware of someone who has and may need support, please contact the AOLB on the following means:

During normal working hours:

Telephone: 0300 1514039

Mobile: 07813 007392

Email: APSG-AOLB-Legacy-0mailbox@mod.gov.uk

Postal Address:

Army Operational Legacy Branch

Army Personnel Services Group

Ramillies Building

Army Headquarters

Monxton Road

Andover

SP11 8HJ

Legal Support. The AOLB does not provide legal support or advice. Free legal support is available to all serving personnel and veterans being investigated or prosecuted for allegations relating to legacy operations, however, this is coordinated and arranged through the Directorate of Judicial Engagement Policy (DJEP). 

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