Council to honour armed services community this Armed Forces Week

22 June 2021

Cheshire West and Chester Council will be showing support for Armed Forces Day this year, in line with Government restrictions on COVID-19.

The Armed Forces Day flag will be flown throughout the week outside Council Headquarters and the Town Hall in Chester, Wyvern House in Winsford, Civic Way in Ellesmere Port and Brio's Memorial Court Leisure Centre in Northwich.

The Lord Mayor of Chester, Councillor Martyn Delaney, raised the Armed Forces Day flag at a short socially-distanced ceremony, in line with current COVID-19 guidance, outside Chester Town Hall yesterday.

Councillor Brian Jones, the Council's Armed Forces Champion, said: "Armed Forces Week provides an opportunity for the British public to show  its support to the men and women of our armed forces community, including regulars, reservists, veterans, cadets, service families and the wider armed forces family in society.

"This important week allows all of us to acknowledge and celebrate their outstanding contribution to our country.

"As a Council, Cheshire West and Chester recognises and admires the commitment and sacrifices that our Armed Forces make on our behalf."

The UK Armed Forces defend the UK and its interests. Over the last 15 months British military personnel from the British Army, Royal Air Force and Royal Navy have been a key part of the UK's COVID-19 response both at home and overseas, with the Armed Forces now engaged in a major role in the provision of testing and vaccination services.  This month the Armed Services will be on hand to support the NHS and local authorities in delivering some elements of the 'enhanced support' recently announced by Government for areas such as Cheshire West and Chester, which has seen a steep rise in the number of cases of the Delta variant of COVID-19.

Reservists give up their spare time to serve in the Reserve Forces, balancing their civilian life with a military career to ensure that should their country require them, they would be ready to serve.  Reserves Day will be held on Wednesday 23 June 2021 this year and will focus on the incredible combined efforts of both Regular and Reserve forces from the RAF, the Navy and the Army during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The UK's Armed Forces Covenant is a promise by the nation to ensure that those who serve or who have served in the armed forces, and their families, are treated fairly. The Council's own Armed Forces Covenant includes work to help to integrate the Armed Forces community into life through the support of local communities and partner agencies throughout the borough.  This might include providing information and support with employment, housing, education, advocacy, health and wellbeing and financial matters.

Pre-pandemic, the NAAFI (Navy, Army and Air Force Institutes) Break Drop-In ran twice a month at Ellesmere Port Library.  The Drop In is run by Armed Forces Community Support, a registered charity based in Warrington , and is for ex-servicemen and women (including dependants), Regulars or Reserves (who have served 1 day or more), to meet up and share experiences.  Although the group have been unable to meet physically during the pandemic support has still been on offer through a range of virtual and other COVID Secure methods to help our veterans during this difficult period.

Council company, Brio Leisure also provides current and ex-members of the military along with those who are medically discharged the opportunity to receive a discounted or free membership (subject to terms and conditions).  Ex-members of the armed forces can benefit from Brio Leisure's discounted WorkFit Membership, and this is available to those who have left the forces in the last five years.

Full information on both the armed forces and concessionary memberships can be found by clicking on this link http://www.brioleisure.org/memberships/concessionary

You can find out more information on Armed Forces Day www.armedforcesday.org.uk

Members of Cheshire West and Chester Council and representatives of the Armed Forces Community raise the Armed Forces Day flag outside Chester Town HallMembers of Cheshire West and Chester Council and representatives of the Armed Forces Community raise the Armed Forces Day flag outside Chester Town Hall

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