Supporting our Armed Forces community

Our Trust is committed to supporting members of the Armed Forces Community and their families. 

In October our Chief Medical Officer, David Walker, signed the Armed Forces covenant on behalf of the Trust alongside Lieutenant Colonel Ed Rankin, the Commander of Colchester Garrison.

David said "We first signed the Armed Forces Covenant in 2018 as Mid Essex Hospital Services and I’m incredibly proud to re-sign it today on behalf of Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust.”

“We recognise the contribution our service personnel and their families make, not only to our organisation but to the community and the country and we are committed to promoting the Trust as an armed forces friendly organisation, working together with the Armed Forces strengthening the bond and supporting those who have dedicated their lives to protecting our country and those who are part of the wider Armed Forces Family.”

This is the first time we have signed the covenant as a merged Trust and in doing so we are promising to support colleagues and their families who serve, or have served, in the Armed Forces. Making sure they are treated with the utmost respect and fairness.

We are working towards Veteran Aware accreditation in the early part of 2024.

Who are members of the Armed Forces community?

  • Regular Personnel - individuals currently serving as members of the Armed Forces.
  • Reservists - Volunteer Reservist and Regular Reservist. 
  • Veterans - those who have served for at least one day in HM Armed Forces, whether as a Regular or as a Reservist.
  • Families of Regular, Reservists and Veterans - the immediate family. This is defined as spouses, civil partners and the children for whom they are responsible. This can be extended, as appropriate, to parents, unmarried partners, and other family members.
  • Bereaved - the immediate family of Service Personnel and Veterans who have died, whether or not that death has any connection with Service.
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Support and referrals for members of the armed Forces Community

Click the links below to visit  sources of support and advice

Veterans’ Gateway – information and support for veterans and their families

Veteran specific resources across all welfare categories. These include housing, finances, mental wellbeing, employment, family and communities, physical health and living independently.

Advice and support for veterans & ex-forces | Veterans' Gateway (

Army Welfare Services

The Army Welfare Service (AWS) is the Army’s professional welfare provider; it delivers a comprehensive and confidential welfare service responsive to the needs of individuals, families and the Chain of Command in order to maximise the operational effectiveness of Service Personnel.

Call 0300 161 0682 Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5pm

Silent hours: Duty Field Officer 07976 208966


Address: Gryphon House, Merville Barracks, Colchester, Essex, CO2 7UT

Op Courage

Op COURAGE is an NHS mental health specialist service designed to help serving personnel due to leave the military, reservists, veterans and their families.

Mental health support for veterans, service leavers and reservists - NHS (

Op Nova

Op NOVA, delivered by the Forces Employment Charity and commissioned by NHS England, provides support for veterans who are in contact with the justice system, enabling them to access the services they need.

Op NOVA | Forces Employment Charity

Op Restore

Find healthcare and welfare support dedicated to veterans, service leavers, non-mobilised reservists, and their families and carers. All veterans, service leavers, non-mobilised reservists and their family members and carers can access a range of specialist healthcare and support created to provide treatment and care for many different problems.

Veterans, service leavers, and non-mobilised reservists - NHS (

Op Community

Op Community is a telephone line for the armed forces community (including veterans, reservists, serving personnel, families and the wider armed forces community) to offer support and guidance around navigating NHS services and advice regarding other services that can support with issues.

Op Fortitude

Veterans who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and the organisations working with them are encouraged to contact the Op FORTITUDE hotline on 0800 952 0774 or through a secure web portal.

Royal British Legion

The Legion is here to help members of the Royal Navy, British Army, Royal Air Force, veterans and their families. 

Royal British Legion | Armed Forces Charity

SSAFA the Armed Forces Charity

SSAFA can help provide practical, financial and emotional support for service personnel, veterans and their families.

Get help | SSAFA

Little Troopers

Little Troopers is a registered charity supporting all military children who have parent(s) serving in our British Armed Forces, regular or reserve.

Home - Little Troopers

Samaritans Veterans

Samaritans Veterans is a free app that can provide you with emotional support after your career in the Armed Forces.

Samaritans Veterans app | How we can help | Samaritans


Blesma, The Limbless Veterans, is dedicated to assisting serving and ex-Service men and women who have suffered life-changing limb loss or the use of a limb, an eye or loss of sight in the honourable service of our country.

Essex County Council Armed Forces support information 

ABF The Soldiers Charity, East Anglia

East Anglia office, based in Merville Barracks, Colchester, Essex. The local team is made up of  Simon Ferrier and Alys Potter, working with our fantastic committees, volunteers and supporters across the length and breadth of the region, raising both money and awareness. Together we run many exciting fundraising events throughout the year, from motorcycle rides to concerts, curry lunches and afternoon tea.

Armed Forces Breakfast Club

Armed Forces & Veterans Breakfast Clubs are completely free! There are no fees or subs, they do not exist to raise funds for any national charity, organisation or business. Breakfast Clubs exist to facilitate veterans and also, quite often, current service personnel, meeting face to face in a relaxed, safe, social environment.

There are clubs in Braintree, Basildon, Southend and Chelmsford. Follow the link to find full details in Find a Club

Colchester Hive

Colchester Garrison Guide

Fighting with Pride 

Founded in January 2020, Fighting with Pride is a military charity supporting the health and wellbeing of LGBQT+ Veterans, services personnel and their families.


SALUTE HER offers a bespoke service to all women who have served in the British Armed Forces and accept both professional and self referrals. Their services have been developed to address the growing needs of the increasing population of military women transitioning to civilian life.