Our Armed Forces Community
As a community, the Armed Forces make an outstanding contribution to society above and beyond their role defending the country and its interests in times of conflict.
In April 2019, it was estimated there were 1,660 members of the Regular Armed Forces stationed in Herefordshire, which represents a 15% increase since 2012, although not all will be resident in Herefordshire. They are predominately Army (95%), Royal Navy/Royal Marines (4%) and RAF (1%). In addition, there were 290 civilians employed by the MoD in Herefordshire.
There are 9,600 veterans resident in Herefordshire representing 6.1% of Herefordshire’s population, higher than the 3.8% seen nationally. The Credenhill, Weobley and Wellington area has the largest veteran population (by proportion and number of veterans) and also has the highest proportion of households (15%) where at least one veteran lives.
About of half of Herefordshire’s veteran population are aged 65 and over, this is likely due to post-war conscription between 1949 and 1960 and the decline in the size of the Armed Forces since the 1950s. The majority (86%) of veterans are male.
The vast majority of Armed Forces veterans successfully transition from military to civilian life but it is understood that for a minority the transition can be difficult and that, in addition, combat experience can, for some, have a lasting impact on physical and mental wellbeing. As such, some Armed Forces veterans need specialist support.
A great deal of work has been done by the Armed Forces Covenant and local authorities to ensure those who serve or who have served in the Armed Forces, and their families, are treated fairly. Herefordshire Council is an exemplar as one of the first local authorities to pledge to the Armed Forces Covenant in 2012. It remains committed to ensure serving and ex-service personnel and their families living locally have access to the services they need. In addition, Herefordshire’s Armed Forces community is well served by a range of national military charities.
In 2019, a comprehensive assessment of the needs of the serving and veteran Armed Forces community in Herefordshire was undertaken. The aims of the assessment were to:
- Provide evidenced-based insights and analysis to inform Herefordshire’s Armed Forces Covenant Partnership and its stakeholders.
- Address key issues from a national outlook and where possible sets out a local context and response.
- Support decisions on future planning and funding as well as reflecting Herefordshire Armed Forces Covenant Partnership’s desire to have a foundation document which is evidence-based.
- Highlight gaps in support and to identify where services can be improved.
- Identify areas where changes in policy should be considered.
- Produce a list of recommendations and priorities to shape an action plan for the next 3 years (2020 – 2023).
The report's Executive Summary can be downloaded by following the link in 'useful links.'