Thursday, 8 December 2016

Carillionamey: Smoke Alarm Testing

Safety in your home. 
When was the last time you tested your smoke alarms? 
Be sure to push the test button every so often and replace batteries if the warning bleeps start.

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

MOD Veterans UK - Changes to Helpline Opening Hours

Changes to our helpline opening hours took effect on Monday 31 October 2016.

The opening hours for the Veterans UK helpline service will change to 8.00 am to 5.00 pm Monday to Friday.

Analysis has shown that there are relatively few calls received in the early morning and evening and so the service has been re-organised to make more advisers available during our busiest times.

Callers phoning outside of these hours will still be offered an option to speak to our partners in the charities Combat Stress or The Samaritans where urgent assistance is needed.

Freephone (UK only): 0808 1914 2 18
Telephone (overseas): +44 1253 866 043

Respite & Welfare Breaks at Victory Services Club

We are very proud of the Respite and Welfare initiative that we offer, which provides a stay in the Capital for nominated personnel of all ranks. These breaks are intended to offer welcome respite for personnel wounded or injured on Operational Service, or for individuals who have encountered a significant welfare issue.

Further information is available at this link
and the Respite and Welfare initiative brochure is available 
by following this link

Military Personnel: Thinking of Doing a Course?

“use it or lose it” 

Standard Learning Credit (SLC) Service personnel may make SLC claims each financial year for 80% of any course fees; up to a maximum of £175 per year for approved vocational and academic courses.  This is a “use it or lose it” allowance, as the funding does not roll-over into the next financial year. Before starting any course, individuals must obtain prior approval.  Further details can be found in JSP 898 Pt 4 Chapt 4 or by contacting your local Education Centre Staff for further information/guidance. 

Enhanced Learning Credits (ELC) The ELC allowance provides funding support to Service personnel who want to enhance their educational or vocational achievements for long-term personal development.  It may only be used to gain National Qualification Level 3 or higher qualifications. (i.e. A Level & some NVQ Level 4 or 5, 1st Degree, Post Graduate studies and Doctorate)  Candidates must have registered while serving and strict criteria apply when making a claim. Depending on a number of factors, this can amount to up to as much as £2000 per year, over a 3 year course. Again, individuals must both have registered and made their claim prior to starting any course.  Also, provided you registered whilst still serving , you may also claim for up to 10 years after leaving the service. See JSP 898 Pt 4 Chapt 3 for details or visit  or contact your local Education Centre Staff for further information/guidance.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Service Families Benefit from CMI Membership

Service Families Benefit from CMI Membership

The Chartered Management Institute has pledged to support Service spouses and partners in gaining the leadership qualifications to help them further their career.

Ensuring that Service spouses and partners are not disadvantaged in finding and staying in employment due to service life is a key part of the Armed Force Covenant, which states that: 
The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise by the nation ensuring that those who serve or who have served in the armed forces, and their families, are treated fairly.

The Chartered Management Institute (CMI) has sought to uphold this promise by signing the Armed Forces Covenant. In their pledges, the CMI support Service spouses and civil partners through their MOD Family Membership Scheme, which provides access to Leadership, Mentoring and Coaching qualifications, helping Service spouses to gain the key skills and professional recognition which can help Service family members to find employment. The Scheme is also available free to children of Service personnel (aged 16-18) and allows them to become a Campus CMI Affiliate  with access to all the benefits of online resources, including study support.

CMI’s pledge offers a discount on their qualifications and membership for family members of Service personnel who are CMI members, and a commitment to support Service spouses or Reservists who they employ with flexible working arrangements, where possible.

Chief of Defence People, Lieutenant General Richard Nugee is a CMI companion and participated in the signing of the Covenant at an event on 14 November. He said:
“The families of our Service personnel are an important part of the Covenant. We value and are grateful to them – the unsung heroes who support our Armed Forces. Knowing that the nation, and organisations like the Chartered Management Institute recognises this is extremely important and fundamental in making the Armed Forces Covenant work.”

Ann Francke, Chief Executive of the Chartered Management Institute said:
“We’re proud to sign the Armed Forces Covenant, and helping families of the heroic men and women who serve our country get the support they need to develop their careers. Thousands of members of the Armed Forces who’ve gained CMI-accredited qualifications have benefited from improved performance in their roles, as well as from building confidence and gaining qualifications to help them resettle into civilian life at the end of their military career. Now, their families also have the chance to develop their own skills and qualifications.”

Full details on what membership can offer military families can be found on the CMI website at

Monday, 28 November 2016

Service Pupil Premium 2017


This message is for the attention of Regular Forces Service parents based in England.  If your child attends a state school, Academy or Free school in England and has been registered with the school as a Service pupil, the school will be granted a Service Pupil Premium of £300. 

The Service Pupil Premium (SPP) is provided by the Department for Education to enable schools to offer additional, mainly pastoral, support during challenging times, which could include anything from a Service parent being away, being injured on active service to bereavement.  Funds are paid directly to schools; with Head Teachers and school Governors deciding how the funds are used.

Schools with Service children in Reception to Year 11 classes are eligible to receive SPP, but only if your child’s name appears on the school roll as being a Service child.  The annual census takes place on 19 January 2017 and children must be registered with the school before this date.  You are encouraged to contact the school and make them aware your child is from a Service family.  This information is not shared with other organisations and is protected on the National Pupil database.

For more information on eligibility, please see the links below:


For any other queries regarding Service children contact the Directorate Children and Young People’s educational advisory arm, Children's Education Advisory Service (CEAS) via email: or telephone: 01980 618244.  

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

SSAFA - Forcesline - Need to talk?

Ambrosden Surgery - New Opening Times

Ambrosden Surgery - new opening times

We have had a change to our opening days at Ambrosden Surgery.
We are now open on the following days:
Mondays 11.00 - 13.00
Wednesdays 10.00 - 12.00

Telephone number to use for all patients

Please ring this number and you should be able to get through to us.

Monday, 21 November 2016

Reduce your junk mail

You may already be effectively recycling your waste paper through your local councils recycling service, but what if you’d like to cut down the amount of paper you get through?
In the run-up to Christmas, lots of us get more advertising collateral through our letterboxes than we’d like.
Now is a great time to reduce the amount of junk mail you receive by registering with the Mailing Preference Service.
They can arrange for your details to be taken off the mailing lists of companies sending unsolicited mail.
To register for this service call 020 7291 3310, visit the Mailing Preference Service website or

Friday, 18 November 2016

Calculate your Armed Forces Pension

You may be eligible for an Armed Forces Pension if you’ve served in the armed forces.
Use this calculator to work out how much armed forces pension you may get.
Start now on the MOD service

Other ways to apply

You can also apply by post.
Download and fill in the pension forecast request (form 12) - the address is on the form.
The form covers the following pension schemes:
  • AFPS 75
  • AFPS 05
  • AFPS 15

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Maggies Cancer Centres- Talking Heads

Covenant funding helps AFF support F&C victims of Domestic Abuse

Covenant funding helps AFF support
F&C victims of Domestic Abuse
SupportAFF has received a grant through the Covenant Grants Fund to provide much-needed practical support to Foreign & Commonwealth (F&C) Army families dealing with Domestic Abuse (DA).
Supporting the F&C community
This new support will allow us to help spouses directly with their application form to remain in the UK during a very stressful time and is available to any F&C spouse of a serving person in any location in the UK or overseas.
Support is limited by available funding and is not a self-referral scheme - families must be referred to us by a relevant welfare contact or organisation.
Building support
We also hope to be able to work closer with support organisations to develop best practice working methods when dealing with an F&C case and to inform others about the unique problems that many F&C families can face.  
If you are currently supporting an F&C spouse who is a victim of DA and who needs immigration advice, then please contact AFF at   
To find out more about our F&C service, visit our website.

afc and aff logos

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Language Classes at Shrivenham Station

Language Centre at Shrivenham Station

The Language Centre offers English as a Foreign Language to the families of International officers attending courses at the Defence Academy, and also provides tuition in other languages to families across the entire Shrivenham Station Site.
Both group and private tutorials are available at Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced level, and the Centre is open both during the day and in the evening.Students can elect to sit Diploma examinations on completion of their courses from the Cambridge Examination Board. Staff are able to provide information on suitable examinations and also run examination preparation classes.
For registration information and enquiries about courses at the Language Centre, contact the Language Centre Manager, on 01793 784881 or Email:


English as a Second Language
We offer a range of classes at the Language Centre and staff will give you all the guidance and support you need to improve your English language skills. Both group and private lessons are available to suit all abilities, from beginner through to advanced.Students will learn a full range of English language skills, including speaking, listening, reading, writing, vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation. Students are taught in small groups and get lots of help and support; there are always plenty of opportunities to participate in class.
Staff at the Language Centre aim to make English classes fun and interesting for students. A range of additional activities take place throughout the year, such as visits to the Houses of Parliament and to local places of interest. There is also an annual trip to Ascot Races where students can see HRH Queen Elizabeth II as well as the horse racing!
Staff and students also host a series of exciting workshops throughout the year where students can learn about other cultures, such as cupcake decorating class, sushi making, pasta making classes and many more exciting events.English classes provide a great opportunity to make lots of new friends during time spent in this country.
French, Spanish, German and Italian
The Language Centre offers a wide range of evening classes to suit all abilities - from complete beginner to advanced conversationalist. Most courses take place in the evening, although some may be available during the day. Classes are normally two hours per week over 12 weeks, and the majority are designed to develop all four language skills - speaking, understanding, reading and writing - with an emphasis on speaking and understanding in the class sessions.Evening courses are open to adults and are designed to give greater confidence in speaking a foreign language, whether for travel, work or just for fun.

Monday, 31 October 2016


12 months ago the MOD ICE App was launched. 
The app, which has been developed by the Ministry of Defence’s Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre (JCCC), has now been downloaded over 25,000 times by British service personnel and their families since the launch in October 2015.

The question is: 
Have you downloaded yours? 
If not then found out how HERE.

The Armed Forces Covenant - Employment & Pensions Support

Ex Services - Accommodation & Housing

What is SPACES?
Single Persons Accommodation Centre for the Ex Services, SPACES, is a housing advice and placement service for veterans.
SPACES targets the most vulnerable of Service leavers, regardless of rank, length of service, or reason for discharge.  The SPACES office is located within The Beacon at Catterick Garrison, North Yorkshire.
You’ll find:
◦The SPACES office is open Monday to Friday 9am-5pm, with answerphone service out-of-hours.
◦Helps to secure appropriate accommodation when you leave the Armed Forces to reduce the risk of homelessness or rough sleeping.
◦Help to find accommodation no matter where you are located across the UK.
◦Support from up to 12 months prior to discharge if you have housing concern (the SPACES team will maintain contact with you until suitable accommodation is secured).
◦All information treated in strict confidence.
◦Advice and referrals to other specialist agencies if required,
◦If you are married or a single parent, we will direct you to the Joint Service Housing Advice Office.
◦Information to assist Foreign & Commonwealth Service personnel with housing needs.
◦Optional referral to Riversides’ Care and Support bespoke accommodation centres for  single veterans.

BIG White Wall

Friday, 21 October 2016

HiQ Abingdon - 10% discount card available

HiQ Abingdon are currently offering a 10% discount 
to all Abingdon station personnel.
Pop into the Abingdon HIVE or Abingdon Welfare Offices to collect your business card

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Monday, 10 October 2016

Forces Help to Buy Scheme Extended

The Secretary of State for Defence has announced the excellent news that the very popular Forces Help To Buy scheme will be extended into 2018. As you will be aware, the scheme which was launched in 2014, allows serving military personnel to borrow up to half their salary up to a cap of £25,000, interest free over ten years so they can buy their first home, extend a current one or move up the property ladder.

The news is featured on the Armed Forces Covenant website and includes comments from L/Cpl Baffour Asante whose family has benefited from the scheme.

For more information on the Scheme please click on the link below:

Thursday, 6 October 2016



a.         All car users are reminded that it is a criminal offence to keep a motor vehicle on the public roads (includes all military roads on the estate and parking bays) without the vehicle:

(1)     Being registered with the Driver and Licensing Agency (DVLA)

(2)     Having a valid vehicle tax.

(3)     The owner/registered keeper having the minimum of third party insurance which covers their own use of the vehicle.

b.         If the Keeper of the vehicle does not tax the vehicle because it is not being used or is not being kept or used on a public road, DVLA must be informed by means of a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN). A SORN is valid for 12 months unless you tax, sell, permanently export or scrap the vehicle in question before the 12 months have expired.

c.         Any vehicle not meeting all of the above and found on Married Quarter patch’s will be subject to investigation and the keeper subject to both being reported for the offence to the civil authorities and to units for disciplinary action to be initiated against them for breach of these Orders and Garrison Standing Orders.

d.         The parking of motor vehicles / caravans / trailers on the grassed areas in front of and around the Married Quarters in the estates is strictly prohibited. It is in contravention of your licence to occupy, these orders and Garrison Standing Orders. RMP, MOD Police and Unit RP staffs have been directed to identify offenders and remind them of the fact and get vehicles removed onto the road. They have been directed to identify Repeat Offenders and they are to report them to this HQ for disciplinary action to be taken against them.

e.         Vehicle keepers and owners of caravans and trailers are to be aware that any damage deemed attributable to parking their vehicle on the grassed areas will be costed and action for recovery of costs will be initiated. The area to the front of a quarter is the occupants’ responsibility.

Samaritans - Local Action Saves Lives

To find out more please follow this link

Dalton Barracks, Community Centre

For the hiring of the Community Centre and equipment prices are as follows: 
Deposit £50
Community Centre Hire £25
Bouncy Castle Hire £25
Assault Course (Currently out of use )
Disco Equipment £25

For any other quieries or bookings please contact 4 Regt Welfare Team on 01235 543562 or 3 Regt Welfare Teams 01235 543832

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Benefits and concessions for the Armed Forces, veterans and their families

This information applies to:
  • people who are serving in the Armed Forces
  • people who used to serve in the Armed Forces (veterans)
  • the dependants of people serving in the Armed Forces and veterans.
There are many different kinds of financial help available for people in the Armed Forces, veterans and their families.
You can use this information to find out what financial help might be available to you, depending on your situation. You can also use this information to find details of organisations that might be able to help you further.

CLICK HERE to find out more.....

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Monday, 26 September 2016

Discounts at the Oxford Ice Rink

Oxford Ice Rink currently offer  Forces and NHS staff discount on all of their day time public sessions

Discounted rate and session times are below.
Monday - Friday 10.00 - 12.00 and 14.00 -15.45 £4.00.
Saturday 10.30 - 11.00 and 13.30 - 16.00 £6.00
Sunday 10.00 - 12.00 and 14.00 - 16.00 £6.00.

If you require any further information please call the rink on 01865 305010.

Please follow this link to read more about the Oxford Ice Rink