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.

Course For Forces - Autumn 2016

To read online please follow this link

The Armed Forces Covenant - Employment & Pensions Support

What Next - Forces Resettlement Guide - Issue 2 2016

Follow this link to read

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.

Latest offers from Defence Discount Service

Lifeworks Families has been Extended – Now Offering Remote Support

The LifeWorks Team at RBLI is very excited about the new and improved Remote Employment Support Service we can now offer to ALL UK ARMED FORCES DEPENDANTS. 
For the first time, we’re extending our already successful support service to service dependents of school leaving age as well as university leavers. This is IN ADDITION to the service we already offer military spouses and their partners.

Our Remote Support Service is available to those who, for whatever reason, can’t attend one of our 3 day courses held throughout the UK and overseas. Or, maybe want help with just one or two areas in their search for work.
WHAT SUPPORT CAN I GET? All support is given by one of our highly experienced Employment Coaches who will be able to help with any aspect of your job search and move into work. Some things they typically give support on are:
· CV writing
· Interviews
· Covering letters
· Confidence building
· Recognising your skills

We can also offer a helpful 1-2-1 session with a qualified Vocational Assessor who can take you through a range of psychometric profiling tools that will help you identify new career paths or even enhance your current position.


It’s easy, just give us a call on 0800 319 6844
Head over to our website

News & Updates from Mind

News and updates from Mind
Easter Notes of the Week from Oxfordshire Mind
It's Friday and time for Notes of the Week!

If you have any good news stories or communications requests, please don’t hesitate to contact me at
In this week's issue you'll find: 
notices from other organisations

Roadshow Success in Oxford City Centre

The last stop on our brilliant Oxfordshire Mind Roadshow took place on Monday in Oxford City Centre. Despite the chilly weather, our team got a warm reception, getting information on improving mental wellbeing to hundreds of members of the public.

A huge thank you to all of those involved in the Roadshow - we are so grateful for you hard work and dedication!
  To read the full newsletter please follow this link

Edingburgh Napier University - Emergency Crisis Management

Tesco Direct now deliver to BFPO locations around the globe


If you’ve got family serving in the armed forces overseas, you’ll want an easy and reliable way to send them gifts. With effect from 17th October, Tesco direct is partnering with the British Forces Post Office (BFPO) to help you do just that.
When you order gifts from Tesco direct, you can arrange for them to be sent to a BFPO address overseas for exactly the same cost as for a standard home delivery within the UK.
We’ll deliver your items to BFPO HQ. From there, they’ll be sent to the chosen BFPO address overseas for no extra cost.
To find out how to place, track and manage your BFPO orders, visit the Tesco direct BFPO page.
So, remember to make Tesco direct your first port of call when you’re looking for gifts to send your loved ones overseas this Christmas and Armistice Day.
Click HERE for more information

BIG White Wall

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

HIVE Closed - Wednesday 26th - Friday 28th October 2016

Thames Valley Police - Have Fun but Stay Safe during Halloween

Have fun during Halloween and Bonfire Night, but don’t be influenced by others into doing things that may seem minor at the time – your actions could have a massive impact on not only people inside their house, but on your life as well.

Police will be carrying out patrols in the evenings to make sure that people who are trick-or-treating are doing so in a friendly manner and not causing a nuisance.

For some people, this time of the year can be a bother as your evenings are interrupted with people knocking on your doors for treats. Most of these children or teenagers are just getting involved in the Halloween celebrations and will be friendly.
If you feel unsafe:
  • Don’t open your door if you’re unsure who is there. Use your spyhole, look out of a window and use your door chain if you do decide to open your door.
  • Have a contact number of a close relative or good neighbour to hand by your telephone, just in case you need to phone them.
  • If you are part of a Neighbourhood Watch scheme, let your coordinator know that you will be on your own at Halloween. If you are a coordinator, please identity people in your scheme that may be vulnerable and offer them reassurance.
Please following this link to download ‘no trick or treats’ posters that can be found on the right hand side of the page 
Thames Valley Police will not tolerate any anti-social behaviour at any time of the year.
To report anti-social behaviour, call 101, the 24-hour Thames Valley Police non-emergency number. If you feel threatened, if it’s an emergency, or if a crime is in progress, call 999.

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

Join the Army Reserves

Follow this link to find out more

Oxfordshire Play Association - Playwork Training Courses

Book your place now for a January 2017 start!


If you already hold a level 3 qualification in Early Years or Childcare and would like to gain a level 3 qualification in Playwork this course is perfect for you


A work and classroom based qualification. There are short workshops once a month to support the learner in all the underpinning knowledge areas. An assessor will visit you every 4-6 weeks to assess your practical work throughout your qualification.


A work and classroom based qualification. There are short workshops once a month to support the learner in all the underpinning knowledge areas. An assessor will visit you every 4-6 weeks to assess your practical work throughout your qualification.

For further details and a Booking Form please visit the OPA Website;

A Guide for Service Families - Additional Needs & Disability

To read the full guide please follow  this link

Thames Valley / Action Fraud Alert - National Cyber Crime Survey

The City of London Police, in partnership with Get Safe Online, has put together a National Cyber Crime Survey. Its purpose is to learn about people’s awareness of online safety and experiences of cybercrime, with a view to improve our knowledge and understanding and to help provide a better response to victims. The results will help police forces gain a better idea of the challenges they are facing. If you have a spare 15 minutes, we would be grateful if you could complete a short questionnaire. The link can be found here: 

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:

AFF Foreign & Commonwealth Support

AFF is delighted to welcome Jessica Harriman to the role of AFF Foreign & Commonwealth Assistant.
Foreign & Commonwealth (F&C) queries remain one of our largest areas of enquiry and we pride ourselves on the exceptional service we offer to families.  Read more
If you have an F&C related query, the F&C pages on the AFF website should always be your first point of call where you may be able to find the solution.
However, If you do need to contact Jessica, please email with your:
  • Name
  • Telephone number
  • Enquiry details
  • Copy of visa or letter from Home Office
  • Personal details i.e. length of Service of soldier or date of discharge, date when soldier naturalised, date when spouse/child entered the UK, place of birth of children etc.
  • Any deadline dates
If you don’t provide as much information as possible it will take longer to receive the advice or information that you need.
Jessica is available Monday to Friday, 10am to 2pm and will contact you as soon as she can – usually within 10 working days.
If you query is more urgent, please visit the website  where you may be able to access a government approved advisor who can meet a tight deadline. Please note, there may be a charge for this service.

Tax - FREE Childcare: 10 things parents should know

Tax-Free Childcare will be available to around 2 million households to help with the cost of childcare, enabling more parents to go out to work, if they want to, to provide greater security for their families. Here’s the top ten things to know about the scheme…

1. You’ll be able to open an online account

You’ll be able to open an online account, which you can pay into to cover the cost of childcare with a registered provider. This will be done through the government website, GOV.UK.
Tax-Free Childcare will be launched from early 2017. The scheme will be rolled out gradually to families, with parents of the youngest children able to apply first.
You’ll be able to apply for all your children at the same time, when your youngest child becomes eligible. All eligible parents will be able to join the scheme by the end of 2017.

2. For every 80p you or someone else pays in, the government will top up an extra 20p

This is equivalent of the tax most people pay - 20% - which gives the scheme its name, ‘tax-free’. The government will top up the account with 20% of childcare costs up to a total of £10,000 - the equivalent of up to £2,000 support per child per year (or £4,000 for disabled children).

3. The scheme will be available for children up to the age of 12

It will also be available for children with disabilities up to the age of 17, as their childcare costs can stay high throughout their teenage years.

4. To qualify, parents will have to be in work, and each earning around £115 a week and not more than £100,000 each per year

The scheme is designed to be flexible for parents if, for example, they want to get back to work after the birth of a child or work part-time.

5. Any eligible working family can use the Tax-Free Childcare scheme - it doesn’t rely on employers offering it

Tax-Free Childcare doesn’t rely on employers offering the scheme, unlike the current scheme Employer-Supported Childcare. Any working family can use Tax-Free Childcare, provided they meet the eligibility requirements.

6. The scheme will also be available for parents who are self-employed

Self-employed parents will be able to get support with childcare costs in Tax-Free Childcare, unlike the current scheme (Employer-Supported Childcare) which is not available to self-employed parents. To support newly self-employed parents, the government is introducing a ‘start-up’ period. During this, self-employed parents won’t have to earn the minimum income level.
The scheme will also be available to parents on paid sick leave and paid and unpaid statutory maternity, paternity and adoption leave.

7. If you currently receive Employer-Supported Childcare then you can continue to do so 

You do not have to switch to Tax-Free Childcare if you do not wish to. Employer-Supported Childcare will continue to run. The current scheme will remain open to new entrants until April 2018, and parents already registered by this date will be able to continue using it for as long as their employer offers it.

However, Tax-Free Childcare will be open to more than twice as many parents as Employer-Supported Childcare.
Employers’ workplace nurseries won’t be affected by the introduction of Tax-Free Childcare.

8. Parents and others can pay money into their childcare account as and when they like

This gives you the flexibility to pay in more in some months, and less at other times. This means you can build up a balance in your account to use at times when you need more childcare than usual, for example, over the summer holidays.
It’s also not just the parents who can pay into the account - if grandparents, other family members or employers want to pay in, then they can.

9. The process will be as simple as possible for parents

The process will be light-touch and as easy as possible for you. For example, you’ll re-confirm your circumstances every three months via a simple online process; and there will be a simple log-in service where parents can view accounts for all of their children at once.

10. You’ll be able to withdraw money from the account if you want to

If your circumstances change or you no longer want to pay into the account, then you’ll be able to withdraw the money you have built up. If you do, the government will withdraw its corresponding contribution.
More information will become available ahead of the scheme being introduced so parents making childcare decisions are able to consider all their options.

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

Bookstart Bear Club, Storytime at Didcot Library

For more details on Didcot library please follow this link

CAMO (Come And Meet Others) Coffee Mornings at Millbrook School, Grove - Every Friday morning

"Come And Meet Others"

Come and join us at our "Military Coffee Morning" 
 Everyone Welcome

Held at

Milbrook Primary School
(not just for Milbrook Parents)
School Lane
OX12 7LB

Every Friday @ 0850 - 1000

Support for all service families
Welfare attend every few weeks
Fun and games and toys for the children

Coffee, Tea, Squash & Biscuits provided

For more information please contact
Natalie: 07564042167
Natalie will also meet new members if required and show them where coffee morning is held and introduce them to the other members

Service Complaints Ombudsman

visit the website at this link -

Enhanced Learning Credits

Have you accessed your ELCs.? 
Don't let them go to waste 

Find out more how to claim your ELCs via the link below;