Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Mobile Phones and Driving - Change to Penalties

Drivers are being warned not to use their mobile phones at the wheel ahead of a new law coming into force which will double the penalties for the offence.
From March 2017 the Fixed Penalty Notice for using a handheld mobile phone while driving will increase to £200 and 6 points
See full details at

Monday, 27 February 2017

Pick up a copy of the NEW Defence Discount Directory 2016/17

Pick up a copy of the new Defence Discount Directory from your local HIVE office 
Abingdon HIVE - Community Centre, Dalton Barracks
Bicester HIVE - Army Education Centre, Bicester Garrison

Defence Academy UK Courses - Stress and Resilience Programme

Are You a Military Spouse? Looking to go back to work? Lifeworks Course - Jubilee Centre Shrivenham - Tuesday 25th April - Thursday 27th April 2017

A 3-day Lifework course will be held at the Jubilee Centre, Shrivenham Station 
from Tuesday 25th - Thursday 27th April 2017.  
Designed specifically for military spouses and partners, whether entering employment for the first time or returning to work. The employability coach will lead students through an enjoyable programme of advice and guidance that include help to understand and manage the impact of change in location and situation, increase confidence, motivation and provide strategies to move forward to employment. Whether a change of job, advance career, return to work or enter further education, Lifeworks will help individuals gain the skills and confidence to reach this goal.

Training courses are delivered around the UK and a course has been confirmed for Shrivenham to be held at the Jubilee Centre with 12 places. 
Applicants should book on to the course through Lifeworks direct on 0800 319 6844 to secure a place.

More information via website www.wearelifeworks.org.uk

Are You Registered to Vote?

or pop into your local HIVE and collect a copy of the Register to Vote form


Thursday, 23 February 2017

Do you live Swindon and have a child age 3 or 4? Then you might benefit from 30 hours of FREE high quality childcare.

PLEASE NOTE: Parents living outside of Swindon or working for other employers, will be eligible to apply when this scheme is rolled out nationally from September 2017

Step Change - latest news

To find out more information please follow this link

Big White Wall

#Instincts taking over your #relationships? 
Take control & feel better with @BigWhiteWall1 

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Big White Wall

#Readjusting to #civilianlife is tough
 join @BigWhiteWall1 the online #mentalhealth service #strongbonds 

Are you a member of the RAF living in the local area - Have you heard about Storybook Wings?

Please see the below in regards to a survey RAFA Storybook Wings are currently conducting. Below link explains Storybook Wings in more detail if you are not yet familiar with it.

RAF Association launches Storybook Wings survey

Are you a parent or grandparent?

Did you know that all year round, the RAF Association runs the Storybook Wings initiative, offering parents and grandparents serving in the RAF the opportunity to record one of their children’s favourite books?
Just this year, the scheme has made over 60,000 bedtimes a little easier for children of serving parents and we’d like your feedback to make sure this number keeps on growing.
The survey is open to anyone who regularly reads to a child, be they a parent/guardian, grandparent, sibling. It should only take a few minutes and you could be in with the chance of winning a £50 Amazon voucher. Please click here to take the short survey.

Family Grapevine - Oxfordshire, South, Vale & west

To read the issue online please follow this link

Vodafone - 30% off Data Extravaganza - Sim only bundle

St John Ambulance Health Notice reference Scarlet Fever

Vauxhall Partners - Latest Discounts

Park Club, Milton - Military Membership

Oxfordshire County Council - New arrangments for children's services in Oxfordshire - Information for service users

Oxfordshire County Council is changing the way that it deliveries children's services from the 1st March 2017. New services are being developed alongside partner agencies.
Our new service will combine services currently offered by Children's Social Care, Early Intervention Hubs and Children's Centres, into one joined-up service for children and families, based in eight Children and Family Centres across Oxfordshire.
You can find out more about our new service here 
Depending on your centre, changes may have already taken place or will take place from the 1st March 2017. If you are a regular service user you will have been advised of the changes at your local centre.
On the 1st March the current services delivered from this site will change.
This centre will become one of the eight Children and Family Centres. Many of the same services will be available from the new Children and Family Centres but please be aware that as a result of building work and staff changes, there may be reduced services and/or closure during February and March.
We look forward to welcoming you to our new service.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Tickets For Troops - Brit Awards 2017 tickets available

The prestigious BRIT Awards 2017 with MasterCard is backing the Armed Forces by donating TWO HUNDRED tickets to troops for the star-studded award ceremony through the charity Tickets For Troops.
Servicemen and women from across the United Kingdom will have the chance to see performances from music superstars including Ed Sheeran, The 1975, Robbie Williams and many more at London’s O2 Arena on 22 February 2017.
Royal Marine, Captain Alan Hewett from Exeter has served for 20 years and is one of 100 lucky service personnel who will be attending The BRIT Awards 2017 with Mastercard through Tickets For Troops (www.ticketsfortroops.org.uk).
Over the last two decades, Captain Hewett has spent many months away from his family and friends whilst serving on operational tours including Iraq, Northern Ireland, Libya and six tours of Afghanistan.
Captain Hewett said: “If it wasn’t for people like Tickets For Troops, we wouldn’t have these opportunities. This is a lovely way for me and my wife to enjoy a fantastic night out that few people will have the chance to go to.”
Royal Navy Leading Medical Assistant Andy Watson, currently tasked to the Pharmacy at the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre Headley Court will also be attending the awards.

Leading Medical Assistant Andy Watson said “The BRIT Awards is such a prestigious event and to be given the opportunity by Tickets For Troops to attend this event is incredible."
Many troops who benefit from Tickets For Troops (www.ticketsfortroops.org.uk) endure long periods of separation from their families due to operational tours and training exercises or living apart from their families during the week.
Veronica Bamford, Director of Operations at Tickets For Troops said “We are very proud of our strong relationship with The BRIT Awards and we are extremely grateful to them for once again providing so many fantastic opportunities for our military heroes to have a well-deserved night out with their loved ones.”

Tickets For Troops was set up in 2009 to provide free tickets to the Armed Forces for sports, music, theatre, cultural and entertainment events across the UK.

The charity has distributed over 980,000 free tickets in the last seven years and is proud to offer tickets to troops which they can share with their loved ones, as a small acknowledgement and reward for the work they do for our country.

Organisations who would like to get involved with the charity and donate free tickets to benefit our servicemen and women can get in contact with Tickets For Troops by emailing events@ticketsfortroops.org.uk or calling 0207 932 0808

Friday, 17 February 2017

Berkshire Healthcare - South Central Veterans Service

CarillionAmey: Launch Of New Intranet Based SFA Application System - Monday 6th March 2017

CarillionAmey (CA) will be launching their new Intranet based SFA application system for Service Family Accommodation (SFA) in the UK at 08:30 on Monday 6 March 2017 as part of their new online ‘housing portal’.  As a result users are to be aware that:
•           CA need to transfer existing SFA applications and occupancy records over to the new housing portal. While files are transferred the e1132 system will be unavailable.
•           The applications system will be unavailable from 17:00 on Wednesday 1 March 2017 - 08:30 on Monday 6 March 2017. During this time, the CA Occupancy Services phone line will also be closed.
•           Urgent queries relating to an existing application for SFA, or current SFA property, are to be raised to the Occupancy Services team before lines close on 1 March at 15:00. Contact the Occupancy Services team on 0800 707 6000.
•           The CarillionAmey 24-hour repairs and maintenance Helpdesk will remain open as usual throughout.

CTP - What your Career Consultant can do for you

CTP - What you Employment Consultant can do for you

Thursday, 16 February 2017

SSAFA - Forces Additional Needs & Disability Forum - Spring Event - Thursday 16th March 2017

Forces Adiitional Needs & Disability Forum Newsletter - Spring 2017

To find out more and read the newsletter online please follow  this link

Combat Stress Magazine - Spring 2017

To read the latest issue please follow this link

Are you registered to Vote?


Message from the local Electoral Registration Officers 

Please use your residential address when completing the form NOT your work address

Do you need to update your passport?

You can apply for, renew, replace or update your passport and pay for it online.
You’ll need a debit or credit card to use this service.
It should take 6 weeks to get your first adult passport once your form has been received. For all other application types, it should take 3 weeks.
It can take longer if more information is needed or your application hasn’t been filled out correctly.
You should use a different service if you need your passport urgently.
Don’t book travel until you have a valid passport - doing so is at your own risk.

Claiming Child Benefit

You get Child Benefit if you’re responsible for a child under 16 (or under 20 if they stay in approved education or training).
Only one person can get Child Benefit for a child.
You must report any change of circumstances to the Child Benefit Office.
You may have to pay a tax charge if your or your partner’s individual income is over £50,000.
You can choose not to get Child Benefit payments, but you should still fill in the claim form because:

Armed Forces - Foreign & Commonwealth families CLICK HERE to check details of how to claim. Details can be found in the  What benefits can I claim? section.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

The Armed Forces Covenant - England

Quest - February 2017

Pop into you local HIVE and pick up a copy or to read online please follow this link

Civvy Street - February 2017

Pop in to you local HIVE for a copy or to read online please follow this link

Resettlement Provision For Early Service Leavers

The Early Service Leaver (ESL) Future Horizons Programme (FHP) exists to support those Regular military personnel discharging from the trained or untrained strength who have completed less than 4 years’ Service and are either discharged compulsorily or at their own request. 

FHP also supports those who are discharged compulsorily at any stage of their career and lose their entitlement to resettlement provision. ESL must opt-in to use the FHP.

The Future Horizons Programme has been developed in response to the recognition and commitment from The Ministry of Defence, to improve resettlement provision to Early Service Leavers (ESLs). The programme is open to ESLs across all the services, regardless of how long you have served or the reasons you have for leaving. The programme has been designed and is delivered by the RFEA, The Forces Employment Charity.

Details of the FHP can be found on the Career Transition Partnership (CTP) website: www.ctp.org.uk/futurehorizons

AWS re:Start Programme

AWS re:Start Programme
Frequently asked questions
What is the AWS re:Start Programme?
The AWS re:Start Programme aims to address the growing deficit of digital skills to available jobs.
Working with QA Consulting, , The Prince’s Trust, and The Ministry of Defence (MOD), the AWS re:Start programme will see 1,000 people from military or disadvantaged backgrounds given the knowledge and skills to jump start their career within the digital economy. Supported by AWS partners and customers, the program will result in a full-time work placement and/or apprenticeship for each of the 1,000 being trained.
What is the structure of the AWS re:Start programme and what will I learn?
The course is called the AWS Fundamentals, a four week programme to provide the foundational knowledge of AWS services. This is aimed at those with little or no prior technical or AWS experience, as well as those who have existing experience of working within technology. The aim of the AWS Fundamentals course is to equip you with a fundamental knowledge and skills to design, develop and implement solutions on AWS.
The training delivered through the AWS re:Start programme will focus on Enterprise Architecture, which will give you the business and architectural skills to be able to identify a problem or issue and suggest and make a recommendation to fix it. Following this, you will get an introduction to object-oriented programming, syntax and the inner workings of the Java programming language. What you learn will be reinforced through practical project work.  You will learn about general technology concepts such as multi-tier architecture, relational databases, message queuing, service-oriented architecture, web services, application programming interfaces (APIs), encryption, networking, DevOps, and Software Development Life Cycle.
You will also learn about cloud computing and AWS core services including Compute (Amazon EC2), Storage (Amazon S3), Databases (Amazon RDS) and Networking (Amazon VPC) as well as skills on how to successfully navigate the AWS console to securely set up new cloud infrastructures.
What will happen once the AWS Fundamentals is completed?
Once you complete the programme you will get a certificate indicating so and will get a job placement with an AWS customer or partner.
Where will the training take place?
This will take place in QA training centres in Manchester.  
Will I get accommodation provided during the training and where will that be?
The AWS Fundamentals is a non-residential programme, so no accommodation will be provided.
please click to read more

Forces Media Academy - Open For Applications


Applications are now being accepted for the Forces Media Academy’s unique media course.
The free Higher National Certificate (HNC) Media Production Course is for service leavers or veterans, and all students on the one-year course also receive a bursary of £18k.
The full-time course starts on 25th September 2017 and will run until July 2018 at SSVC’s headquarters in Buckinghamshire, so students will work with award-winning media teams alongside the programme of lectures.
The closing date for applications is Friday 31st March.For more 
 information about entry requirements and applications, and for full details of course modules,  go online to www.forcesacademy.com.