Support for our armed forces community
Who you can turn to if you need urgent help. This section also includes useful links and resources for members of the armed forces, veterans and their families.
Urgent help for veterans
Contact us if you need urgent help.
If you are in danger or immediate risk, ring 999
If you're not in need of immediate assistance, and you need to talk to someone, there are several organisations that can help you.
They are available day and night to provide free, confidential advice and support. If you're a family member worried about the mental health of a loved one, or need to talk to someone yourself, these organisations can help you too.
Medical assistance (NHS)
Veterans Welfare Service
The Veterans Welfare Service (VWS) provides one-to-one support to veterans via a network of welfare managers across the UK and Republic of Ireland. Phone or email the Veterans UK helpline and ask for the Welfare Service.
Veterans UK helpline
When the helpline is closed, callers will be given the option to be re-routed to The Samaritans 24 hour helpline.
Help and support for service leavers and their families
Defence Transition Services (DTS) provides information and support for those service leavers and their families who are most likely to face challenges as they leave the armed forces and adjust to civilian life.
Other organisations who may be able to provide advice and support
Useful information, resources and links to help the armed forces and veteran community, including their families and widow(er)s.
Housing and benefits
For advice and support on housing matters you can contact us.
Private sector housing
Alternative housing is also available through the private rented sector. The MOD has launched a scheme that allows defence personnel to apply for a loan to meet the cost of a deposit for a rental property.
We're a silver award holder in the Defence employer recognition scheme (ERS).
Combat Stress is the UK's leading mental health charity for veterans offering free treatment and support to ex-servicemen and women of the UK Armed Forces.
Get help from Combat Stress.
Veterans UK provides free support for veterans and their families, including a helpline, Veterans Welfare Service, Defence Transition Services and injury/bereavement compensation scheme payments.
Veterans UK is part of the Ministry of Defence.
Read more about what Veterans UK does on GOV.UK.
Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust
The Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust supports the Armed Forces Covenant through funding programmes that create real change to armed forces communities across the UK.
The trust is a charity and is classified as a Non-Departmental Public Body, or NDPB. The trust look after the Armed Forces Covenant Fund, worth £10M each year.
The Armed Forces Covenant Fund aims to:
- provide non-core healthcare services for veterans.
- remove barriers to family life.
- offer extra support, both in and after service, for those that need help.
- put in place measures to integrate military and civilian communities and allow the armed forces community to participate as citizens
Find out more about the trust on the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust website.
Military Wives Choirs
All the choirs are tri-service, free from rank and completely unauditioned!
The Military Wives Choirs exists to support women whose lives are impacted by their military connection. Their membership is broad and open to any woman over the age of 18 including:
- wives, partners, fiancées or co-habiting partners of a serving member of the UK Armed Forces (including Reservists)
- serving UK armed forces personnel (including reservists)
- UK armed forces veterans (including reservists)
- immediate family members (mother, sister or daughter) of currently serving UK armed forces veterans (including reservists)
- wives, partners, fiancées or co-habiting partners of a serving non-UK armed forces personnel on a UK posting
- wives, widows, partners, fiancées or co-habiting partners of a UK armed forces veteran (including reservists)
- women employed within the military community for an organisation that provides a direct service to serving military personnel and families
Find your nearest choir and details of how to join on the Military Wives Choirs website.
The Veterans' Gateway is for any ex-service personnel and their families looking for advice or support - whatever they're dealing with. They provide the first point of contact to a network of military and non-military partner organisations to help you find exactly what you need, when you need it - whether you're in the UK or overseas.
You can contact the gateway for help with:
- mental wellbeing
- jobs and more
Find how to get in touch with their friendly helpline team on the Veterans Gateway website.
Big White Wall
Big White Wall now known as Togetherall) offers online mental wellbeing support 24/7 where you can share your concerns with others who feel like you. It's safe, anonymous and has Wall Guides (counsellors) available 24/7. This service is free to veterans.
Armed forces and veterans support directory
Colchester City Council have put together a useful directory with links to organisations and charities who can help support our armed forces community.
Search the armed forces and veterans directory on the Colchester City Council website.