Wider sources of support

Wider sources of support for you, as a member of the Armed Forces community, include:

Support for veterans

Veterans UK is MOD’s dedicated veterans support organisation. It provides assistance on many issues including MOD’s injury and bereavement compensation schemes, armed forces pensions, benefits, housing and welfare.

Free Helpline (UK only):   0808 1914 218

Telephone (overseas): +44 1253 866 043

The Veterans Gateway is the first point of contact for veterans seeking support.

Visit Household Quotes for more information on housing and financial assistance.

Find out more about the Veterans Advisory and Pensions Committee who serve and support ex servicemen and women, their widows or widowers and their immediate family members.


Some of the charities and organisations that support the armed forces are listed below. These charities can give advice and support to serving personnel, their families, and veterans.

Citizens Advice

The Citizens Advice Bureau provides information for service personnel in or leaving the armed forces They have advice on:

  • Benefits and entitlements
  • Healthcare
  • Housing
  • Armed Forces Pensions

Veterans and Families’ Directory of Services (VFDS)

An easy-to-use application to help organisations and front-line staff that work with and support veterans and military families has been launched by Northumbria University, working with the Ministry of Defence.

The Veterans and Families Directory of Services (VFDS) helps the user to locate services that are available in their area. These have been grouped into categories such as Education and Training, Employment, Finances, etc.

This invaluable resource also provides an option to feedback about the services being offered at a location, plus a button that takes the user directly to the self-help page of the Veterans’ Gateway.

Moving between devolved administrations and returning from overseas

You can view welcome guides for England, Scotland and Wales on Welcome guides for service personnel and their families moving between devolved administrations and returning from overseas.

Families Federations

Each service has an independent Families Federation, which can offer you support and advice. They work with your service and every level of government as your advocate.

Families Federations meet regularly with key government departments including Department of Work and Pensions, Department of Education, Department of Health and the Ministry of Defence to review issues that are affecting the serving and family community. If you have concerns please get in touch with these organisations.

Naval Families Federation (Royal Navy and Royal Marines)

Army Families Federation

Royal Air Force Families Federation

Information Offices/HIVEs

The network of Information Offices and HIVEs across the UK and overseas are a valuable point of contact for Service personnel and their families, offering an extensive range of material and advice on issues such as relocation, local area information, education, accommodation, employment and training opportunities, childcare and travel. Welfare Information Support Teams and HIVE Information Support Officers (HISOs) research answers to enquiries and have excellent links with Service and civilian agencies. Staff work closely with the unit welfare staff at times of deployment and provide a communication pack detailing how families can keep in touch with their loved ones during deployments. All HIVE staff are bound to a Code of Confidentiality.

The word HIVE is not an abbreviation or acronym but based on the concept that the centres would act like a bee hive.

Royal Navy Royal Marines

Welfare Information Support website

Email: navynps-peoplesptrnrmwinfo@mod.gov.uk

RN Forum

Facebook: /RNRMW

Twitter: @RNRM Welfare

Army HIVEs

The Army HIVEs website contains links to Army HIVE blogs providing information and contact details for all HIVE in UK and overseas.


The RAF HIVE Service provides an information and welfare referral service to the armed forces community, including serving personnel, their families, veterans, reservists and civilians on station.

The HIVEs can support you with:

  • deployment support
  • relocating
  • local station and civilian facilities
  • schools and further education
  • housing
  • healthcare facilities
  • employment and training opportunities
  • places of interest

RAF HIVE Information Officers are not trained in welfare counselling but they are able to offer initial support to individuals and can make referrals to appropriate professional services. All HIVE staff are bound to a Code of Confidentiality.

Community Support Internet Site

RAF HIVE Facebook

RAF HIVE Twitter

Support groups

Find out about the Family Support Groups available to you and your family.

Find out about the support SSAFA may be able to provide you. This ranges from bereavement support through housing and home life, health, finance, and various other issues that may arise in civilian life. 

Find out about the lifelong support The Royal British Legion provides for the armed forces community.  This includes jobs and careers, financial advice, and the veterans medical funds programme.

Life after a traumatic injury can be challenging. Blesma is here for all serving and ex-servicemen and women who have experienced the loss of limb, use of limbs, hearing, sight or speech, either during or after service.

Find your local Armed Forces & Veterans Breakfast Club. If there isn’t one near you, the AFVBC will help you set one up.

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