Milton Keynes City Council support for veteran family transitioning to civilian life

April 26, 2024

What situation were the council faced with?

A young veteran couple were struggling to settle into civilian life following the veteran’s discharge from the Armed Forces. They have three young children and were finding life very difficult. The veteran has Service-related complex PTSD, which was exacerbated by anti-social behaviour from neighbours. They became increasingly isolated and frustrated that nothing could be done about the neighbours’ behaviour.

The family decided to re-locate to Milton Keynes to be closer to their parents, who could help with childcare and emotional support. They were already in contact with Veterans UK, and talked it through with them. Veterans UK sit on the Milton Keynes Civil Military Partnership Board, and were quickly able to refer the family to the council’s Armed Forces Covenant Support Officer.

What did the council do?

Milton Keynes City Council’s housing team quickly applied the principles of due regard based on the veteran’s Service-related mental health injury. The allocations team worked with the Covenant Officer to understand the background and needs of the family, to make sure they were allocated the right place. A new-build council house in a quiet village in the surrounding area was identified within a few weeks. After their initial visit, the family knew it was the right place for them. The officer also arranged for the veteran’s Op Courage support to be transferred into the area.

Shortly after they moved, they were invited to the council’s annual Armed Forces Flag Raising ceremony. This was attended by over 200 local veterans, reservists, cadets and family members. This provided an opportunity for them to network with the city’s lively Armed Forces community and find out about local breakfast clubs, get-togethers, etc.

The children were quickly allocated school places. One of the children did not settle into the allocated school, which was very upsetting for all the family. A closer school was identified, and the Covenant Officer worked with the council’s education department to again apply the principles of due regard. The council worked with the school to ensure a place was allocated at the earliest opportunity. Also, a referral was made to the Royal British Legion to help with the cost of a new school uniform.

What’s the situation now?

The family are now settled and thrilled with their home. The children are all settled in local schools. The veteran has now been able to focus on his mental health and tribunal. The children feel settled and the family have attended a number of local Armed Forces events.

The veteran’s wife said:

“It is extremely hard being a full-time carer for my husband and finding myself vulnerable and unable to be the strong mum/wife I am. To have a network of amazing people who understand that our situation may be slightly different due to my husband’s previous military career is a medication in itself.”

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