Surrey Armed Forces Covenant report 2022 to 2023


Foreword by Helyn Clack

As I approach the end of my second year of being Chair of Surrey CMPB, I am really pleased and proud of all the successes that have been achieved across Surrey.

Firstly, I would highlight the continued success of the Forces Connect App where close to 20,000 people have downloaded it onto their phones with 31 regions across Great Britain signed up to it. Coupled to it has been our Armed Forces Awareness Training which has been hugely popular across the South-East and especially in Surrey with our local authorities, Armed Forces Champions, Covenant Lead Officers, councillors, frontline and contact centre staff, Surrey Police, Surrey Fire & Rescue, SSAFA, Age Concern and many other voluntary and community agencies all taking part.

Another initiative that has found traction involves all our NHS Hospital Trusts becoming 'Veteran Aware' Hospitals. Running beside that is the growth in the number of GP Veteran friendly practices across Surrey. This is really good news for Surrey's 33,500 ex-service personnel and veterans – a number of whom are now attending our Veterans Hubs including the three based in Surrey Fire Stations.

Here in Surrey, we are most fortunate to enjoy excellent working relationships with both the Army Training Centre (Pirbright) and especially with its Commanding Officer - Lt Col Shamus Kelly OBE and 4 Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment and its Commanding Officer – Lt Col Steve Garmory as well as Col John Baynham OBE – Deputy Commander 11th Security Assistance Brigade and HQ SE and Col Patrick Crowley MBE DL Chief Executive of SERFCA. This is an excellent and fruitful partnership which underlines the fact that Surrey is very much a military county, widely respected by the Ministry of Defence.

As Chair of Surrey County Council, I have been privileged to get out and about in the County and meet so many people. One of the benefits of being Chair is that I am automatically Chair of Surrey Civilian-Military Partnership Board and I must say that it has been one of the most enjoyable parts of that role as I attended and participated in so many Military activities and really got to know and to understand the Military. It has made me 'armed forces aware' and given me the confidence to represent them and their interests at the highest level of Government. I am grateful for the trust that they have put in me and the advice and support that I receive from our officers.

As I prepare to stand down as Chair in May 2023, I shall look back with pride with all that has been achieved and the privileged role that I have played in working closely with all our partners all committed to do the right thing to ensure that no member the armed forces community is disadvantaged because of their service. If anything, all our partners are now more aware of the ultimate sacrifice that our armed forces are prepared to pay to keep Britain safe and free.

Helyn Clack, Chair of Surrey Civilian Military Partnership Board


The 2022-23 annual report sets out a summary of the achievements of the Surrey Civilian-Military Partnership Board (SCMPB) and its partners during the year to ensure the Armed Forces Covenant is implemented and our Armed Forces community are not disadvantaged by their service. Partners on the SCMPB include 11 Security Force Assistance Brigade and HQ SE, the Lord-Lieutenant, South East Reserve Forces and Cadets Association (SERFCA), Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner, borough and district councils, Surrey Police, Surrey Fire and Rescue, Service Charities, Diocese of Guildford and our partners in health, education and business. November 2022 saw the Armed Forces Act 2021 become enacted and a key focus of the year has been to ensure all public bodies in scope of the Act were aware of the new duty of 'due regard' in relation to education, health and housing provision.


The Armed Forces Covenant and Armed Forces Act 2021

The Armed Forces Act 2021 came into force in November 2022 and placed a duty of 'due regard' on public bodies in relation to housing, health and education provision. The requirements of this new duty were integrated into the existing Forces Connect Armed Forces Awareness training which has continued to be delivered across the county, as well as the south-east, to Surrey Leaders, Chief Executives, councillors and frontline staff from across public services including Adult Social Care, Contact Centres, Housing, Education, Public Health, Libraries Fire, Police, NHS and voluntary organisations.

Surrey MPs Briefed on the Armed Forces work in Surrey

Following enactment of the Armed Forces Act 2021, Surrey MPs received a formal briefing from Surrey officers on the work being done across the county to implement the new Act as well as ongoing initiatives including the Forces Connect App, training of their Armed Forces Champions, frontline staff and the innovative work of veteran hubs across Surrey. The briefing was given at the House of Commons kindly hosted by Jonathan Lord MP (Woking), who is also a member of the Surrey Military Appeals Committee.

Armed Forces Champions Training and Networking Event

In September 2022, Surrey's Armed Forces Champions and Covenant Lead Officers were brought together with 11 Security Force Assistance Brigade and the Task Force Commander from the Army Training Centre (Pirbright) for a training and networking event. This comprised delivery of some armed forces awareness training on the new Armed Forces Act with an overview of the training provided at ATC for recruits and the issued faced by Army families locally. This was followed by a working lunch and then walking tours of recruits' accommodation and gymnasium sports facilities as well as an opportunity to experience the virtual firing range. The event was kindly hosted by Lt Col Shamus Kelly and funded by 11 Security Force Assistance Brigade.

Civil Engagement from the Army in Surrey

11 Security Force and Assistance Brigade and Headquarters South East has once again been called on to support UK activity during industrial action. This has included:

  • Support to UK Border Force largely focussed on Gatwick, with military deploying throughout periods of industrial action (including Christmas) to be employed as Immigration Officers, in a limited way.
  • Support to South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) during periods of industrial action (by Unison and GMB unions), with military personnel driving ambulances for Category 2 responses and maintaining Patient Transfers.
  • Military personnel conducting training as Basic Non-Specialist Defensive Firefighters in preparation for supporting Surrey Fire and Rescue Service, should FBU members decide to take industrial action.

Supporting Ukrainian Forces – Op Interflex

11 Security Force and Assistance Brigade and Headquarters South East have been the lead coordinators of the basic training of Ukrainian soldiers in the UK, which has included soldiers from 4 Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment, some of whom are based in Crawley. 10,000 Ukrainian soldiers trained during the year.

The Queens Funeral - Op London Bridge

Service personnel played a significant role in Op London Bridge following the passing of HM The Queen. Joint Military Command SE supported the generation of 3000 military service personnel to support with stewarding during the event, most of whom were employed in central London, with Army Training Centre (Pirbright) being used for the training and staging of military personnel throughout the event.

All of 11 Security Force Assistance Brigade units were involved in various ceremonial events throughout the period. 3 SCOTS, based in Fort George, Inverness, enacted plans for Op UNICORN, which saw the late Queen Elizabeth's coffin moved from Balmoral Castle to Edinburgh, followed by a period of lying-in-state in St Giles Cathedral. Both 1 Welsh Guards and 1 Irish Guards were heavily involved from the outset, providing personnel to the lying-in-state vigils and marching detachments for the funeral procession.

Royal Military Academy Sandhurst Commandant's Parade

Colleagues from across the County were invited to the Commandant's Parade at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, which marks the completion of a year's intensive training for officer cadets from the United Kingdom and from over 40 overseas countries. This Commandant's Parade is the full dress rehearsal for the Sovereign's Parade which is held two days later, where cadets are presented to the official Review Officer, representing His Majesty the King. After the parade, guests heard informative personal stories from members of the Army Engagement Group on the how joining the Army benefitted soldiers from different walks of life.

Surrey Military Appeals Committee (SMAC)

SMAC, which brings together lead representatives from the military, civic, media, politics, service charities and business to encourage and support the military and service charities, met three times during the year under the Chairmanship of the Lord-Lieutenant. The highlight of the year included a visit to Government House, Farnborough hosted by Col John Baynham where they met regulars and reservists from PWRR and had the opportunity to handle weapons being used in current conflicts. In June, SMAC and the Surrey Lieutenancy supported the Annual Surrey Joint Services' Charities Choral Mattins Service at Guildford Cathedral launching Armed Forces Week and incorporating Armed Forces Day Flag-Raising, the 40th anniversary of the Falklands War and Surrey Cadets Marchpast and Inspection by the Lord-Lieutenant and High Sheriff. Surrey Mayors and Chairs were present.

Surrey Armed Forces Covenant Conference

The annual conference, organised by Surrey County Council, was once again kindly hosted by the Army Training Centre (Pirbright). The focus for this years' conference was 'Building on Success' and delegates heard from a range of inspirational speakers including WO2 Johnson Beharry VC COG who talked about overcoming diversity as well as personal stories on people's journey through the services from service children, spouses, serving soldiers, reservists, service leavers and veterans. Delegates also had the opportunity to network with each other and stand holders over lunchtime.

Lord-Lieutenant Awards

This year SERFCA held their annual Lord-Lieutenant Awards evening at Guildford Cathedral where awards were presented to a number of outstanding cadets and reservists, including 135 Geo and 4PWRR. The evening also saw the appointment of the 2022/23 Lord-Lieutenant Cadets.


SCMPB was represented at the Annual General Meeting of SERFCA held at the Army and Navy Club in London. Major Gen Marc Overton, Assistant Chief of Defence Staff (Reserves and Cadets) gave an inspirational keynote address followed by further presentations given by Lt-Col Steven Garmory CO 4PWRR and Cadet Corporal Daisy Forster, Sussex Army Cadet Force speaking on 'The benefits of Cadet service'.

Bisley Fireside Chat

The Chair of Surrey County Council was pleased attend SERFCA's Fireside Chat, which was held at the Artists Rifles Clubhouse, Bisley National Shooting Centre. The Fireside Chat was an intimate and informal evening where invitees enjoyed a brief history of Bisley and the Artists Rifles from the Club owner, followed by a talk from Colonel John Baynham OBE, on his personal experiences whilst serving with the UN forces in Rwanda.

RAF Odiham Reception

Officers from SCMPB were delighted to once again be invited to the Royal Air Force Odiham Annual Reception hosted by Group Captain Donal McGurk, where they received an update on the activities of RAF Odiham over the past year followed by a flypast by chinooks and beating retreat with The Central Band of the RAF.

The Mass Bands of HM Royal Marines Christmas Spectacular and Reception

As guests of Commodore Rob Bellfield Naval Regional Commander, London and Eastern England, the SCMPB was represented at The Mass Bands of HM Royal Marines Christmas Spectacular where useful links were made with the Royal Naval Base Commander, Portsmouth recognising the number of Naval families living along the A3 corridor in Surrey.

Woking Council Reaffirms its Pledge to the Armed Forces

A decade long commitment between Woking Borough Council and the Armed Forces was further strengthened at a meeting of the Full Council in December when the Armed Forces Covenant was re-signed by Major Thomas Wallis RLC, Regimental Second in Command, Headquarter Regiment of Alexander Barracks in Pirbright and Councillor Saj Hussain, The Mayor of Woking. In addition to upholding the covenant's existing key principles, the revised pledge outlines the Council's enhanced approach to further recognise and support the Armed Forces community. SCMPB continues to be represented on the Woking Civil-Military Advisory Panel.

Passing Off of Army Training Centre

Recruits Passing Off Parades at Army Training Centre (Pirbright) have been attended by Surrey's Mayors as well as elected Councillor Armed Forces Champions. These events provide an excellent opportunity to speak to recruits and their families as well as their Officers to gain a greater understanding of the level of training and dedication it takes to become a soldier in the British Army.

Tree planting ceremony at Army Training Centre (Pirbright)

An official tree planting ceremony was held at Army Training Centre (Pirbright) in early June to commemorate the Queen's Green Canopy and Mr Steve Head and his wife attended on behalf of HMP Send who kindly donated 50 trees to ATC(P) which have been planted within the service family accommodation


Reserves Day Celebrated

Reserves Day 2022 was celebrated in style at Surrey County Council's new Headquarters in Reigate. An informal reception was held for both former and serving reservists from both Surrey County Council and Surrey Fire and Rescue Service colleagues across the county to thank them for their Service and what they bring to Surrey County Council. The event was supported by the High Sheriff and Colonel Mark Siebenaller, Deputy Commander (Reserves) 11 Security Force Assistance Brigade who gave a moving speech on his life as a reservist. The County Council was also pleased to welcome 4PWRR with their weapons display which was very well attended by staff, councillors and Mayors from across the county.

Supporting Organisations across the South East to Go For Gold

Surrey's Civilian-Military Liaison Advisor is currently Chairman of the South-East Regional Gold Awards Association. In this capacity he took part in two advocacy workshop sessions for current silver Employer Recognition Scheme Award holders who were looking to move to the next stage and go for Gold. As part of his role, he also supported and mentored Ashford and St Peters NHS Hospitals Trust to a successful gold award bid in 2022.

Longmoor Leadership Challenge

Colleagues from across Surrey attended the Army in the South East Challenge Days held in October and March. These provide an opportunity to take part in a series of team challenges delivered by the Army which enables participants to develop teamwork and leadership skills whilst taking part in fun, interactive activities. Participants work as part of a team to solve a range of mental and physical challenges whilst learning more about the Army and its people and provides an insight into how they get the best out of their people. Skills learnt are then taken back and applied in participants workplaces whilst also providing an insight into the variety of roles carried out by the Army.

Department of Work and Pensions Armed Forces Champion

The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) Armed Forces Champion for Surrey district whose role is to act as link / support between Veterans (Serving Solider and their families) and the benefit system joined the Recognise and Remember Task Group of the SCMPB. During the year she highlighted the number of veterans she was aware of within the benefit system which informed the work stream. She is also linked into the network of veteran hubs throughout the county where direct employment advice and signposting has been well received.

SAS Business Networking Event

Officers from Surrey County Council were delighted to be invited to an SAS Networking event held at The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. The event, organised by the Knights Group, who signed the Armed Forces Covenant in October 2022, provided an opportunity for businesses and organisations interested in supporting the Armed Forces to network over breakfast. This was followed by an update on the charitable work of the Knights Foundation and an informative and fascinating presentation with photos by Rusty Firming, a former member of the SAS who talked us through his role in the Iranian Embassy siege.

Regional Employers Engagement Group

As a regular attender at the South-East Regional Employers Engagement Group, Surrey County Council often provides oral updates on best practice and advocacy. The twice-yearly meetings also provide an excellent opportunity to network with other Gold and Silver Employer Recognition Scheme Award holders across the South East.

Gold Leadership Luncheon

Surrey County Council was pleased to be represented by their Strategic Director for Communication, Public Affairs and Engagement at SERFCA's annual Gold Leadership Luncheon for the South-East Gold Award holders at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. Guests received presentations on how the Army identify and train their future leasers followed by a contrasting view from the private sector given by the Director of Operations at NATS. The presentations were followed by a discussion on the benefits of Gold Membership led by Surrey County Councils Civilian-Military Liaison Advisor and a tour of the Old College.

Surrey's Commissioning Community

Advice has been provided on the new Armed Forces Act to Surrey's commissioning community through an online blog. This explained that although the private and third parties are not in scope of the new Covenant Duty, if they are carrying out a specified function on behalf of the authority then they need to comply with the Duty. The blog also explains how this can be done and provides links to the statutory guidelines as well as further information and training.

Supporting Surrey Veteran Hubs through Social Value

Veteran Hubs across the county have linked into Surrey's Social Value Marketplace to see whether local organisations and businesses are able to support them. One local company, Wealdens, kindly provided an urn for the Woking Veterans Hub.

Education and Young People

Attainment of Service Children

During the year colleagues in Education continued to support schools with Oracy projects and focus on the language gap at Early Years and Key Stage 1 as well as improving literacy across the curriculum in secondary schools. The latest test results showed that outcomes for service children in Surrey at Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 in all subjects are higher than service children nationally and in many cases above non-service children nationally showing that Surrey's primary schools are providing a really strong provision for our service children. Work continues at Early Years to support settings where outcomes for service children are lower.

MODLAP – MOD Local Authority Partnership

Seventeen local authorities, including Surrey, have committed to work together to improve outcomes for armed forces families via MODLAP a local authority partnership run by the MoD. A particular focus is military children with SEND and ensuring the time they may be out of school following a move is reduced to the absolute minimum. Best practice is being generated, shared and disseminated.

Surrey is also a member of the MODLAP-EY (MOD local authority partnership - Early Years), which is a subgroup of the main MODLAP group, and is attended by Early Years advisors, Early Years sufficiency officers and other Early Years Subject Matter Experts from Local Authorities with a large number of service children in their area. The aim of the group is to share best practice and work in collaboration to support the education and welfare needs of children aged from birth to five, from Armed Forces families in England.

Month of the Military Child

Surrey celebrated the Month of the Military Child for the first time this year, when over 30 service children attended an afternoon of fun and learning at Pirbright Community Centre kindly organised by Surrey Fire and Rescue Service. Children had the opportunity to explore a fire engine and use the water pumps. This was followed by a safety talk and various activities related to them living on an army base including putting into pictures what it means to them to be a service child. Each child left with a Surrey Fire and Rescue goody bag. The day was so successful it is hoped to repeat it again in 2023.

Heritage Day

Security Force Assistance Brigade held two Heritage Day's engaging over 90 people (mainly young people) at Brookwood Military Cemetery, raising awareness and understanding of the importance of commemoration. The day covered the importance of commemoration and different approaches over time; how cultural differences and equalities are addresses; provided attendees with an understanding of the unique character of military service; as well as recognising the sacrifices made by those who have served. The events received very positive feedback from those who attended.

Health, Wellbeing and Welfare

Forces Connect App

The Forces Connect App has continued to grow in popularity during the year and now has 31 regions signed up and nearly 20,000 downloads. The app signposts users to both local and national sources of help and support and is free to download. It is aimed at members of the Armed Forces community so they can self-help as well as charities and organisations who work to support members of the Armed Forces community. Feedback from users is consistently positive and new regions continue to join with areas of Scotland coming onboard this year.

Veteran Hubs and Drop-ins

The network of veteran hubs and drop-ins across the county continue to meet, mainly on a monthly basis. There are currently successful hubs operating in Camberley, Guildford, Ashford, Ewell, Ashtead, Chertsey, West Molesey, Walton and Woking. Further information, including when they are open can be found on the Surrey County Council website These hubs are free to access and provide a relaxed, safe and secure environment for veterans to drop in and share a cup of tea in the company of others who have served. Those based in Fire Stations (Guildford, Ashford and Woking) also welcome ex-blue light colleagues.

Guildford Fire Station Hub Evening Meal

Guildford held its second evening Hub just before Christmas, which was attended by a large group of ex-service personnel. Distinguished guests included Mayor of Guildford Councillor Dennis Booth, Major Rowena Patrick (Retired). Guests were treated to an evening meal and desert which was enjoyed by all. They continue to hold its Annual Service of Remembrance on the Saturday prior to Remembrance Sunday and this year, they were joined by members of WRAC; Chelsea In-Pensioners and the War Widows Association.

Supporting the Armed Forces community in Spelthorne

The key aim of the Armed Forces Act 2021 is to prevent disadvantage faced by the armed forces community. Spelthorne Borough Council remain committed to the Armed Forces Covenant and have pledged to continue in their efforts to increase support and awareness. Since achieving the Gold Award in the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme in 2021 they have introduced a raft of measures to support serving and ex-service personnel and their families.

This includes the Veterans' Hub at Fordbridge Fire Station in Ashford, which has now been open more than one year and offer veterans in the Borough their own space in the community to meet and access support. The hub offers a bacon roll, a coffee and somewhere to chat for those who have served and is a safe and relaxed space to catch up with people who have shared experiences. Use of the Hub and the garden is completely free of charge and sessions are held on the fourth Tuesday of every month from 11am – 1pm.

Cllr Robin Sider BEM, a veteran himself and the Borough's Armed Forces Champion, said: "It has never been more important for communities to look out for each other and no more so than our veterans. The Fordbridge Veterans' Hub and the prevalence this authority places on supporting the armed forces community makes a real a difference by providing important resources and support, enabling ex-servicemen and women to come together."

Veterans are also invited to join Fordbridge Veterans' Hub's online community, search @Fordbridgehub on Facebook or Twitter. For more details, or if you or a family member has served and needs help, visit the Council's website at for support and information.

Single Point of Contact for Armed Forces Families and Carers

The NHS Single Point of Contact is an easily accessible point of contact with a dedicated email and phone number to support the Armed Forces community, family members and carers of those serving or have served in His Majesty's Armed Forces. This is being run in the South East by the Armed Forces Network who can be contacted on 01273 403693 or and is available from 09:00 to 17:00, Monday to Friday. All contacts will be responded to within 48 working hours. They are able to help with a range of issues relating to the Armed Forces Covenant including continuity of care; continuation of treatment and/or maintaining a place on a NHS waiting list; providing advice, guidance and support on how to use the NHS; advise on Veteran Friendly GP Practices within the local area; and link with other Armed Forces specific services e.g. Veterans' Trauma Network, OpCOURAGE: The Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service.

Surrey Heartlands Integrated Care System (ICS)

Since Surrey Heartlands ICS became a statutory body in 2022, work has been ongoing to embed the Armed Forces Covenant and new Armed Forces Act 2021 into its working structures. As a new organisation, the ICS will shortly be signing the Armed Forces Covenant and applying for the Bronze Employer Recognition Scheme Award. As part of supporting the Armed Forces community, work is ongoing to engage with providers to promote schemes, such as Veteran Friendly GP Practice Accreditation and accreditation by the Veterans Covenant Healthcare Alliance, to improve understanding of their needs. During the year the number of veteran friendly GPs in Surrey increased from 8 to 27 supported by colleagues from health and Surrey County Council.

Veteran Aware Hospitals

The following NHS Trusts have all been accredited as Veteran Aware which means they have each achieved 8 Manifesto Standards including patient and staff identification as members of the Armed Forces community, awareness and training, forming links with local military units and charities, employment through initiatives like Step into Health and having to sign the Armed Forces Covenant: Ashford and St Peter's Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust; Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust; Surrey and Borders Partnership Foundation Trust; Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust; and South Central Ambulance Service.

Surrey Carers and Providers Network Event

In November carers and providers from across Surrey came together for an event focussed on our Armed Forces community and carers. Attendees received presentations on the Armed Forces Act 2021, Veteran Friendly GPs and Veteran Hubs within the county. These were followed by breakout sessions where delegates explored how to work together to make Surrey even more veteran friendly. One example cited was that the GP's Carers Prescription has been updated with a clickable banner linking to the Royal College of General Practitioners website where GPs are able to register to become Veteran Friendly.

North West Surrey Education and Awareness Day

Ashford and St Peters' Foundation Trust, which was awarded the Ministry of Defence Gold Employer Recognition Award in 2022, organised an afternoon training and awareness event for GP's in North West Surrey. Following an introduction by the Executive Trust Lead for Armed Forces, a range of presentations were given covering the Armed Forces Act 2021 (led by Surrey County Council), Veteran Friendly GP's and Mental Health Services for Armed Forces and Veterans.

Armed Forces Support Group for Surrey and Sussex Police

Surrey and Sussex Police have recently established an Armed Forces Support Group which will provide external support including awareness raising of the unique vulnerabilities that veteran can suffer; internal support including a wellbeing hub focussing on veteran support; encouraging more service leavers to join the Police; and agreement to working towards the silver and then gold Ministry of Defence Employers Recognition Scheme Award.

Queen's Platinum Jubilee Party for Veterans

Veterans in Epsom and Ewell were delighted to attend a Platinum Jubilee Party organised by Adult Social Care at the Army Reserve Centre in Ewell. Over 80 local veterans attended and were treated to an afternoon of fun, food and entertainment. The event also provided the opportunity to link in veterans who had not previously been engaged in the local monthly Veterans Hub.

Force for Change Project

Surrey County Council Adult Social Care received funding from the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust to identify new former service personnel through friendship groups, to capture life stories of veterans and to look at how to better support veterans in care homes. The project focused on Epsom and Ewell, Guildford and Surrey Heath and saw a wide range of activities to engage previously unknown veterans. These included canal boat trips, basketball sessions, outdoor and indoor archery, fire skills and model making sessions. A number of these veterans worked with newly trained volunteers to record their life stories. These were written up and shared with family members, as well as with the Surrey History Centre to be included in the archives. Training has been provided to staff in a number of Care Homes across Epsom and Ewell by Surrey County Council to help provide them with a greater understanding of how they can support the veterans that they are caring for. At the end of the project veterans were signposted to the existing veteran hubs for ongoing social activities and support.

Joint Strategic Needs Assessment

During the year the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) chapter on the Armed Forces Community was updated. This looked the mental health of the Armed Forces community as well as services available to support them, such as Op COURAGE, Social Prescribing and Service Charities. Gaps identified included the need for an increased understanding of the profile and needs of the Armed Forces community in Surrey by primary and secondary care, an increase in the number of veteran friendly GPs in the county and greater understanding the implications of the new Armed Forces Act 2021.

Afghan Evacuees

The Surrey Civilian-Military Liaison Adviser is a member of the Surrey Wider Immigration Group. One area the group looks at is support for Afghan evacuees, including those who have entered the UK under the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) scheme. This is for Afghan citizens who worked for or with the UK Government in Afghanistan, and part of the role of the Adviser is to link these evacuees up with support services for the military, where they are able to access them, for example the network of Veteran Hubs and the charity Help for Heroes.


Armed Forces Flag Raising

On 20 June, flag-raising ceremonies were held by the county council as well as district and borough councils across the county. The first in person flag raising was held at Woodhatch Place, the new HQ for Surrey County Council in Reigate hosted by the Chair of Surrey County Council Helyn Clack with Brigadier Paul Evans DL OBE in attendance.

Muslim Burial Ground Peace Garden Commemoration Service

On 17 July 2022, the Mayor of Woking, Councillor Saj Hussain welcomed over 100 guests to the annual Commemoration Service at the Muslim Burial Ground Peace Garden at Horsell Common in Woking. Guests included the Imam of the Shah Jahan Mosque, Vicar of Christ Church, and representatives from the High Commission of India, 11 Security Force Assistance Brigade, the Army Training Centre Pirbright and Dr Zafar Iqbal whose vision and drive made the Peace Garden a reality back in 2015.

Events in Runnymede

During the year a number of recognition and remembrance events were held in Runnymede. These included the 27th Annual Veterans Cruise on Dunkirk Little Ships along the River Thames in September and Remembrance Sunday events across the borough including a youth parade in Addlestone.

Spelthorne Borough Council Remembers

The Council shows its continued support by marking key dates through the year, including Armed Forces Week and Reserves Day in June and partakes in Borough wide ceremonies with the community and local dignitaries for Remembrance Day, which this year saw hundreds of resident's gather at war memorials to pay their respects.

Local Veteran Reunited with his WW2 Medals

Whilst telling his life story, George a 102 year-old veteran living in Epsom, showed his WW2 medals to the trained volunteers interviewing him. His medals were in a poor state and George was unable to wear them. Adult Social Care and SSAFA liaised with the London Medal Company who kindly repaired the ribbons. With the help of the Taxi Charity for Veterans the medals were securely collected and dropped off. The local Comrades Club opened specially to enable Adult Social Care to reunite George with his medals – he was thrilled and particularly pleased to have an additional medal that should have been given to him when he left the army.

Surrey Employer Recognition Scheme Award Holders

  • Allianz Insurance - Silver, 2021
  • Ashford and Ste Peter's NHS Foundation Trust – Gold, 2022
  • Automatic Data Processing Ltd (ADP) – Gold 2020
  • BAM Nuttall – Silver, 2020
  • Bays Consulting Ltd – Silver, 2022
  • Capgemini UK PLC – Silver 2020
  • CGI IT UK Ltd – Gold, 2019
  • Combat Stress – Silver, R2020
  • Compass Group – Gold, 2018
  • Crest Nicholson Plc – Silver, 2019
  • CSH Surrey – Silver, 2019
  • CVQO Ltd – Gold, 2021
  • Drumgrange Ltd – Silver, R2022
  • Evolve Dynamics Ltd – Silver, 2022
  • Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust – Silver, 2018
  • Guildford Borough Council – Silver, 2021
  • ISS Facility Services – Gold, R2020
  • Jankel Armouring Ltd – Silver, R2021
  • JTI UK – Gold, 2021
  • KBR Ltd – Gold, 2019
  • Made to Measure Mentoring Ltd – Silver, 2020
  • Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust – Gold, 2018
  • Runnymede Borough Council – Silver, 2021
  • Southern Gas Networks Plc (SGN) – Gold, 2018
  • Siemens PLC – Silver, R2022
  • Spelthorne Borough Council – Gold, 2021
  • Surrey County Council – Gold, R2021
  • Unum – Silver, 2021
  • Veterans & Families - Listening Project – Silver, 2021
  • Wates Construction Ltd – Silver, R2020
  • Woking Borough Council – Gold, 2020

SCMPB Members

Helyn Clack (Chair) Surrey County Council

Mr Michael More-Molyneux HM Lord-Lieutenant of Surrey

Brigadier Paul Evans OBE DL Chairman of Recognise and Remember Task Group

Colonel John Baynham OBE Deputy Commander, 11 Infantry Brigade and HQ SE

Colonel Patrick Crowley MBE DL South East Reserve Forces' and Cadets' Association

Lt Col Shamus Kelly OBE Commanding Officer, Army Training Centre (Pirbright)

Capt Ryan Robinson 1st Battalion Irish Guards

Debbie Goldsmith Army Training Centre (Pirbright)

Ellie Vesey-Thompson DeputyPolice and Crime Commissioner for Surrey

Supt Tom Budd Surrey Police

Sqn Ldr Bryan Jones SSAFA Surrey

Anthony Shipley Surrey Heartlands

Cllr Shannon Saise-Marshall Surrey Leaders Representative

Daniel Mouawad Surrey Chief Executives' Representative

Reverend Roland Olliff Diocese of Guildford

Louise Punter Surrey Chambers of Commerce

Andrea Newman Surrey County Council

Canon Peter Bruinvels CC Surrey County Council Civilian-Military Liaison Adviser

Supported by officers from Surrey County Council

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