On Thursday 18 March 170 people came together from as far afield as Cumbria and Cornwall for the first Surrey Armed Forces Covenant Conference to be held online. The speakers were informative and inspiring and the feedback from those present has been amazing.
- Read the full agenda
- Watch the conference on the Surrey Military Facebook Page
- Find out more about the Forces Connect App
The Power of Partnership
The first half of the conference shone a light on the positive impact of the partnerships formed in response to Covid 19. Speakers from the Surrey Local Resilience Forum and Ashford and St Peter's Hospital told of the invaluable contribution made by military personnel working with their teams. The key role of the transferrable skills of military personnel was a recurring theme, demonstrated brilliantly by a reservist working for Surrey County Council, who was re-deployed to the PPE cell.
The determined commitment to support the armed forces community was also in evidence, with speakers from a veterans' hub and the Surrey Council Adult Social Care Team sharing just some of the efforts made to ensure veterans within the County didn't feel forgotten during these tough times.
The second half of the conference looked forward to the year ahead, with updates from the Ministry of Defence Armed Forces Covenant Team and details of the recently commissioned Living In Our Shoes report, looking at the impact on families if members are serving. Recommendations will be made shortly regarding ways business and local authorities can better support these families. Runnymede Borough Council are committed and shared some of their key objectives.
One challenge raised in the Living in our Shoes report was employment and career options for military spouses. Many businesses were present to hear the presentation from a very talented military spouse working for global business KBR. The pro-active and supportive approach has benefitted both business and employee and we hope will provide inspiration for other companies to look at who and how they recruit.
Forces Connect App
Bringing the conference to a close was an update about the Forces Connect App. This free resource signposts members of the armed forces community to support and advice. It is newly sponsored by The Shots Foundation, the charitable arm of Aldershot Football Club and is set to go from strength to strength.
Watch our promotional video to find out more about the app. We hope you will be enthused to download the app and spread the word!!
Enormous thanks from the Surrey Civilian Military Partnership Board go to all the amazing speakers who made the conference possible.
You can still be part of the conference
If you were not able to be part of the conference on the day it is still possible to view it via the @SurreyMilitary Facebook page.
Surrey Armed Forces Covenant Conference Agenda
10am - Chairman's Welcome
Mr Peter Martin, Chairman Chairman of Surrey Civilian Military Partnership Board and Armed Forces Champion for Surrey County Council
10.10am - Surrey's Partnership Response to Covid-19
- Surrey's Local Resilience Forum (SLRF) – Steve Owen-Hughes, Chairman of SLRF and Major Sam Hibbs, HAC, Assistant Joint Regional Liaison Officer
- Reflections on Partnership Working - David Munro, Police and Crime Commissioner
- Military Personnel working in Ashford and St Peter's Hospitals - Russell Lewis, Chief of Staff, Ashford and St Peter's Hospitals Foundation Trust
- Military skills in a civilian environment: the PPE Cell – Tor Peebles, Surrey County Council Flood Risk Management Strategy and Partnership Team Leader and Troop Commander, RLC
- Supporting Veterans through the pandemic - Deborah and Roy Sellstrom, Veterans & Families Listening Project, Tracey Morris, Adult Social Care, Surrey County Council
11.05am - Questions
An opportunity to ask the previous speakers questions. You can email them in advance to firstname.lastname@example.org or ask them on the day.
11.15am - Break
11.25am - Armed Forces Covenant - National Context and New Legislation
John Shivas, Assistant Head, Armed Forces Covenant Team, Ministry of Defence
11.35am - 11 Brigade Priorities and Partnership Working in Surrey
Col John Baynham OBE, Deputy Commander 11 Infantry Brigade
11.45am - Living in Our Shoes
Prof Jan Walker OBE FAcSS FRSA
12.00pm - Supporting Armed Forces Families
Cllr Tom Gracey, Armed Forces Champion, Runnymede Borough Council
12.10pm Supportive Employer from Perspective of a Military Spouse
Ginnie Dallard MBE, KBR
12.25pm Access to Support: The Forces Connect App
Shahid Azeem DL, High Sheriff of Surrey and Chairman of Aldershot Football Club
12.35pm - Questions to panel and discussion
1.00pm - Close
The Chairman brings the Surrey Armed Forces Covenant Conference 2021 conference to a close