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Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Aldershot Library coffee morning - new year

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Journey's End - Worth a trip to Belgium!

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Monday, 18 December 2017

Hampshire Alert - advice on a safe Christmas 2017

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St John's College, Southsea, Open Morning - 16th January 2018

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Royal British Legion LifeWorks

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Christmas crisis details

It's said that one in four of us will experience poor mental health in any given year. Christmas can be a difficult time, where extra pressure and stress to our lives can leave us feeling isolated.

If you're struggling this year, don't suffer in silence. Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust have five Safe Havens around the county which are open over Christmas and the New Year, and could offer you a safe space to talk to a professional. You don't need to pre-book an appointment or phone ahead; just turn up.

If you're not confident with meeting face to face, the Mental Health Crisis Helpline will also be open 24 hours a day, and can be contacted by calling 0300 456 8342.

For more information, visit:

Alternatively, you can call Samaritans on 116 123. In an emergency, always dial 999.

JSHAO Housing brief, Aldershot - Tuesday 13th February 2018

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Army Families Federation (AFF) - CAAS banding: an update for families

If you live in Service Family Accommodation (SFA), you will shortly receive a letter informing you about changes to your CAAS banding as a result of a review of location factors.
The letters will be distributed in batches, but you should receive it no later than 15 December. All letters will be dated 15 December for policy reasons.  

Why are changes being made?
The current baseline for the CAAS location factor was drawn from information and data compiled by the University of York in 2013.

This has now been revised to take account of updates to the supporting data and, more specifically, the availability and speed of broadband. 

To ensure CAAS continues to reflect civilian standards, it has also been decided that from 1 April 2018, the broadband threshold for UK SFA will be increased from 17.8 Mbit/s to the Government Standard for superfast broadband of 24 Mbit/s. 

The CAAS location assessment for SFA will take this into account, including updated location data provided by the University of York.  

How will this affect my family?
Your final band may go up or down as a result.

SFA already at their final band-for-charge will have an adjustment made to that banding – if the location factor changes result in an increase of two bands, then you will be put on to a transition pathway so that you only see an annual increase of one band. 

For SFA on a transition pathway at 1 April 2018, the amended location factors will be applied and the final band-for-charge will be adjusted accordingly, however, you will see no change in charge other than the annual transition increase of one band until the final banding is reached.  

Can I challenge any changes?
You will ONLY be able to challenge on location on receipt of this letter – no challenges for condition or modernity etc. will be accepted.

If you wish to challenge the changes on location, you will have 28 days in which to do so – take this into consideration when you receive your letter, as Christmas leave is coming up.  

Contact AFF
To talk to us about your CAAS banding, visit

Service Pupil Premium update 2018

This message is for the attention of Regular Forces Service parents based in England.
If your child attends a state school, Academy or Free school in England and has been registered with the school as a Service pupil, the school will be granted a Service Pupil Premium of £300.
The Service Pupil Premium (SPP) is provided by the Department for Education (DfE) to enable schools to offer additional, mainly pastoral support during challenging times; this could include anything from a Service parent being away, being injured on active service, to bereavement.  Funds are paid directly to schools with Head Teachers and school Governors deciding how the funds are used.
Schools with Service children in Reception to Year 11 classes are eligible to receive SPP, but only if your child’s name appears on the school roll as being a Service child.  The annual census takes place on 18 January 2018 and children must be registered with the school before this date. 
You are encouraged to contact the school and make them aware your child is from a Service family.  (Pupils with a parent who is on full commitment as part of the full time Reserve Service should be classed as Service children) This information is not shared with other organisations and is protected on the National Pupil database. For more information on eligibility, please see the links below:
For any other queries regarding Service children contact the Directorate Children and Young People’s educational advisory arm, Children's Education Advisory Service (CEAS) via email: or telephone: 01980 618244. 

Thursday, 14 December 2017

AWS Community Support volunteers needed

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Pirbright Cricket Club needs you!

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Autumn and Winter at Wellesley Woodlands

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Discounted subscriptions for Service personnel and families at the Army Golf Club in Aldershot

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Annual Nine Lessons and Carols Service - 17th December 2017

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SPACES - Single Persons Accommodation Centre for the Ex Services

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Domestic abuse: guidance and support for the armed forces community

A concerned family or friend?

It can be difficult to know what to do if you suspect a friend or neighbour is a victim of domestic abuse. Advice on how to help and support a friend is available on the Women's Aid and mankind websites.

In an emergency always call 999. It is important to report any incident of domestic abuse where a child is present, or where the woman is pregnant, to the local authority Children’s Social Care Services at county level to ensure the children’s safety.

Further information can also be found here - NHS

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Quit 4 Life - January 2018

Hart & Rushmoor we will be running a Quit Smoking group with Quit 4 Life in January at the Wellbeing Centre.

The group will take place on Tuesday 9th January at 2.30pm for 8 weeks.  Individuals will be able to access patches/medication etc to help them give up and of course there will be support of peers to help the process.

If you wish to use Champix (medication) to help give up you will need to register in advance for the service and should contact the following number: 012525 335120

Job Opportunities at Frogmore Day Care Centre

Driver/Attendant required by Yateley based Day Centre for elderly.  Position is on a 1 week on two weeks off roster on a split shift of approx 8-11am and 2.30 -5.30pm.  The working week is 30 hours and there is the opportunity for overtime to cover for holidays and sickness.  Applicants require a D1 on the licence.  

Care Assistant required to work 9-45 - 2.45 Monday - Friday.  All aspect of care including bathing and activities will be required. 

For more information and to apply, please contact the Manager on 01252876055.

Quest Resettlement Magazine - December Issue online now

To read or download this issueCLICK HERE

Updated Service Leaver's Guide Online

CLICK HERE to view the booklet online

2 days MHFA course - Winchester

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Half Day MHFA course in Winchester

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Monday, 11 December 2017

Combat Stress releases top tips to help former servicemen and women cope with pressure of Christmas

Combat Stress, the UK’s leading charity for veterans’ mental health, is sharing its tops tips to help former servicemen and women cope with the Christmas and New Year period.
Christmas is a time for celebration, yet it can be difficult for veterans with mental health problems. Some may feel isolated, lonely or depressed, while others can feel overwhelmed by large gatherings of family and friends, or feel they don’t have time for themselves.
Combat Stress has put together 10 steps veterans can take to enjoy Christmas and the New Year. In fact, it’s advice most people can use if they feel overwhelmed or anxious during the festivities. The tips are:
  • Take time out for yourself
  • Go outdoors for a walk or activity
  • Do something you enjoy
  • Relax with a bath, hot chocolate or play music
  • Remember to take your medication
  • Help out by volunteering for local projects or charities
  • Watch a film
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine
  • Eat the right ‘good’ food
  • Get support – call the Combat Stress Helpline
The tips include advice to practice meditation, which is especially good to do if you become stressed when surrounded by lots of people on a busy high street or when celebrating Christmas with loved ones. Take yourself off to a quiet place – a coffee shop or another room – and then return when you feel less anxious.
Going outside for a walk or outdoor activities is a good way to distract yourself from things that are causing you stress or anxiety. Avoiding alcohol and caffeine three hours before bedtime will improve your chances of having a good night’s sleep, while getting your five a day of fruit and vegetables will not only help feed a healthier body but also a healthier mind.
Sue Freeth, Chief Executive of Combat Stress, said: “We know many veterans with mental health conditions can find the Christmas period particularly challenging. We hope our tips, put together by our specialist clinical team, will help.
“It’s important veterans talk to a friend or family member about how they’re feeling so they can receive support. The Combat Stress 24-hour Helpline is available throughout Christmas and the New Year. We strongly encourage veterans and their loved ones to call us for help and support on 0800 138 1619, text us on 07537 404 719 or email”
Combat Stress’ Christmas tips will be shared on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram from 14 December through to Christmas Eve.

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, Princes Trust Team Programme - 10th January 2018

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Veterans Advisory and Pensions Committee (VAPC)

Veterans Advisory and Pensions Committee (VAPC) – New Members
Veterans UK is part of the Ministry of Defence with responsibility for the administration of Compensation and Pension Schemes and for the provision of Welfare services to veterans. It also acts as the Sponsor Department for the Veterans Advisory and Pensions Committee (VAPC), a Non-Departmental Public Body whose Chairmen and Members are appointed by the Minister for Defence Personnel and Veterans. 
The roles of the VAPC include raising awareness of the War Pensions and Armed Forces Compensation Schemes, the Veterans UK Welfare Service and the availability of cross government support to Veterans and their families assisting veterans in accessing local services as envisaged under the Armed Forces Covenant. The VAPC also provide support to Veterans UK by monitoring its welfare service and assisting individuals with any problems or complaints they have regarding the war pensions or AFCS claims process and much more besides.
The VAPC is looking for new members for 12 of its 13 regional committees and 2 Chairmen, one to lead the Wales committee and another to lead the South East committee. The positions are voluntary, unpaid roles but travel, subsistence and loss of earnings may be payable.
For full details please see these links

RHL's Tombola Raffle

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Defence Discount Service

Defence Discount Service provides discounts both online and on the high street for members of the Armed Forces, Veterans and Armed Forces Community.

Defence Discount Service is home of theDefence Privilege Card, the vetted discount card that can be used in stores, restaurants and venues to obtain armed forces discounts. This discount card allows Veterans and the Armed Forces Community to have a card that can allow them to receive military discounts.

Who qualifies?

  • Serving Armed Forces
  • Reserve Forces
  • Spouses/Partners of serving personnel
  • HM Armed Forces Veterans (ex serving)
  • MoD Civil Servants
  • Bereaved Family Members
  • War/Service Widow(er)s
  • Cadet Forces (over 16)
  • NATO Personnel in the UK
For more information, please visit:

Thursday, 7 December 2017

SSAFA Jingle Comms - festive messages for our Forces

This festive season there will be up to 10,000 British troops deployed away from home. SSAFA has teamed up with resettlement magazine, Pathfinder International, to launch a festive campaign to send them messages from their loved ones.

These messages will then be published inside the magazine both in print and digital, in time for their loved ones to read over the Christmas break.

SSAFA has been supporting the Armed Forces community and their families for over 130 years. Our experience has shown that being apart from our loved ones on special occasions, such as Christmas can be incredibly hard for our brave service men and women.  Receiving a message of love, friendship or goodwill will mean the world to those unable to spend Christmas with their families.

For anyone wishing to submit their personal festive messages, please fill out the form  through

Any photos will also be considered, but cannot be guaranteed to be included due to demand. Left Right Left is distributed inside Pathfinder International to over 25,000 personnel across the globe and is also available to read for free online at the Pathfinder website.

Wellbeing Day Friday 19th January

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Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Letters to Santa by Royal Mail

Follow its journey by clicking on:

Remember to post your letters by 8th December 2017

Wellesley Community Street Nativity - Christmas Eve

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Christmas Safety - UK Fire Safety

Fairy Lights Check the fuses are the right type (see the box for the maximum size of fuse you should use)
  • If bulbs blow, replace them
  • Don’t leave fairy lights on when you go out or when you go to sleep
  • Don’t let the bulbs touch anything that can burn easily, like paper
  • Don’t overload sockets.

  • Decorations made of light tissue paper or cardboard burn easily
  • Don’t attach them to lights or heaters
  • Don’t put them immediately above or around the fireplace
  • Keep them away from candles.

Many people ask what is the best method of extinguishing a Christmas Tree fire should they be unfortunate to experience one. The simply answer is that the UltraFire Water Mist extinguisher.
Christmas Trees
Special fire safety precautions need to be taken when keeping a live tree in the house. A burning tree can rapidly fill a room with fire and deadly gases. Furthermore the best way to tackle a Christmas Tree fire is by the use of a Water Mist Extinguisher.
Selecting a Tree for Christmas
Needles on fresh trees should be green and hard to pull back from the branches, and the needle should not break if the tree has been freshly cut. The trunk should be sticky to the touch. Old trees can be identified by bouncing the tree trunk on the ground. If many needles fall off, the tree has been cut too long, has probably dried out, and is a fire hazard.
Caring for Your Tree
Do not place your tree close to a heat source, including a fireplace or heat vent. The heat will dry out the tree, causing it to be more easily ignited by heat, flame or sparks. Be careful not to drop or flick cigarette ashes near a tree. Do not put your live tree up too early or leave it up for longer than two weeks. Keep the tree stand filled with water at all times.
Disposing of Your Tree
Never put tree branches or needles in a fireplace or wood burning stove. When the tree becomes dry, discard it promptly. The best way to dispose of your tree is by taking it to a recycling centre or having it taken away by a community pickup service.

Christmas in Guildford Village

Join in the festive fun and activities from Thursday 16 November until Sunday 24 December as we celebrate this magical time of the year in style with:
  • Christmas market
  • seasonal retailers
  • scrumptious street food
  • live entertainment on the Andertons stage under the newly installed stretch tent with patio heaters and seating
  • Free Santa's grotto - Come and visit Santa this Saturday from 11am to 3pm.
  • For further information visit

Winchester Christmas Market 2017

Open from Monday 20 November – Friday 22 December 2017
Open from 10am – 6pm Sunday – Wednesday and 10am – 7.30pm Thursday – Saturday

Recognised as one of the best in Europe with its unique location, high quality exhibitors and bustling atmosphere. Wonderful Christmas gifts, decorations and festive foods can be found in abundance.

A taste of the 2016 Christmas Market

About the Christmas Market

Our Christmas Market is inspired by traditional German Christmas markets and attracts close to half a million visitors each year. The pretty wooden chalets are situated in the Cathedral’s historic Close surrounding an open-air real ice rink. All our exhibitors have been hand-picked for their interesting, high quality and unique products many of which can’t be bought on the high street.
Many of our exhibitors will be attending for the full duration but some will only be here for the first half with new exhibitors filling the chalets for the second half.

Food and drink

There’s plenty of choice when it comes to food and drink at the Christmas Market. You’ll find chalets selling festive favourites such as, mulled wine, bratwurst, mince pies and stollen. Alternatively, our Cathedral Refectory and Ice Rink CafĂ© Bar & Kitchen provide a warm and comfortable setting with plenty of seating and great menus.

British crafts

We invite many British craftspeople to take part in the Christmas Market. If you’re looking for that special something make sure you visit the jewellers, painters, glass makers and textile artists selling unique gifts and decorations.

Nativity Scene

At the far end of the British Crafts Village you will find an enchanting nativity scene – providing an ideal opportunity to share the Christmas story amongst your party and take a fun photograph for Christmas.

Groups Welcome

We welcome coach parties and groups from all over the UK and overseas. Although there is no charge to enter the Christmas Market we do ask that all groups contact us in advance to help us ensure the best possible experience for all visitors. We offer a meet and greet service for coaches and provide information about coach parking, catering and visiting the Cathedral.
To make the most of your visit, we encourage you to take time to see inside the Cathedral. Recognising that time is of the essence we have developed a ‘highlights’ tour that takes approximately 30 minutes to complete. Group admission rates apply.
For all group bookings please contact our Visitor Services Team on 01962 857 225 or email

Access and facilities

Crowds – weekends are extremely busy and queues at entry points to the Christmas Market should be expected. If you can visit during the week from Monday – Friday you will experience a more leisurely visit and better opportunities to browse the 100 plus chalets.

Wheelchair users – the Christmas Market is situated in the Cathedral Inner and Outer Close. Although we have worked hard to provide wheelchair access throughout the site some of our chalets remain inaccessible to wheelchair users. We have a team of stewards on duty at all times who are happy to provide assistance if requested. Please be aware that at weekends the Christmas Market is very busy and although level access and ramps are in place the crowds can make these hard to identify and utilise. Please take great care when visiting the site as there are areas of uneven ground and pavements which can be hazardous.

Toilets – toilets and disabled toilets and baby changing facilities are available in the Cathedral Visitors’ Centre. There are no toilets in the main area of the Christmas Market.

Dogs – dogs are allowed within the Christmas Market but must be on a lead or carried at all times. We do not recommend you bring dogs to the Christmas Market at weekends as the site is very busy.

Future Accommodation model (FAM) update

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Monday, 4 December 2017

Christmas Temp Work

Forces Health BUPA Scheme

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Christmas Smiles for Little Troopers

Once again this Christmas many British Armed Forces children will have a parent serving away from home, we can't bring every parent home but we can hopefully spread lots of love this festive season and we are delighted our Christmas Smiles initiative is back for 2017!

READING - Peter Pan - Any date between 9th Dec - 7th Jan
If you are serving British Armed Forces and your Little Troopers are experiencing separation (longer than 3 weeks) from a serving parent then please do apply for tickets as below;

Email us ALL the below information by 7th December 2017 1800hrs here >

  • Your Name
  • Serving persons name and base/ship/regiment
  • Your postal address
  • How many tickets required (immediate dependent family only)
  • Names of all applicants and ages of children
  • Confirmation you are available and can travel to Hexagon Theatre, Reading at your own expense
  • Details of Separation

Does the Army Families' 'Offer' meet the needs of the modern Army family?

Does the Army Families' 'Offer' meet the needs of the modern Army family?

The Army Families Federation (AFF) is appealing to all Army families to take their latest survey and say whether they feel the package offered to them eases the impact that Service life can have. 

How much do families know?

The charity is exploring various elements of the current package, or 'Offer' available to families, and how they translate to Army family life. This includes how aware families are of policies such as subsidised military housing, educational allowances, and healthcare policies such as support with assisted conception.

It also seeks to discover what more families feel needs to be done to improve life as a modern Army family.

Families' feedback vital

AFF Chief Executive Sara Baade explains: "Families' views have always been integral to our work and what we hope to achieve year on year. We want as many families as possible to get involved with our latest survey, whether married or unmarried, whether or not you live in military housing. Different elements of your soldier's 'offer' will affect you to varying degrees, but AFF is here for you all, so share your experience with us and help provide us with evidence we can present to decision makers to push for improvements where needed."

Pushing for positive change

Known as the voice of the Army community, AFF is keen for families to be open and candid in their views and opinions when providing feedback. They have a strong track record of using families' evidence to push for change, and believe the more families that take part in their surveys, the more influence they will have when approaching MOD, government and other policy makers.

Take AFF's survey

To take AFF's short survey and make your views on Army life count, go to could WIN one of three HP tablets courtesy of DXC Technology, just for taking part.

To find out more about AFF's work in support of Army families, visit their website

Rushmoor Community Lottery

Rushmoor Community Lottery is now up and running. Local people are already winning prizes in the weekly draws.

You can nominate local good causes to be beneficiaries of funds raised. Rushmoor Voluntary Services are listed as a good cause and you may wish to select us as a beneficiary of funds when you register and buy tickets.

All you need to know can be found on the Rushmoor Lottery website:

Full and Part time Care assistant jobs, Freelands Croft, Church Crookham, Fleet 14/12/17

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JSHAO Housing Brief - Tidworth

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BFBS - Damn The Torpedoes comedy sketch show

Forces Radio BFBS is recording a brand new Xmas Special of the multi award-winning military-themed comedy sketch show, Damn the Torpedoes. 

The live 90-minute performance is on Tuesday 12th December at 7.30pm at the RADA Studios in London, and will be made into a half-hour Xmas Special for broadcast at Christmas.

 Get set to hear hilarious skits throwing a spotlight on the comic side of service life, as ‘famous’ voices weave implausible plots and mimic military jargon.

This pre-Christmas treat includes David Attenborough narrating a Special Blue Planet 2 on board HMS Queen Elizabeth, the Royal Navy’s newest and biggest Aircraft carrier. There’s also the Boris Johnson Enigma machine to be deciphered and we’ll discover how Front-line Fast Jet pilots deal with ‘take your kids to work day’!

The show is performed by stars of radio and television including Lewis Macleod (BBC Radio's Dead Ringers, Lewis Macleod is Not Himself and ITV’s Newzoids)Debbie Arnold (EastEnders, Coronation Street, Emmerdale, Hollyoaks, Birds of a Feather),Alex Perkins (Call the Midwife, Law & Order, Doctors) and Steve Hope Wynne (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory).

Series one and two of Damn The Torpedoes has already won two bronze awards in the ‘Best Comedy Special’ category at the 2015 and 2017 New York Festivals World’s Best Radio Programs Awards. 

Executive Producer of the comedy series and Forces Radio BFBS Breakfast Show Presenter, Richard Hatch, said: “Damn the Torpedoes is written by Kirrin Productions for Forces Radio BFBS with input from the British military community, so we’ve involved our core audience in the creative process from the very beginning.  

“The first two series were so successfully received that we were really keen to record another series and go for an international gold award!” 

Book online now for a FREE night of comedy at the RADA studios in central London on Tuesday 12th December 2017 at and click on ‘Current Shows’. 

The Damn The Torpedoes Xmas Special will be broadcast on Forces Radio BFBS on Saturday 23th at 1.30pm, Sunday 24th at 4.30pm and Tuesday 26th December at 3.30pm.  

Listen to Forces Radio BFBS on, via the BFBS app, on Sky 0211, or Freesat 786. Forces Radio BFBS is available regionally and across the forces world on DAB and FM. Visit to find your local station.