Prevent and community cohesion

The Armed Forces Covenant and support in Hounslow

The armed forces covenant logo.

Armed Forces Drop-in Groups in Hounslow during February 2024

The London Borough of Hounslow's Armed Forces Community Cafés will take place in two locations during February, see below for details of our venues. In March we will be hosting , our veteran’s café at Chiswick House.  

If you wish to be a part of a community providing friendship, chat and support as a serving or ex Armed Forces Community member living in or connected to The London Borough of Hounslow you are welcome to attend any and all of our cafés.  

Our cafés offer access to free refreshments and a warm environment, visiting Armed Forces personnel and if requested, other teams located in the Council will be on hand to answer any questions or concerns you might have.

Please email us on to let us know which days you will be joining us, as it helps with the catering.


Veteran Cafes during Armed Forces Month - June 2024. 



Tomorrow marks the 80th anniversary of D-Day. 


Today at the Armed Forces Drop-in we will remember all those who served and sacrificed during WW2, in the name of the freedom and peace that we enjoy today.  

Please do join us at this special afternoon tea on Wednesday, 5th June 2024

Time: 2:00pm – 4:00pm inclusive.

Venue: Chiswick House and Gardens, The Learning Centre/Kitchen Garden,  

Burlington Lane, Chiswick, W4 2RP* 

A light meal and refreshments will be provided. 


Armed Forces Drop-in on Saturday, 29th June 2024 - Armed Forces Day

Time: 10:00am - 12:00pm inclusive.

Venue:  Heston and Isleworth Fire Station

520 London Rd, Isleworth Tw7 4Hr, United Kingdom, Isleworth TW7 4HR

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Please do contact us on email: or call call 07966 244728.


HM Armed Forces Veteran Card


The HM Armed Forces Veteran Card is a quick and easy way to prove your status as a veteran.

It’s a recognition of your service and can be one of the ways that helps you maintain a link with your service identity.

Apply for a Veteran Card

If you have left service since 2019, you should have received an HM Armed Forces Veteran Card when leaving.

If you left service before 2019, you can apply by clicking the button below.

Apply now


Ways to use a Veteran Card

There are many services available to ex-members of the armed forces.

To access these services some organisations, including charities, may need to verify that you are a veteran. This is to ensure that only those who are eligible access services specifically for veterans and their families.

As a veteran you can prove your status in many ways, and an HM Armed Forces Veteran Card is a simple way to do this.

For example, you need to verify your veteran status when you:

  • get a Veterans’ Railcard, entitling you to up to a third off most rail travel in England, Scotland and Wales
  • get a Defence Discount Service Card, to claim discounts in over 12,000 restaurants and shops, on the high street and online
  • access specific offers during special events, such as free travel on public transport to and from remembrance events on the weekend of Remembrance Sunday

There are other services and government initiatives available to veterans where your Veteran Card may be useful.

Examples of services and government initiatives for veterans include:

National Insurance Relief for your employer in your first civilian role after service for up to 12 months.

Housing support and guidance from the Op FORTITUDE team.

Exemption from a local connection test when applying for social housing (if you were serving in the regular forces at any time in the 5 years before your application). For further guidance, see Social housing allocations guidance.

Support and services from criminal justice agencies such as the Police, Probation Service and the Prison Service as part of Op NOVA.

An HM Armed Forces Veteran Card is a way to prove that you served in the UK armed forces. The card can make it quicker and easier to apply for support as a veteran.

It’s free to apply.

You can currently only apply for a Veteran Card if you have a UK address. Veterans who do not have a UK address will be able to apply later this year.

Check what you can do with a Veteran Card.


Who can get an HM Armed Forces Veteran Card

You can apply if you were in the regulars or reserves for the:

  • Royal Navy

  • Army

  • Royal Air Force (RAF)

  • Royal Marines

If you served in another group in the UK armed forces, you may still be able to get a card. You can check when you apply online or when you call to request a postal form.

You cannot apply if you served:

  • in the armed forces of another country

  • alongside the UK armed forces, for example in the Canadian Navy or Royal Australian Air Force

What you’ll need

When you apply, you’ll be asked for:

Apply online 

To apply online, you’ll need to prove your identity using GOV.UK One Login. You’ll be able to create a GOV.UK One Login if you do not already have one. 

To do this, you’ll need:

  • an email address

  • photo ID - for example, a UK passport or driving licence

You can only apply online if you’re applying on your own behalf. If you’re getting a card for someone else, apply by post.

Start now

Other ways to apply

Contact the Veterans UK Helpline if you cannot apply online. They’ll send you a form that you can return by post.

Veterans UK Helpline 
Telephone: 0808 1914 218
Monday to Friday, 8am to 4pm
Find out about call charges  

After you’ve applied

You’ll get your Veteran Card within 8 weeks of completing your application.

You can also apply for a veterans badge or a medal if you’re eligible.

Get help

Contact the Veterans UK Helpline if you need help applying.

Veterans UK Helpline 
Telephone: 0808 1914 218
Monday to Friday, 8am to 4pm  
Find out about call charges  



Armed Forces Friendly GP Practices

Ensure your practice is able to deliver the best possible care and treatment to veterans. A veteran is anyone who has served a day or more in the UK Armed Forces. They can be of any gender, age or ethnicity and many of them may need your help. The Veteran Friendly programme will give you everything you need to do this.


Hounslow Armed Forces Covenant

1.1 The Armed Forces Act 2021 amends the Armed Forces Act 2006 to create a legal obligation on relevant bodies, when exercising relevant statutory functions, to have due regard to the three principles of the Armed Forces Covenant (AFC). This is the Armed Forces Covenant Duty.

1.2 The Principles of the AFC:

  • Members of the Armed Forces Community should not face disadvantages arising from their service in the provision of public and commercial services.
  • In some circumstances special provision may be justified, especially for those who have given the most, such as the injured or bereaved.

1.3 The new duty will apply to specified persons or bodies, including councils, when exercising certain housing, education or healthcare functions (excluding social care). The private sector is not in scope. When such a body develops, implements or reviews a relevant policy, or makes decisions on its delivery of relevant services, it must consider the Covenant principles. Namely, whether the Armed Forces Community experiences disadvantages, attributable to the unique obligations and sacrifices of service life, that can be removed, and whether special provision is merited. The Duty is not prescriptive about the actions bodies should take in order to comply, and it does not mandate specific public service delivery outcomes or advantageous treatment of the Armed Forces Community.

Service Charities and Organisations

Below is a flavour of the online support services available to armed forces personnel - for list of others please review the SSAFA site here



Contact Details

Armed Forces General Support & Gateway Services.


Veterans Gateway

Veterans' Gateway, is the first point of contact for veterans seeking support, putting veterans and their families in touch with the organisations best placed to help with the information, advice and support they need. From healthcare, housing to employability, finances, personal relationships and much more.

08‍08 80‍2 12‍12

SSAFA the Armed Forces Charity

SSAFA - provides practical support and assistance to servicemen and women, veterans and families with dedicated welfare and benefits advice, health and social care support. It offers specialised support for bereaved families and those who are wounded, injured or sick.

SSAFA - offer a Gurkha Service a specialist Nepali language service for members of the Brigade of Gurkhas and their relatives.

Contact Forcesline on

0800 731 4880


Royal British Legion

Provides practical support for serving men and women, veterans (ex-service of all ages) and their families. It provides help with finances, living independently, mental well-being, care homes finding employment or starting a business. They also support respite breaks.

Contact 0808 802 8080 -8am to 8pm

(7 days per week).

Citizen Advice Bureau (CAB)


CAB provide free, independent confidential and impartial advice to everyone on their rights and responsibilities. CAB aim to improve the policies and practices that affect people's lives. They offer specific advice online for the Armed Forces community

0808 278 7830

Military Advocacy Service

The seAp Military Advocacy Service supports veterans, reservists and their direct families, with health, housing, financial, family and social issues. Their specialist service offers understanding and appreciates the distinct needs of veterans. Their advocacy work helps get armed forces personnel lives back on track.

0330 440 9000

Health Support

Combat Stress

Mental health charity which works with veterans and members of the Reserve forces.

0800 138 1619

Help for Heroes - Hidden Wounds





Help for Heroes - recovery centres

Mental health and wellbeing service providing free and confidential support to Ex-service personnel, their families and the families of those still serving. Those living with anxiety, depression, stress, anger or those wishing to change their alcohol habits.


Provides a range of support and services for wounded, injured and sick serving (Regulars & Reserves) and ex-service personnel who have suffered illness and or injuries in the service of the Nation.



0808 2020 144







01980 844200




Hounslow Borough Council Housing Advice Team

Hounslow housing services is operated from our new building at Hounslow House, 7 Bath Road, Hounslow TW3 3EB. Check online for times of operational. Please note, Hounslow affirms support for those who serve or have served through its commitment to the AFC.

Homeless / Shelter

Provides advice and guidance on issues relation to housing and homelessness

0808 800 4444

 Hounslow Council was the first local authority in London to set up a Community Military Partnership Board to pledge support and to take this work forward.

* Councillor John Stroud-Turp is the Armed Forces Champion (Elected member) 2023.


Further information on the Armed Forces Covenant

What is being done?

The Covenant focuses on helping members of the Armed Forces community have the same access to government and commercial services and products as any other citizen. This support is provided in a number of areas including:

  • education and family well-being
  • having a home
  • starting a new career
  • access to healthcare
  • financial services

London Armed Forces Covenant Project Report

The Covenant Fund

The Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust (the Trust) supports the Armed Forces Covenant by delivering funding programmes that create real change to Armed Forces communities across the UK.

Information on how to apply

If you would like to discuss your application or would like further information on the Hounslow Armed Forces covenant, please contact Jane Medici at

The Armed Forces Covenant logo



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