Support for Volunteer Reservists and their families

1. Reservist opportunities

There are three Reserve Units in the Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire area:

  • 243 Squadron, 159 Regiment Royal Logistic Corps in Coventry
  • 126 Field Company, 104 Battalion, Royal Electrical and mechanical Engineers in Coventry
  • D Company, 4 Parachute Battalion in Rugby

  • Other opportunities across the Midlands:

    2. Support from employers

    Employers will need to be aware of the following legislation:

    The Reserve Forces (Safeguard of Employment) Act 1985 (SOE 85)

    This provides two types of protection:

    • Protection of employment: The Act provides protection from unfair dismissal and makes it a criminal offence for an employer to terminate a reservist’s job without their consent solely or mainly because he or she has a liability to be mobilised.
    • Rights to reinstatement: The Act provides a legal right to reinstate the reservist to their former job, subject to certain conditions.

    The Reserve Forces Act 1996 (RFA 96)

    This sets out the call-out powers under which Reservists can be mobilised for full-time service.

    MOD employers advice

    The MOD would advocate that employers provide the following:

    • Time off for training commitments wherever possible.
    • Accommodate mobilisation if required to deploy.
    • Support in preparation for, during and after mobilisation, including access to occupational health and employee support services.
    • Recognition of training and experience from Reserve Service relevant to employment, which is included on personal records and personal development plans.
    • Encouragement to keep in contact at a social level with friends and colleagues from the workplace during periods of mobilisation.
    • Re-employment in the same type of job they were doing before being mobilised, on the same terms and conditions. If the job no longer exists, the Reservist is entitled to a reasonable alternative.

    3. Potential issues

    Not being re-employed following a deployment

    If you aren’t re-employed, you can apply to a tribunal.

    Write to the tribunal if, after telling your employer you’re returning to work and:

    • You don’t hear back from them
    • They won’t re-employ you
    • They offer you a job you’re not happy with.

    A tribunal can instruct your former employer to re-employ you, or award you financial compensation.

    Employment Tribunal Service (England, Scotland and Wales)
    3rd Floor
    Alexandra House
    14-22 The Parsonage
    M3 2JA
    Tel: 0161 833 6316

    Rights and responsibilities for reservists and employers.

    Further help is also available from the Defence Relationship Management and through the Unit’s ROSO (Regimental Operational Support Officer).

    Medical issues arising from training, or deployment

    You may experience physical, injuries as a result of training exercises or deployment.

    Whilst these will be addressed by the Combat Medics and/or Defence Medical Services (DMS) whilst in Service, there may be complications after.

    You are entitled to access healthcare in these circumstances from either, or both the DMS and the NHS – depending on the nature of the injury and available resources.

    Mental health

    If you have returned from operations since 1 January 2003, you qualify for enhanced support for mental health problems through the Reserves Mental Health Programme.

    If eligible, you will be offered a mental health assessment. This will be conducted at the The Reserves Training and Mobilisation Centre by appropriately qualified members of the DMS. If appropriate and required, you will be offered out-patient treatment by the DMS via the MOD’s Community Mental Health Department.

    Life changing injury and its impact on accommodation needs

    Social rented housing

    Part 6 of the Housing Act 1996 regulates the allocation of social rented housing by Local Authorities.

    The regulations ensure that, where Local Housing Authorities decide to use a local connection requirement as a qualification criterion, they must not apply it to current or former Reservists who are suffering from a serious injury, illness, or disability which is wholly or partly attributable to their Service, so as to disqualify them from an allocation of social housing.

    Housing information can be found via your local authority:

    Disabled Facilities Grants (DFGs)

    Disabled Facilities Grants (DFGs) are grants provided by a Local Authority to help meet the cost of adapting a property for the needs of a disabled person.

    They are normally used for adaptations to enable:

    • Easier access to, from and around the property and ensuring the property and garden is safe for the disabled person to use
    • Providing or adaptation of a room in which there is a lavatory, bath or shower, and wash-hand basin for the disabled person to use
    • Easier access to a room used or that can be used as a bedroom

    4. NHS Code for reservists

    The NHS has a code for Reservists – Armed Forces Reservist Xabnw / V2: 0Z7.

    This code flags to GPs and other NHS services that you are a Reservist and, as such, can be supported through the Covenant. One aspect of this is, subject to clinical need, a member of the Armed Forces can be prioritised for treatment.

    You will need to ensure that your Reservists status is known to your GP surgery.

    5. Life after physical injury in the Armed Forces

    Physical injury, whether through operations or training, can not only end a person’s career, but can also be life changing and life limiting. There are various ways in which an individual can be supported in order to make the most of the opportunities available to them.

    Compensation schemes


    Disablement Service Centres have been set up across England to provide specialist prosthetic and rehabilitation services.

    Disabled facilities grants

    Disabled facilities grants are available via your local housing authorities to fund adaptations to a disabled person’s home which enables them to live independently and comfortably.

    Other sources of support

    • BLESMA The Limbless Veterans, is dedicated to assisting serving and ex-Service men and women who have suffered life-changing limb loss or the use of a limb, an eye or loss of sight.
    • Fry Housing Trust have an ex-Armed Forces supported accommodation scheme in Birmingham with 12 bed spaces, some of which are on the ground floor to address disability and mobility issues.
    • Blind Veterans UK provide vision impaired Armed Forces and National Service veterans with the person-centred services and tailored support they need to discover life beyond sight loss.
    • The RAF Benevolent Fund also has a Housing Trust, which provides 230 specialist houses to seriously injured, wounded and sick service personnel who have a medical discharge, where alternative housing provision cannot be sourced.
    • Royal British Legion Industries have a range of accommodation including Veterans housing.
    • Help for Heroes Band of Brothers network offers lifelong access to all the financial and welfare support from Help for Heroes as well as providing opportunities to meet others who are living through similar experiences.
    • Help for Heroes Band of Sisters is available to the loved ones of Veterans and Service Personnel who have suffered a permanently life-limiting or career-ending injury or illness during or attributable to service.
    • The Not Forgotten Association is a small, unique and highly personalised tri-service charity whose role is to provide entertainment and recreation for the benefit of the serving wounded, injured or sick and for veterans who suffer from a disability or illness.
    • Cobseo Housing Cluster have developed a Directory of Housing and Support Services for Veterans. This lists supported accommodation, general needs housing, floating support and day centre provision for ex-service personnel.

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    6. Offers and discounts

    A number of organisations, shops and attractions show their support for the Armed Forces by providing discounts. Remember to ask when making a booking or inquiry.

    Also see:

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    7. Support organisations

    There are over 2000 military charities and Regimental Associations supporting the Armed Forces community. Some key ones are:

      • The Army Families Federation (AFF) – independent of the the Chain of Command and offers confidential advice.
      • Naval Families Federation – independent of the the Chain of Command and offers confidential advice.
      • RAF Families Federation – independent of the the Chain of Command and offers confidential advice.
      • Joining Forces Credit Union – the MoD has made it possible for three of the UK’s leading credit unions to join forces and make simple savings accounts and loans available to the armed forces and their families.
      • Little Troopers – is a registered charity supporting all children with parents serving in the British Armed Forces, regular or reserve.
      • Moneyforce – aims to assist all Service personnel, their partners, families and dependants, to be better equipped to manage their money and financial affairs.
      • The Royal British Legion – provides practical support to serving men and women, veterans (ex-service of all ages) and their families.
      • SSAFA (Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association) – helps with welfare advice and support, health and social care support and specialised support for bereaved families and those who are wounded, injured or sick.
      • The Big White Wall – a safe online community of people who are anxious, down or not coping who support and help each other by sharing what’s troubling them, guided by trained professionals.
      • Citizen’s Advice – provides free, independent, confidential and impartial advice to everyone on their rights and responsibilities and have specific advice pages for the Armed Forces community.
      • Galop – is a national Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual and Trans-Gender support organisation for those experiencing hate crime, sexual violence or domestic abuse.
      • Gingerbread – provides expert advice, practical support and campaigns for single parents on anything from dealing with a break-up, to going back to work or sorting out maintenance, benefit or tax credit issues.
    • Relate – relationship support services.
    • Respect Yourself – sex and relationship set of services aimed at young people up to the age of 25.
    • The Samaritans – work to alleviate emotional distress and reduce the incidence of suicide feelings and suicidal behaviour.
    • BLESMA: The Limbless Veterans – Blesma, The Limbless Veterans, is dedicated to assisting serving and ex-Service men and women who have suffered life-changing limb loss or the use of a limb, an eye or loss of sight in the honourable service of our country.
    • Blind Veterans UK – help blind ex-Service men and women lead independent and fulfilling lives.

    Family Information Service (FIS) is a free information and signposting service that covers a wide range of family related topics such as:

    • childcare
    • mediation
    • divorce
    • separation
    • finance
    • health
    • bullying
    • support groups
    • parenting support