Service Champions

A person who voluntarily takes extraordinary interest in the adoption, implementation and success of a cause, policy, programme, project or produce.

These are the individuals who champion for the armed forces community within their organisation. Through training and development they understand the culture of the armed forces community and use this to design their services.

There are in excess of 500 trained Service Champions across Sussex and Kent & Medway and the training provided for the individuals helps them to:

  • better understand how to engage with the Armed Forces Community
  • understand how they can support their organisation to help this group
  • understand how they can gain support from other services/charities
  • reinforcing the integration between communities

It also provides them with a Resource Folder for each individual to use when they return to their organisation. The Resource Folder is updated as when and when required in line with changes to services and facilities. The Resource Folder contains all the national and local information relating to reports and services for the Armed Forces community The contents from that have now been uploaded to the website and you can now access the same resources online for both the National and Network wide and the Sussex Specific Information.

There is also a network of Service Champions who can support each other and share best practice.

This is a 1 day training course which is held at least twice a year. The day holds a focus on military culture, which can be difficult for those on the course and the training tries to hold a military feel, taking place in Army Barracks and all communication in military format.

This training is also an opportunity to understand why they should support the work, what resources are available and the need to network. Presentations are given by partner organisations in the Sussex Armed Forces Network.

There is also eLearning which is provided via our website. Currently this covers mental health awareness, however, there are plans to increase the number of modules and subjects covered.

You can book your place by contacting us.

The Service Champions meet on a regular basis to exchange experiences and learn from each other with invited members of charities and the armed forces. These provide opportunities to receive updates and the latest research.

The greatest benefit is the networking, with the aim to meet at least 3 other people who you have not met before. Integrated, multi-disciplinary/organisational/sector working together has show the best benefits for this community. The whole is greater than its parts. The NHS has priority requirements but this is about individualised services working together to meet the needs of that individual.

Whether it is:

  • housing/charities/employment
  • mental health and substance misuse
  • mental health, education and charities
  • justice services, mental health and charities
  • carers and charities

There are many examples of combinations with individual examples of where working together has made a difference. These can be for families, veterans, reservists, and those serving or transitioning out of the services.

Since the Armed Forces Covenant has come into force, there has been an emergence of Armed Forces Champion roles. These are briefing explained below:

  • Armed Forces Champions – Elected Councillor - The key part of this role is to be an advocate and raise the profile of the Armed Forces Community; providing leadership to the Local Community within the County / Unitary Council and the Borough/District Councils. The role is further explained in the Our Community Our Covenant Report
  • Armed Forces Champions – Behind the wire - These champions act as an advocate and a voice of the family and serving personnel and have been around since 2016
  • Armed Forces Service Champions – These are trained by the Armed Forces Network and are part of the network of support within and across organisations in Sussex since 2011/12.
  • NHS Reserve Forces Champions – NHS Employers - These champions support and are advocates for Reservists within NHS organisations and have in place since 2015. Further information about this role can be viewed at the NHS Employers website
  • Informal Armed Forces Champions – Many organisations have nominated individuals to take on the role as a lead for the Armed Forces community. An example of this is within Job Centre Plus
Sussex Armed Forces Network Champions Training Session

Sussex Armed Forces Network Champions Training Session


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