Armed Forces Support

Armed Forces Champion and Veterans Champion

Hartlepool's Armed Forces Champion - Councillor Brian Cowie

Hartlepool Borough Council's Armed Forces Community Covenant was refreshed in 2019, with additional co-signatories from across the private, public and voluntary and community sectors. A requirement of the Covenant is the appointment of an Armed Forces Champion whose role is to:  

  * Encourage residents, businesses, and the public sector and voluntary / community organisations to actively and visibly show their support for the Armed Forces community;

  * Raise the public’s awareness and understanding of the issues affecting the Armed Forces community, and the support available to it;

  * Make sure that service in the Armed Forces is recognised, appreciated and valued;

  * Keep up to date about current issues affecting the Armed Forces community;

  * Stay informed about local activities, events and services supporting the Armed Forces community;

  * Represent the Council at Armed Forces-related events, and

  * Be the key contact between the Council and the Armed Forces community in the borough.

As the Armed Forces Champion, Councillor Cowie meets regularly with representatives of the local Armed Forces community to monitor progress in achieving Hartlepool’s Armed Forces Covenant aims and to share information, ideas and best practice. Monthly surgeries are also held to offer advice and support to Veterans and Serving Personnel, bookings can be made in advance by phoning 01429 523647. Councillor Cowie can also be contacted via phone on 07802584285 and email

Hartlepool's Veterans Champion - Mr Michael Gallagher

The Veterans Champion is required to be an ex-service person, a resident of Hartlepool and an active member of an Armed Forces Association or Armed Forces body / group. They work closely with the Armed Forces Champion (AFC) to provide a first-hand perspective of the needs of the Armed Forces veteran community, strengthen community links, support veterans alongside Armed Forces organisations and raise public awareness of the issues that affect Hartlepool's Armed Forces community.

Michael Gallagher became Hartlepool Borough Council’s Veterans’ Champion in 2023. He joined the Army in 1984 aged 16 and served for 16 years with the Royal Engineers, including service in the Gulf War, tours of Belize, the Falkland Islands, Northern Ireland, Bosnia and Germany – where he trained as a combat engineer – and two winter tours of Canada. He also served for several years with 516 Specialist Team Royal Engineers, providing specialist support to the UK Armed Forces on operations across the world. 

Michael can be contacted via phone on 07545134188 and email