Armed Forces Support

Support for Veterans

We recognise that leaving the armed forces is a major life-changing experience. Few career changes require as much adjustment as that of leaving the military and returning to a civilian lifestyle. Many veterans find that their service life of strict routine and structure bears no resemblance to that of the average UK citizen. Often the world outside of the services has moved on significantly since they enlisted.  

The majority of service-leavers successfully transition back into civilian life. A small number find it very difficult. Others find themselves needing help further down the line.

Where to start? – Veterans’ Gateway (VG)

With so many organisations supporting veterans and their families, finding the right one for your needs may seem off-putting. If you are not sure where to start, go to the Veterans’ Gateway (VG) first.

Their goal is to put veterans and their families in touch with the organisations best placed to help with the information, advice and support they need – when they need it – from healthcare and housing to employability, finances, personal relationships and more.  

They provide 24-hour support, 7 days a week – through the Veterans' Gateway website and Contact Centre Helpline 0808 802 1212. You can also contact them by e-mail, text and online ‘Live-chat’. 

Many of the team are veterans themselves so they understand the issues that people face after leaving the armed forces. They will work with people on a one-to-one basis, connecting them with the right support as soon as possible.

Other Support

Civvy Street

Looking for a job or training? Need advice about resettlement? Trying to work your way through the pensions minefield? You'll find a whole range of useful guides and contacts are available via the Royal British Legion's Civvy Street website.

Civvy Street website

Corthorn Veterans Chat

This veterans chat group is an oppotunity for veterans to get together and chat or just listen to others. There are occasionally guest speakers who specialise in helping veterans in various ways. This group meets on zoom twice per month, once in the evening and once in the daytime. For more information please click here.

Heroes Welcome

Where displayed the Heroes Welcome logo shows support for British Armed Forces Personnel and indicates a warm welcome, service up grade, special acknowledgement or even a little discount as appropriate.

Heroes Welcome website

First Light Trust

FirstLight Trust is a charity for Veterans, Veterans-to-be and those going through transition. We support former members of the Armed Forces and Emergency Services who have nowhere left to turn. We break down barriers so Veterans and their families get the help they need.

First Light Trust website

Forward Assist

Forward Assist Veteran Support Charity provides advice, information and guidance, ‘life changing’ projects and opportunities to former servicemen and women who are experiencing difficulties in adjusting to a new life as a civilian. Forward Assist’s programmes are particularly relevant for former servicemen and women who are experiencing homelessness or housing problems, are incarcerated in Prison or have involvement with the Criminal Justice System.

Many former forces personnel have alcohol and drug dependency issues and have difficulty accessing support in relation to mental health and/ or post-traumatic stress disorder. A large percentage of our referrals & group membership is disenfranchised from mainstream services and lack family support. They choose to not access existing services or are deemed inappropriate for existing provision. Often this is because of a lack of understanding in the civilian community of the Armed forces culture, individual behaviour and mannerisms or simply that they display multiple complex needs that overwhelm individual service deliverers. Forward Assist staff and volunteers seek out and ‘plug in’ colleagues to sympathetic and appropriate services.

Forward Assist website

The Royal British Legion

The Royal British Legion provides practical care, advice and support to serving members of the Armed Forces, veterans of all ages and their families. The RBL run the Poppy Calls Handy Person Service which provides a service for small household repairs and minor adaptations around the home.

Royal British Legion website

Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA)

The SSAFA provides financial, practical and emotional assistance to anyone that is currently serving or has ever served in the Army, Navy or RAF, and their families. The local branch can be found at the TA Centre, Norton Road, Stockton-on-Tees. Contact (01642) 553666 or

Hartlepool Citizens Advice Bureau

Provides a dedicated money and benefits advice service for veterans across Teesside. Contact:

Hartlepool Citizens Advice , 87 Park Road, Hartlepool, TS26 9HP

Hartlepool CAB website

01429 408401 or 

The Service Personnel and Veterans Agency is responsible for pay and pensions provision.

Veterans at Ease 

Veterans at Ease is a Military Mental Health Charity, committed to helping Veterans, Reservists, Serving Military Personnel and their families deal with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other combat stress-related issues. They will help anyone who feels they need support whether they have been diagnosed with PTSD or not. Veterans at Ease are also holding their annual 'Tough Warrior' event in 2023. See website for more details.  

Veterans at Ease Website 

Veterans UK info

Related Links

Armed Forces day

Blue Badge Scheme

You may be eligible for a Blue Badge if you are a disabled veteran or a member of the Armed Forces.

If you are currenty in the Armed Forces and are no longer resident the UK, you or a member of your household can apply to the Ministry of Defence for a blue badge. If you've kept your UK residency, you should apply to your local authority.

For more information about the war disablement pension, see Pension and compensation schemes for the Armed Forces, veterans and their families.

For more information about eligiblilty for the Blue Badge scheme, see

You can find more information on the Blue Badge scheme on the GOV.UK website at