Armed Forces Outreach Service (AFOS)
The Armed Forces Outreach Service aims to assist Service Personnel who are either considering leaving the forces or those who are currently transitioning into civilian life, Veterans, Serving Reservists and family members of these groups. Gateshead Council also has an Armed Forces Champion, Councillor Stuart Green, who works with partners locally and regionally to help drive improvement to services offered to the armed forces community.
The service is available Monday to Friday, offering help with:
The AFOS workers are part of the Housing Solutions team within Gateshead Council. They will help with completing housing applications and gaining accommodation in your chosen area. Support is offered on a wide range of tenancy issues including tenancy management. If your tenancy is at risk or you are close to being evicted. The team can assist with sourcing funding to clear rent arrears, should you require a move and arrears pose a problem and making you unattractive to potential landlords. All AFOS staff are trained SSAFA case workers. They can apply for funds for a variety of reasons including to allow you to purchase new carpets, white goods and essential household furniture.
The Benefit system can be quite confusing and difficult to navigate around. This may result in many people not being aware of which benefits they are entitled to and if these benefits will affect their military pension in any way. The AFOS can support you with this process and ensure that you are in receipt of the correct benefits. The team work closely with the DWP Forces Champions to ensure you will receive exactly what you are entitled to.
The team can refer you to other services who specialise in securing employment and training for ex service personnel.
Health and wellbeing
Many people leaving the Armed Forces, as well as those who may have been out for many years, can struggle with the transition and feel that they are isolated and alone. The AFOS team have a good understanding of this adjustment period and can support you through this. The team also have direct referral routes to the Armed Forces mental health services within the NHS for additional support.
If you are leaving the Forces and need to gain further information and support on schools in the your chosen area, the team can provide assistance and signpost you to the relevant agencies who will ensure you and your children are not disadvantaged in anyway.
It can be difficult to start to budget with a different income coming in, which can create additional difficulties. The AFOS team support and advise you on low level budgeting and make onward referrals to the CAB and other debt counselling services if required.
To find out more about how The Armed Forces Outreach Service may be able to assist you, please contact:
Susie Duffy, Armed Forces Outreach Worker on 07925 339739, email: email@example.com
Lisa McFadyen, Armed Forces Outreach Service Coordinator on 07857 663343, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Armed Forces Outreach Service