Positive Focus Photography Workshops

Hi all,

Just to let you know that I've added more dates for the photography workshops and that they are now open to service personnel spouses/partners and their children too.

Full details can be found on the website shown below.

Workshop series #1 - starts 23rd April 2017

Workshop series #2 - starts 4th June 2017

Workshop series #3 - starts 23rd July 2017

Workshop series #4 - starts 3rd September 2017

Workshop series #5 - starts 15th October 2017



Free photography workshops in Cornwall & Devon


Mental health project – Shell Shock- The Play



Heather Ogburn

Senior Leadership Adviser (RA & NTG)

Learning & Communities

Plymouth City Council

Windsor House



T +441752307445                  E heather.ogburn@plymouth.gov.uk               www.plymouth.gov.uk


Circulated to: Members of the Devon Armed Forces (Community) Wellbeing Partnership on behalf of Dr Virginia Pearson, Director of Public Health, Chair …

Kind regards


Bev Riach

(work days Mon-Thurs)

PA to Tina Henry, Consultant in Public Health  & Admin Support to Team:

Lucy O’Loughlin, Public Health Specialist

Patsy Temple, Public Health Specialist

Nicola Glassbrook, Senior Public Health Officer (Health Inequalities)


Directorate of Public Health | Room 141 - Main Building | Devon County Hall | Exeter| EX2 4QD

Tel: 01392 (38)6370   email: bev.riach@devon.gov.uk

Email disclaimer: http://www.devon.gov.uk/email


From: SOUTH-ARMEDFORCES, England (NHS ENGLAND) [mailto:england.south-armedforces@nhs.net]

Sent: 05 January 2017 09:53

Subject: FW: Shell Shock The Play - Mental Health Anti-Stigma Project


Good Morning,


Please see email below from Shell Shock: please liaise with Ryan directly on ryan.gearing@shellshock.org.uk

Kind Regards,

Nicole Stenner

Armed Forces Administrator (South and London)

NHS England


Bewley House|Marshfield Road|Chippenham|Wiltshire|SN15 1JW

Contact tel nos. 01138252019 |Email: england.south-armedforces@nhs.net   


I am delighted to inform you that Shell Shock The Play has been awarded LIBOR funds by the Chancellor and as a result we shall now be looking to take this production to one or more of the festivals in 2017. We are also looking to secure interest from NHS partners who may be interested in assisting in presentation of the play in their area, to both the military and civilian communities through their Armed Forces Network champions. We would look after all the production side and welcome input from these partners to ensure it is promoted to the benefit of staff and populous.


What was evident from our pilot performances in September 2016 was that many mental health professionals who attended thought it was an incredibly valuable way to be able to identify visually with the character traits and body language that ex-service personnel may be presenting to frontline staff such as that at GP surgeries and suggested that it would be useful for many healthcare professionals to see the production.


A number of AFN members did respond earlier in the year and I will be following up with them in due course but in the meantime I thought this might be of interest to all AFN members in the meantime.


A trailer for the production can be found online here - https://player.vimeo.com/video/187164103


More information on the project can be found at www.shellshock.org.uk


If you could send this news onto the AFN group I would be most grateful.


With regards,

Ryan Gearing

Shell Shock Project Manager

e: ryan.gearing@shellshock.org.uk                 m: Tel: 07563 201918

Unit 2, 44a Dudley Road, Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN22 8HE

Good morning.

The New Year is underway, and so are my efforts to get a better deal from Government for Plymouth in 2017.

I met with the Chancellor of the Exchequer to speak to him personally about our ambitions for Mayflower 400 celebrations. With so many critical projects involving healthcare, infrastructure, transport, jobs and investment, 2020 will be a decisive year in Plymouth's history and it is important to me that the highest levels of Government understand that. 

Meetings in No.10 in December paid off when Theresa May indicated in her first speech of the year that the charge for Mental Health patients accessing a GP's form would be halted. A small - perhaps niche - victory to some, but simply vital to our Mental Health community. 

Further on Mental Health, I was delighted to see that signs have been erected on the Tamar Bridge to bring it into line with similar infrastructure nationwide, indicating contact details for the Samaritans. Suicide remains the biggest killer in under-45's. I am determined that despite the social taboo some have mentioned to me, whilst I am your MP we will talk about Mental Health in Plymouth, and we will be enagaged in a relentless pursuit of parity with physical health. 

Lastly we face an existential challenge to our NHS which requires a solution from all of us, regardless of party or background. It's one of our nation's proudest assets, but it faces immeasurable challenges that increase year on year. I see them regularly for myself in Derriford. So I have taken direct action and helped to launch a cross-party group in the House of Commons calling on the Prime Minister to set up an NHS and Care Convention to find a long-term solution to the crisis in health and social care funding. The Prime Minister agreed to meet us, and I will have more to say on this in due course. 

Canvassing on the weekend in Barne Barton. Come and say hello.


Veterans Focus Groups - Project Equinox

Good morning,

By way of introduction, my name is Tony Gravett and I am a former WO1 in the Royal Navy. Through some previous work with “Collaboration for the Advancement of Medical Education Research and Assessment (CAMERA)” at Plymouth University, I have been asked to organise some focus groups of veterans to get feedback about the proposed ‘Project Equinox’. Your contact details were given to me by John Pentreath who, I believe, has in the past given you an overview of the aims of this project. 


CAMERA has been tasked by the project’s proposed partner housing association to provide some research to support the business case.  To that end I am keen to hold some group discussions with veterans to gain an understanding of their views around this project. Each focus group would last for about 1 hour with a 20 minute presentation to begin with to outline the project, followed by 40 minutes or so of discussion. The intention is that I would follow up with 1 to 1 interviews at a later date to gain more insight into comments made. 

The reason I am approaching you is to help set up the focus groups. I would be looking at 5-8 individuals for each group who are single, widowed or divorced. I am relatively flexible over date and time, but if you had a suitable venue to hold the focus group, it would help me out with the logistics of the event.

If you would like to discuss this request in more detail, I would be more than happy to meet with you. My contact details are:

Email: tony.gravett@hotmail.com

Phone: 07788 527818

Kind Regards

Tony Gravett MBE



Gail Smith | SO2 MCI/ Headquarters SW RPoC| Bldg 57| Jellalabad Bks| Tidworth| SP9 7BQ| TEL:01980 651246| Mil:94342 3246

DII/F: SWHQ-MCI-SO2 (Smith, Gail C2) SWHQ-MCI-SO2@mod.uk

Personal: gail.smith139@mod.uk



20 Dec 2016

a note from Johnny...

not Westminster's voice in Plymouth

but Plymouth's voice in Westminster

Wav14 -18 Now Poppy Wave Sculpture Plymouth Naval Memorial

Dear All,

Just to give you all a heads up on what is going on in regards to the 14 -18 Now Poppy Wave Sculpture that is coming to Plymouth Naval Memorial and our request for volunteers to assist. The final details in regards to dates and planning have now been agreed with our partners 14 -18 Now and are available on our websites along with other information; http://www.cwgc.org/ https://www.1418now.org.uk/commissions/poppies/  The dates are: 23 Aug - 18 Nov 17.

Before I go any further, I would just like to make you aware of some points; we (the CWGC) are bound under strict rules in the contract laid down by 14 – 18 Now; in regards to: image rights, marketing, fundraising and numerous other legal stuff.  All rights belong to the Artist and Designer and we the Commission are required to run everything past 14 -18 Now before doing anything.  Also 14-18 Now do not allow us or any other party involved to use the sculpture to fund raise.  I understand that this doesn’t make sense especially to the RBL but that is where we are, so please do not use the Poppy Sculpture images or advertise anything unless it comes from the CWGC, or it is already public knowledge from our websites

In regard to volunteers we are required to put out an official call for volunteers. This will be an official document outlining what is required from our volunteers, when they will be required from and will have an application form of some sort. Once this has been OK’d by 14-18 Now, it will be promulgated on our websites and social media.  I will also send them directly to parties that I know are already interested in being involved.  These should be available soon.

Again, just as a quick heads up on the role of the volunteers (exact detail will be on the call for volunteers). They will be required from 23 Aug through to 18 Nov and will operate on a shift system from 09.00 to 18.00, exact shifts TBC (probably a couple of hours at a time), but will be dependent on numbers of volunteers and their availability. They will be given full training/briefing on what is expected of them.  But it will generally involve talking to and assisting with visitors in and around the memorial and sculpture.  A uniform (T-shirt) will be provided and a welfare/rest cabin with tea and coffee, to work out of which will be located  near the sculpture.  There is also a lot of community engagement stuff being planned and we will have an CWGC information centre on site too.

I hope none of this puts your organisations off form getting involved in this unique project. Although it all seems very restrictive, I have spoken at length with other locations who have previously displayed the Wave and Weeping Window and all of their volunteers had a worthwhile and enjoyable experience.  If you know of any other organisations who would like to be involved, please point them in my direction. The CWGC are celebrating our centenary this year so I am particularly interested in the WRENs as they are celebrating their centenary too and our media people are keen to do something with them.

If you have any questions in the meantime please give me a call. I am always happy to talk and so you are aware, I am also an ex-serviceman so I  am more than happy to spin dits or just chat in general.

Kind regards

Steve Stewart
Project Manager

Poppy Wave Sculpture

Steve Stewart
Regional Supervisor  South West

Commonwealth War Graves Commission
2 Marlow Road, Maidenhead, Berkshire, SL6 7DX, United Kingdom
Mobile: +44 7734 445016  |  Website: www.cwgc.org



Parliamentary Back Bench Armed Forces Covenant Debate

                   Link to transcript of the AF Covenant report 2016 debate in the House below

 Dear All,

You may be interested in this extract from Hansard on the Armed Forces Covenant debate. 


The MPs for North/South Wiltshire and Bristol - James Gray, Andrew Murrison and Jack Lopresti- were amongst those who spoke about  a range of issues highlighted in the  Armed Forces Covenant Annual Report 2016. The debate covered schools admissions, housing (maintenance and FAM), spousal employment and mental health support.  Wider discussion acknowledged concerns about criminal inquiries involving former soldiers who served in Northern Ireland and Iraq.  



Gail Smith | SO2 MCI/ Headquarters SW RPoC| Bldg 57| Jellalabad Bks| Tidworth| SP9 7BQ| TEL:01980 651246| Mil:94342 3246

DII/F: SWHQ-MCI-SO2 (Smith, Gail C2) SWHQ-MCI-SO2@mod.uk

Personal: gail.smith139@mod.uk


Veterans’ Gateway Update - February 2017

As we approach the launch of the new Veterans’ Gateway service this spring we wanted to update you on the project’s process to date and next steps.

The consortium team has been busy building the infrastructure to support the new service including signing up our 26 referral partners. We hope the below will provide you with the information you need to raise awareness of the Veterans’ Gateway among your staff and stakeholders.

We are currently working hard building the Veterans’ Gateway website and developing the customer journey for the contact centre. Importantly we are making sure the referral model works and is able to deliver the support our veterans’ community need when they need it.

As you can see from the top of the page we have now developed the new Veterans’ Gateway brand and you will shortly receive the materials you need as one of our partners to promote the new service to your audiences.

We will provide another update in a month’s time to keep you informed of progress as the launch approaches. Thank you for your support.

What is the Veterans’ Gateway?

In November 2016 the Ministry of Defence announced £2 million of funding from the Covenant Fund for a one-stop service to better support British Armed Forces veterans in need. The service responds to calls from veterans’ charities and groups for help in navigating the wide range of services and organisations set up to support those who have served in the Forces.

The service will be the first point of contact for veterans and their families to access information, advice and support on a range of issues including healthcare, housing, and employment. It will allow information and services from partners to be accessed from one place and all enquiries will be followed up to ensure that veterans receive the right support.

The Veteran’s Gateway will provide website, online chat, phone line and text message services available to any veteran, from anywhere in the world, 24 hours a day. Veterans can access face-to-face support through the Veterans’ Gateway network of partners and organisations across the UK and overseas.

Why is it needed?

More than 2,000 charitable groups currently offer help to veterans, but they can prove difficult to navigate. By having a first point of contact, the Veterans’ Gateway team will be able to quickly work out which of the partners is best placed to help with the information, advice and support required.

Who is working on it?

A consortium of military charities including The Royal British Legion, Poppyscotland, SSAFA, and Combat Stress, and service provider Connect Assist is managing the contact centre. A wider group of 26 referral partners (Annex A) from military and other charity sectors have currently signed up to be a part of the Veterans’ Gateway. This means that the service will offer advice and support on a broad range of issues and from a multitude of providers. Further referral partners will continue to be recruited after the Veterans’ Gateway launches. The helpline will be run by Connect Assist located in South Wales and staffed by skilled advisers, many of whom we hope will be veterans or family members with experience of Service life.

When will it launch?

The Veterans’ Gateway will launch in the week commencing 22 May 2017. On the day there will be a media launch led by the consortium. Prior to the launch all partners will be sent a Veterans’ Gateway toolkit containing the brand guidelines, key messaging, imagery, and templates for marketing materials. 

What can I do?

We’re asking current partners to use this update and the materials that will be sent before the launch to inform their staff, stakeholders and network about the Veteran’s Gateway and help us ensure our veteran community is aware of the new service.


List of Referral Partners (as at 14 Feb 17

The Covenant Grant Fund Website has been updated and is now accepting local grant applications. A word application form has been added on the guidance page so applicants can complete the application ‘offline’ before going to the online from to submit their bid.

Link to the Covenant Fund Page: Covenant Fund Page:

Link to the Guidance Page: Guidance Page:

Link to the Word: Document application from:

The Word Document application form almost mirrors the online form apart from some formatting issues which can’t be copied over.

Attached FYI:  A recent AFC Education snapshot and a report on the Veterans Gateway.  

The Federation Of Plymouth And District Ex-Services Associations

Funding available in Plymouth for community groups working with veterans

Dear All,

Message from the Devon Community Foundation, below.

Heather Ogburn

Senior Leadership Adviser (RA & NTG)

Learning & Communities

Plymouth City Council

Windsor House



T +441752307445              E heather.ogburn@plymouth.gov.uk           www.plymouth.gov.uk

Hi Heather

I wanted to get in touch with you about funding we have available in Plymouth to support community groups and projects working with veterans and their families. I wondered whether the Plymouth Armed Forces Corporate Covenant Group would be interested in helping spread the word about the funding? It would be as simple as letting your networks and the charities you work with know that we have this funding available for Plymouth and are keen to get it to those in need.

Grants are available up to £5,0000 to help and support small, local voluntary and community groups in the Plymouth City area and demonstrate that they are addressing the local community needs by helping and supporting anyone over 16 who is or has served in the UK Armed Forces and their families. This could include:

·         mental health and counselling projects

·         family life projects

·         employment advice

·         integration into the civilian community

·         self-help and peer support groups and activities

·         other community led projects in line with these objects

To apply community groups would simply need to go to http://devoncf.com/apply/apply-for-a-grant/ to find out more and submit a Stage One application.  Once we have the stage one application the Grants Team can take a look to check the group is eligible and meets the fund criteria. If it does the Grants Team will get in touch and send the Stage Two application which just asks more a little more information.

If you have any questions then please do give me a ring on 01884 235887, I hope this is something you would be interested in as we’d love to make sure as many people as possible know about the available funding.

Kind regards


Laura Hewitt
Marketing Manager 

Our office hours are Monday – Thursday  9:00am – 5:00pm,
Tel: 01884 235887   Web: www.devoncf.com

The Factory, Leat Street, Tiverton, Devon, EX16 5LL