I was honoured to attend the General Debate on the Armed Forces Covenant on February 2nd. As both the former Defence Secretary, and someone with family ties to the Armed Forces, this is a topic that is of particular importance to me.
For those of you who don't know, the armed forces covenant sets out the relationship between the nation, the government and the armed forces. It recognises that the whole nation, has a moral obligation to members of the armed forces and their families, and it establishes how they should expect to be treated.
Back when I was a teacher, I remember clearly that it was not seen as entirely appropriate to allow military personnel to be allowed to come into schools to give educational talks on the work they do. I will continue too strive for greater appreciation of the service the Armed Forces provides for this country, and to promote education on events such as Poppy Day, as an important reminder of the freedoms that were won by them for this country.
I am delighted to announce that a local grant scheme for armed forces covenant, that is offering grants of up to £20,000 for ‘projects that support the armed forces community and meet MoD priorities.’ These projects will be aimed at assisting with the integration of Armed Forces/ family member communities across the UK, and deliver ‘valuable local services to the armed forces community.” (More information can be found here)
We all owe the Armed Forces a debt of gratitude. There are 2.6 million veterans in this country, and there is a need more than ever to protect these heroes, and to ensure that those who have served, are treated with fairness and respect, as well as their families.
Find a clip of me talking about this topic in Parliament here