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Thursday, 20 December 2018

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Update - Poppy Pod Project - Membership For 2019 Opens In January

Membership for 2019 will open in January. 
Please check back on the website nearer the time for further information.

To find out more ... Click HERE

Defence Discount Services -20% Discount at Welcome Break

20% off at Welcome Break!

Thursday, 13 December 2018

Give Garden Birds a Helping Hand

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Top 10 tips for how to attract birds into your garden:
1. Feeding the birds is perhaps the quickest and easiest way to invite feathered friends into your garden or onto your balcony.
2. Checking your feeders or bird table are in the right place.
3. Like a restaurant or cafe proprietor, learn what your visitors like to eat.
4. If you're putting out food for your garden birds, it's crucial to keep feeders, baths and tables clean.
5. It's not all about food — water is important, even in cold weather.
6. Make your garden a desirable home for birds into the spring by thinking about what they need for the breeding season.
7. Bird-friendly plants can also offer lots of natural food.
8. Insect-friendly plants aren't just good for insects — they're good for birds, too.
9. Be a wildlife-friendly gardener and avoid using pesticides.
10.If you can offer lots of these things, you should be well on the way to attracting lots of birds and other wildlife.

Monday, 10 December 2018

amey - SFA Are you Winter Ready?

For further information visit:www.amey.co.uk/getting-prepared-for-winter/

Veterans To Be Able To Apply For ID Cards From 2019

Military veterans are to be given ID card to recognise that they have served.
The cards will initially be given to all personnel leaving the military, while veterans who have already made the transition to civilian life will be able to apply for a service leavers ID card from next year.
The initiative is designed to give veterans easier access to public and charitable support including healthcare and housing.
Veterans are also being asked to identify themselves with their GP as having served, so that they can receive appropriate support.

Thursday, 6 December 2018

Schools Information for Families being posted to Chester

Families with school age children, who are being posted to Chester should note this statement which is included in the schools admissions booklets from Cheshire West & Chester Schools Admissions Team:

Children of UK Service Personnel 

"Places will be allocated in advance of the family arriving in the area for children of UK service personnel, if accompanied by an official government letter which declares a relocation date and a Unit postal address or quartering area address for considering the application against Local Authority oversubscription criteria."

To read the schools admission booklets, please click HERE

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Forces Help to Buy Scheme - extended

Help to Buy
The Secretary of State for Defence has agreed that the Forces Help to Buy scheme will be extended for new applications until 31 December 2019.
Forces Help to Buy enables regular Armed Forces personnel to borrow up to 50% of their salary, interest free, to buy their first home or move to another property on assignment or as their family's needs change.
To date more than £242 million been provided to over 16,000 applicants. The extension of the pilot will allow Defence to explore how the policy fits within the wider housing strategy and understand any opportunities for private sector provision of the scheme.
The Secretary of State said:
"Everyone dreams of owning their own home and this hugely popular scheme has already helped thousands of Service personnel realise that dream. By extending the scheme by a further year I really hope we can help many more first-time buyers, families and married couples get a foot on the property ladder."
Help to Buy website: https://www.helptobuy.gov.uk/​ 

Flexible Working - A Guide For Service Personnel

Flexible Service becomes law on 1 April 2019, allowing regular personnel of the armed forces to ask to work part time and restrict their separation from home base. 

The British Army and the Royal Air Force can apply for a Flexible Service arrangement from 1 February 2019 and the Royal Navy can apply from 1 April 2019.

Flexible Service is not guaranteed for those who ask and operational capability will come first. While most benefits are unaffected, it is only right that pay, pension and, in the case of part time working, leave are reduced proportionately.

For more information, CLICK HERE

The Open University - Career Development for the Defence Community

If you are looking to develop yourself or planning to leave the Armed Forces and need additional skills to help with your resettlement, The Open University (OU) can help: 

The OU works closely with the MOD to support education and training while with the Armed or Civil Services.

The OU’s flexible learning allows service personnel to maximise their use of personal time. 

The OU is proud of its relationship with the Armed Forces, supporting students wherever they are in their studies and wherever they are in the world. 

This website has been created to provide advice, support and free resources to Armed Forces personnel, as well as information to help you find out more about what it’s like to study with the OU.
Click HERE for more information

Defence Discount Service

Join Now

Hundreds of online discounts set up for the Armed Forces Community!

Don't miss out register at:www.defencediscountservice.co.uk

Only £4.99 for 5 year membership!

Monday, 3 December 2018

Time To Apply For Your Child's School Place For September 2019

 If your child will be starting school for the first time (Reception) in September 2019, you will need to apply for their place by 15 January 2019.

The Sandbag Times - The Veterans' Magazine - December 2018

Welcome to The Sandbag Times

The Online Magazine written by Veterans for Veterans
The Sandbag Times brings you all the latest national and international Armed Forces and Veterans news. With insights each week into Veterans Charities, organisations, events and lots more.
To read the on-line version, click HERE

Friday, 30 November 2018

Support & Advice From The Armed Forces Covenant - Service Leavers & Veterans

For those leaving the Armed Forces, please

For those who have already left the Armed Forces, please

Support & Advice From The Armed Forces Covenant - Families

Families offer considerable support to those serving, or those who have served in the armed forces. There are specific initiatives under the Armed Forces Covenant to support family life in the armed forces and for veteran families.

To read more information on the website, CLICK HERE

Armed Forces Self-Assessment Tax Return - Have You Received An 'At Risk' Letter?

The guide has been provided to assist members of the armed forces who have received an ‘at risk’ letter because they may of exceeding their annual tax-free pension savings limit (Annual Allowance limit) of £40,000 for tax year 2017/18.

For further information CLICK HERE

Thursday, 29 November 2018

Cheshire West & Chester - Upton Library - Regular Activities

Upton Library, Wealstone Lane, Upton, Chester, CH2 1HB

Telephone: 01244 973700

Regular activities


  • Adult Board Games
  • 10am-12pm, fortnightly


  • Under 5s Rhymetime2.15pm - 2.45pm, term time only.
  • Code Club 
    4.45pm - 5.45pm, term time. The code club runs as a three or four week course and is aimed at 9-11 year olds. Booking is essential.
  • Happy hourBorrow two DVDs for the price of one every Tuesday and Friday 5.30pm - 6.30pm.


  • Megabloks morning 
    10am - 12pm, weekly drop in sessions. Fun activity for under 5s, which helps develop co-ordination and creativity.
  • Scrabble club10am - 12pm fortnightly
  • Lego Club3.30pm - 4.55pm, weekly. For 6+ years. Parental supervision required.


  • Knit and natter group11.30am - 12.30pm.


  • Under 5s Storytime2.15pm - 2.45pm term time only.
  • Happy hourBorrow two DVDs for the price of one every Tuesday and Friday 5.30pm - 6.30pm.
  • Children’s activities10am - 12pm alternate Saturdays board games club or craft session.

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

FREE Family English Course (With FREE Childcare) - Starting Thursday 10th January 2019

Can You Design Next Year's Christmas Card for Operation Christmas Box? Closing Date 31 March 2019

Operation Christmas Box (formerly uk4u Thanks!) is a registered charity which provides Christmas Boxes full of presents (affectionately known as the 'Square Stocking') to all Servicemen and Servicewomen deployed on operations over the Christmas period, asa gift from the nation. 

Every year in each Christmas Box, the Operation Christmas Box Trustees produce a unique Christmas card. We are asking you to help us design the 2019 Operation Christmas Box Christmas card.

Monday, 26 November 2018

Dorin Park School - List of Current Vacancies - Midday Assistant and School Cleaner

School Cleaner – Grade 2
Dorin Park School, 10 hours p.w.  (6.30 am – 8.30 am) with the possibility of evening hours also from 4.00 pm – 6.00 pm
52 weeks per year
Salary Range £4,058 – £4,155 pa

For further details,
please click HERE

New Web address for e1132 coming soon - Temp Address Will Be Unavailable 28 Nov to 3 Dec

The web address for the e-1132 online SFA application system is due to change from Monday 3rd December 2018. This means that the current e-1132 web address and system will be temporarily unavailable from the 28th November until the 3rd December.
From 17:00hrs on Wednesday 28th November and the ‘go-live’ on Monday 3rd December, you will not be able to access the e-1132 system to apply for SFA, view existing applications, make a preference or book any appointments during this time. Whilst this may cause inconvenience for a short time, it’s essential to ensure the new e-1132 site launches successfully.
  • Customer’s user account name and password for the e-1132 system will not change
  • The e-1132 and application process for customer is not changing
  • Applications made by customers will not be affected by the upgrade
  • Once the system is live, customers will be able to continue from the point they left it. All details will be transferred from the old to the new system
  • Click HERE for more information

Action Fraud - Surge in Sales-related Phishing Emails

Don’t be duped by dodgy deals this . Watch out for unexpected emails, texts or posts urging you to click on a link or attachment

Armed Forces Covenant Annual Report 2018

The Armed Forces Covenant Annual Report 2018  was published on 21 Nov.
​The report this year focuses on the tangible progress made in delivering the Covenant. In particular, it acknowledges the Nation's improved understanding of the needs of the Armed Forces community as well as recognising the values and skills the Armed Forces community can offer to society in return.

Are You Entitled To Free Prescriptions? Not Sure? Check Here

Find out if you are entitled to free NHS prescriptions and help with other NHS costs using the eligibility checker by clicking HERE  
If you claim free NHS prescriptions when you're not entitled, you could face a £100 penalty charge,even if it's by mistake.

NHS - Armed Forces & Veterans' Healthcare

Armed forces healthcare: how it works  

Find out about the partnership between the NHS & MOD
Find out about NHS hospital care for military service personnel
Find out who to contact about mental health services for in-service personnel
Find out who to contact about rehabilitation services for in-service personnel
Find out about the support available for families of serving military personnel
Find out about NHS care for military veterans
Find out about NHS mental health services for military veterans
Answers to frequently asked questions about veterans' health
Find out about NHS services for military veterans with a physical injury

Norovirus - The Winter Bug

For information on how to treat the Norovirus please click HERE

Thursday, 22 November 2018

Chester Junior Badminton Club - Tuesdays - Northgate Arena

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A brand new badminton club is up and running at the Northgate Arena in Chester all children welcome aged between 5 & 11 years and of any ability. Equipment will be provided, first session is FREE! 

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Is my Child too ill for School?

It can be tricky deciding whether or not to keep your child off school, nursery or playgroup when they're unwell.

But there are government guidelines for schools and nurseries that say when children should be kept off school and when they shouldn't. 

If you do keep your child at home, it's important to phone the school or nursery on the first day. Let them know that they won't be in and give them the reason.

If your child is well enough to go to school but has an infection that could be passed on, such as a cold sore or head lice, let their teacher know.

For guidance on a range of common conditions affecting children, CLICK HERE

Understanding Service Leavers over 50

This research project aims to investigate the employment challenges and barriers faced by servicemen and servicewomen of all ranks aged 50 or over at the point of discharge from the UK Armed Forces. It is being conducted by the Centre for Research into the Older Workforce (CROW) on behalf of the Officers' Association.
Individuals from within this demographic are invited to participate in a series of focus groups and an online survey.
​For more information go to: https://www.over50serviceleavers.org.uk/

If You Need Help or Advice About Bullying

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Monday, 19 November 2018

Veterans' Gateway - A Single Point of Contact for Veterans' Seeking Support

Call - 0808 802 1212 and speak to an advisor in the Contact Centre
Live Chat - Connect to an advisor on-line (avoiding call charges from overseas)
Text 81212 (send details to request a call back)
via the link below

Kids Direct - Winter 2018 Edition

Chester a great place to live, work, and raise a family. Kids Direct features products, services and businesses that cater to kids and family. 

Pop into the HIVE/Community Centre and pick up the latest copy.

Mini Kickers for Pre-Schoolers - Every Friday at Wizz Kidz, Saltney

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Every Friday at the Whizz Kids, Saltney, CH4 8SN.

Friday, 16 November 2018

LifeWorks Families - Free Online Courses

Please click images to enlarge

Did you know that RBLI's LifeWorks offer free online courses to help build your confidence and get you back into work without leaving the comfort of your sofa?

In just a few short clicks you can access their exciting video series which will take you through everything you need to know.

To register online or for more information, CLICK HERE

First ever UK-wide veterans strategy launched

The Strategy for our Veterans
The first ever UK-wide strategy on the delivery of support for veterans was published on 14 Nov 18
See HERE for details

Highways England - Employment Vacancies

Search our current vacancies for the role that's right for you - locations include Manchester, Birmingham, Preston and London.

Click HERE to see vacancies

Thursday, 15 November 2018

Amey: SFA Occupants - Reporting Faults Notice

All SFA occupants are reminded of the need to report faults swiftly so that the issues do not multiply or get worse causing further issue in the long run.

Please report faults promptly so that they can be remedied and do not allow such tasks as blocked gutters or broken fences to go unreported as it will lead to long term damage
Call 0800 707 6000 to raise an issue or fault. (option 1)
This includes street lighting.

Customers can also report issues online. Click Here to complete and submit repair form. 
This repair request is only to be used for new, non-urgent functional repairs, for all urgent repairs the Amey Defence Services Helpdesk should be contacted on number above

For information on preparing your property for Winter - boilers, radiators, pipes, damp & mould, gutters or going away click here Winter

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

AFF - Army and You Magazine - Winter 2018

Army&You winter edition
In this winter’s Army&You our feature highlights the financial challenges Army families can face and directs you to avenues of support should your finances spiral out of control.

Elsewhere in this money-themed edition, we look at options for your soldier’s pension, insurance, Disturbance Expense and how to claim benefits if a member of your Army family has additional needs and/or disability. The Minimum Income Requirement for Foreign and Commonwealth families also comes into focus.

You’ll also find career inspiration from entrepreneurial spouses who are running their own businesses, and we meet a group of Forces widows who have taken the first steps to starting up.

We turn the spotlight on Catterick and discover that there’s more to the garrison than meets the eye, while from overseas we hear about a posting to Oman.
Copies available in the HIVE
or read the on-line version HERE

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Future Delivery of Infrastructure Services - Newsletter - November 2018

Cheshire Police Alert - Malicious Hyperlinks

These personalised emails claim to be a spam warning from your own email provider. In reality the malicious hyperlinks could infect your device with malware!

Monday, 12 November 2018

Combat Stress

Combat Stress is the  UK’s leading charity for veterans’ mental health.

For almost a century, we’ve helped former servicemen and women deal with issues like trauma, anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Today, we provide support to veterans from every service and every conflict. On the phone and online. In the community and at our treatment centres.

We’re on a mission to raise awareness that invisible injuries can be just as hard to cope with as physical ones. So when a veteran is having a tough time, we’re there to help tackle the past and to help them take on the future.

For further information, to ask for help or to volunteer your services, CLICK HERE

Subscribe to the Combat Stress Magazine HERE