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Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Changes to Applications for Entry to the UK process

Notice from SO1 Engagement Armed Forces Covenant Team:

I am delighted to notify you that on 19 Mar 2018, following extensive MOD, Service Family Federation and Service charity consultation with the Home Office, a new on-line service for Foreign & Commonwealth Armed Forces personnel and their family members seeking entry to the UK was launched by Visa4UK, replacing the previous application process and paper form. As a result of this change, applicants will no longer have to pay the health surcharge and then submit a request for reimbursement.

This has replaced the previous application process and paper form. All new applicants should now submit their applications via Visa4UK https://www.visa4uk.fco.gov.uk/Account/login using the following options on the drop down menu :

  • Reason for visit: Settlement
  • Visa type: HM Forces
  • Visa sub type: (choose the correct category)

The new process applies to those applying for entry to the UK under the following routes, set out in Appendix Armed Forces of the Immigration Rules:

  • A former member of HM Forces on discharge;
  • A fiancĂ© or proposed civil partner of a member of HM Forces;
  • The partner or child of a member of HM Forces applying under Appendix Armed Forces;
  • The partner or child of a foreign or Commonwealth member of HM Forces who is applying under Part 7 transitional arrangements;
  • The partner or child of a British citizen member of HM Forces who is applying under Part 8 transitional arrangements;
  •  The bereaved partner or child of a member of HM forces applying under Appendix Armed Forces;
  • A former Gurkha soldier who was discharged before 1997;
  • The widow of a former Gurkha soldier who was discharged before 1997;
  • The partner or child of a former Gurkha soldier discharged before 1997

Appendix Armed Forces can be found on Gov.UK at www.gov.uk/guidance/immigration-rules/immigration-rules-appendix-armed-forces

Guidance on all the above immigration routes can be found on Gov.UK at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/armed-forces-modernised-guidance

Ofsted: Cheshire West has the best secondary schools in the North West

Children who attend secondary schools in the Cheshire West and Chester Council area are receiving the best education in the North West, according to Ofsted.
Further information from Cheshire West HERE

Monday, 26 March 2018

Visa price increases from 6th April 2018:

See the breakdown of prices on the AFF website using this link: AFF

Full document available on the Government website:  Home Office immigration and nationality fees from 6 April 2018

AFF wins change to visa process for Army families

AFF has fought tirelessly for five years for an ‘Armed Forces’ option to be available to Foreign & Commonwealth (F&C) families when applying for a visa to enter the UK. They are now delighted to announce that this update has been made – a positive outcome for F&C families and great success for AFF.

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Housing Matters - Spring 2018 Edition

To view ... CLICK HERE

Cheshire Constabulary - Recruitment Vacancies

Part time cleaner at Chester Town Hall - apply by 27 Mar 18
Kennel Person at HQ - apply by 30 Mar 18
Personal Safety Trainer at Force HQ - apply by 30 Mar 18

To see these and other vacancies, please click HERE

Cheshire Police Fraud Warning - HMRC/ iTunes scam

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Cold callers claim to be from the HMRC and threaten arrest or legal action unless they are paid an amount of iTunes vouchers. They often put pressure on the victim by claiming to have their house under surveillance.

HMRC will never ask for payment in this way....See more

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Army Families Federation (AFF) Survey - The Impact of an Overseas Posting on Army Families

AFF survey explores the impact of an overseas posting on Army families

Has your Army family been posted overseas in the last three years? Have you returned to the UK after an overseas posting? The Army Families Federation (AFF) has released a new survey to help them to gain a better understanding of the impact of an overseas posting on Army families.

Share your experience
They want to hear about your family life overseas: what works well and where improvement is needed compared to Army life in the UK.

Their short survey asks families to consider whether they were able to make an informed choice about their posting before accepting it.

You'll have the opportunity to share your experiences of housing, education, healthcare, employment and welfare support for your posting, and all evidence gathered by the charity will inform their work with MOD and service providers to improve the overseas experience for families now and in the future.

Monday, 19 March 2018

Defence Discount Services - Alton Towers Resort - Save upto 49%

Save up to 49% off tickets at Alton Towers resort.
T&C apply
Click HERE for more details

Alton Towers park reopened on the 17th March 2018

TV Licence will Change on 1st April 2018

The cost of a TV Licence will change on 1 April 2018. A colour licence will cost £150.50, an increase of £3.50 on the current fee. A black and white licence will cost £50.50, an increase of £1.

There will be no change to the free TV Licence for people over 75.

If you are blind (severely sight impaired), you will still be able to apply for a 50% concession. This means a colour licence costs £75.25, an increase of £1.75.

For Further Information CLICK HERE

Friday, 16 March 2018

Cheshire Fire & Rescue Service - Recruitment Vacancies

To see the current vacancies including:

Crew Managers
On call Firefighters

please click HERE

An Introduction to Pensions for Serving Personnel

See the Army Transition Information Sheet on PENSIONS at this link

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Rethink Mental Illness - Chester Support Group - Monday Drop in Groups

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Chester PLUS, 1 The Mount, Boughton, Chester, CH3 5UD.

Further information can be found HERE

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Royal Humane Society

Do you know someone who has put his or her life at risk to save, or attempt to save, another person, or someone who has carried out a successful resuscitation?

Do you know someone who has saved a life by timely first aid, such as stopping arterial bleeding?

If so, you should be aware of The Royal Humane Society - a charity that grants awards for acts of bravery in the saving of human life and also for the restoration of life by resuscitation.

Awards may be granted to those who have put their own lives at risk to save or attempt to save someone else. The awards granted for these acts of bravery include bronze, silver and gold
medals and testimonials on vellum or parchment.

Anyone can make a nomination to them and they would like to hear from you (further details can be found at https://www.royalhumanesociety.org.uk/nominate/).

Safeguarding Children

As parents – or relatives, teachers and other adults responsible to children’s safety – we want our children and those we look after to be healthy and happy … and to develop well both physically and mentally. Above all, it’s also instinctive that we want kids to be safe.

Please CLICK HERE to visit the "get safe online" website

ABF - Photo Competition 2019

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Veterans' Gateway Newsletter

See the Veterans' Gateway Newsletter
at this link:

Monday, 12 March 2018

CarillionAmey has produced fact sheets to help customers living in service families accommodation.

The following factsheets are available on their website. Please use the link below to access them.

· Problems with your heating?

· Utility Bill Management – move in

· Utility Bill Management – move out

· Furniture Service

· Vital Safety Inspections

· Safety in the home

· Running a business in your Service home

· Pets in your Service home

· Protecting your family and Service home in winter

· Additional Needs Adaptations (move in)

· Additional Needs Adaptations (living in)

· Damp and Mould

Friday, 9 March 2018

G4S Recruitment - Employment Vacancies

G4S has current vacancies in the Chester area for:  Service Engineer, Security Officers, Area Relief Court Security Officer, Cleaning Operatives and other positions.

For further details, please click HERE

Port Sunlight River Park Tuesday Health Walk - Next Walk Tuesday 13th March 2018 10.30-11.30am

A short, friendly walk with a choice of two routes from 1-2 miles around this new park with exciting views of Wirral and the Liverpool Waterfront. The shorter route will be flat and accessible but the longer route will have inclines.
Please arrive 10 minutes early to complete a registration form before your first walk.
Further details can be found HERE

ABF The Soldiers' Charity - Frontline Magazine -

To read the current Frontline Magazine which looks
at how ABF have supported veterans of the Falklands conflict
and previous issues
please click HERE

The Little Book of Big Scams - 3rd Edition by Cheshire Constabulary

Click HERE to read 

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

The HIVE Information Service

An extensive range of information is available, focusing on relocation information, local area information, education, accommodation, employment and training opportunities, childcare and travel.
HIVE Information Support Officers (HISOs) research answers to enquiries and have excellent links with Service and civilian agencies.
The network of HIVEs across the UK and overseas provides a valuable point of contact for serving personnel and families during assignment relocations.
HIVE staff work closely with the unit welfare staff at times of deployment and provide a communication pack detailing how families can keep in touch during these times.
In addition to the information provision role, HISOs are able to confidentially refer should there be a need for personal help or support and will feedback to the chain of command concerns and issues affecting the Service community.
To find your nearest HIVE please click on this LINK

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

JSHAO - Civilian Housing Option

The Joint Service Housing Advice Office is the MOD’s tri-service focal point providing service personnel and their dependants with civilian housing information for those wishing to move to civilian accommodation at any time in their career, and for those during resettlement to assist with the transition to civilian life.  More details on GOV.UK can be found through this link - JSHAO

Moneypenny in Wrexham - Recruiting for PA's

Moneypenny handles calls on behalf of businesses, removing the unwelcome answering machine or unreliable mobile connection by providing that all-important human contact for customers. 

Moneypenny require staff with a confident telephone manner, excellent speaking voice, common sense (and lots of it!), confidence with computers, attention to detail, team player and a sense of humour always helps.

For further details or to apply, please click

Monday, 5 March 2018

Pharmacists are Trained in Managing Minor Illnesses

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Did you know that every pharmacist is trained in managing minor illnesses? If you are feeling under the weather, head down to your local pharmacy for health and wellbeing advice.

The nearest pharmacies are:
Well Upton by Chester at Upton Village Surgery and
Morrisons Pharmacy