Support for our armed forces

We've pledged to ensure that our armed forces community will not be disadvantaged in accessing our services as a result of serving in the military. 

We have signed up to the Armed Forces Community Covenant, making a commitment to supporting the armed forces community in Barnsley.

The armed forces community includes people who serve, or have served, in the armed forces, as well as reservists. It also includes people who care for, depend on, or are close family members of these groups of people.

Some of the local services that can help are listed below. There are also a range of national organisations that can help. For their details and more information, see Help for armed forces families

Armed Forces Community Covenant

The covenant involves working with local businesses, charities and individuals to:

  • encourage mutual support between the armed forces community and local communities
  • promote public understanding and awareness of issues affecting the armed forces community
  • recognise and remember the sacrifices made by the armed forces community
  • encourage activities which help integrate the armed forces community into local life

We do this by trying to proactively identify and work with serving armed forces personnel, veterans and their families. You can find links to help and support in Barnsley below. There's also a full list of national organisations who support the armed forces community in this government guidance.

We also have a Community Covenant Forum, which involves different organisations in Barnsley. We meet four times a year to raise, and try to resolve, issues affecting the armed forces community. We also work together to develop good practice in implementing the covenant.

Elected member Councillor Joe Hayward is the council’s Armed Forces Champion. In this role, he raises awareness about the covenant, and promotes the interests of the armed forces community across Barnsley.

Barnsley, together with the other South Yorkshire councils, participated in a survey supported by the MoDs Community Covenant Fund to map the armed forces community across the sub-region. The results of the survey are published in the Covenant Project report. An action planning session during November 2018 will look at how Barnsley can develop its offer in response to the report. More information on the way forward will be published following the conclusion of this work.

Barnsley Ex-Service Personnel Fund

This fund aims to help people who have served in our Armed Forces and who are now in need of assistance, whether through disability, sickness, old age or poverty. Small grants of around £300 are available, which are individually assessed by the Trustees.

You can get more information on the fund and help to complete the application form from the fund caseworker, Dan Beever on 0793 800 9495. He may ask for estimates or invoices when the application is for a specific purpose, and you might need to provide information including bank statements to support your application.

You can download the application form to apply and return it with any supporting information to:

Council Governance Unit, Barnsley Council, PO Box 364, Barnsley, S70 9GG or email it to us

Community Covenant Grant Scheme

The Community Covenant Grant Scheme funds projects that address specific priorities as part of the Armed Forces Community Covenant. 

Applications for grants can be made by statutory bodies, charities, community interest companies or armed forces units with a Unit Identification Number. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) assesses applications to look for evidence of real engagement and partnership working.

Organisations can bid for small grants of up to £20,000, or large grants of up to £500,000. Check the MoD website for further information on the criteria, timetables and processes for the fund.

Live Well directory 

Our Live Well directory provides information about health, wellbeing, care and support services. You can search using the keyword 'armed forces' to find local services and national organisations that work to support the armed forces community.


If you're homeless or threatened with homelessness, or are preparing for service discharge, you may be given extra housing priority to access social housing. If you want to apply for council housing you can visit Berneslai Homes

Royal British Legion Advice Sessions in Barnsley 

The Royal British Legion runs a weekly drop-in advice session for ex-forces personnel in Barnsley Central Library (Market Street entrance) from 10am to 2pm every Wednesday. 

There’s no need to book an appointment, but you can contact Martin Charlesworth, the Legion’s Advice and Information Officer for South Yorkshire on 07458 002166 or email