Cost of living support

Colchester Borough Council is providing support for residents facing the cost of living crisis.

Covenant for Business

How businesses can demonstrate their support for the Armed Forces


  • What is the Covenant for Business?
  • What does it include?
  • Who can sign one?
  • How can we offer a discount to members of the Armed Forces community?

There are many ways businesses, charitable and public sector organisations can support the Armed Forces Community, including:

  • Signing the Covenant for Business
  • Promote offers/discounts to Armed Forces Community – Defence Discount Service
  • Be a Forces Friendly Employer

Covenant for Business

Signing the Covenant for Business means that you are supporting your employees as Reservists and Veterans. 

Employers can choose specific promises or pledges to support their employees within the Armed Forces community.

The Covenant should be signed by someone in authority who will make sure that these promises are implemented, this could be the CEO or HR Director. It could also be co-signed by a member of the Armed Forces.

For example, you can pledge to:

  • promote the fact you are an armed forces-friendly organisation
  • support the employment of veterans and service leavers
  • offer flexibility in leave for service spouses/partners before, during and after deployment
  • support reservist employees, allowing leave for training and deployment
  • offer discount to members of the armed forces community

Find out more

Contact the Reserve Forces and Cadets Association for more information.

Kristina Carrington, Regional Employer Engagement Director, Reserve Forces and Cadets Association


The Defence Discount Service

The Defence Discount Service is the only official discount service for the Armed Forces. If you currently offer discounts for members of the Armed Forces community, or would like to, you can promote this for free on their website.

Colchester Borough Council have registered with the Defence Discount Service: a range of discounts/concessions are available at venues including Leisure World, Colchester Castle and Colchester Events Company.

To sign up to the Defence Discount Service, please ‘Add Your Business’ on the Defence Discount Service website or by emailing

If you are a member of the Armed Forces community you are eligible for a Defence Privilege Card, at a cost of less than £1.00 a year.

Visit the Defence Discount Service website to find out how you can start saving now on high street and online purchases. 

Defence Discount Service

Forces Friendly Employer

Reservists and veterans bring a variety of transferable skills and qualities to the civilian workplace, developed throughout their military careers. Being flexible to the unique situations of the wider Armed Forces community ensures fair treatment to all who are involved, including the spouses and partners, and cadet force adult volunteers.

Organisations can work with Career Transition Partnership’s (CTP)  recruitment service to find quality applicants for apprenticeships, full time and vocational work opportunities. CTP provide a personalised service to employers, regardless of size throughout the UK and overseas to understand your skills gaps and employment requirements.

The Officers Association is able to work with employers to assist in finding ideal candidates. At no-cost to employers you can promote job opportunities on their Executive Jobs Board. To find out more about the support with recruitment available, visit the Officers Association.

Officers Association

The Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS)  acknowledges employers who have provided exceptional support to the Armed Forces community and Defence by going above and beyond their covenant pledges. Through a 3 tier approach of bronze, silver and gold awards, the scheme recognises the different levels of commitment provided by employers. This allows the Ministry of Defence to publicly thank and honour those organisation for their support. Colchester Borough Council currently holds the Gold Award.

Further help and advice for employers is available from Defence Relationship Management (DRM).

How Colchester Borough Council are supporting ‘Work Placement’ Opportunities for the Armed Forces Community?

Through projects including Project Nova and CTP Assist, Colchester Borough Council are pleased to be able to offer work placement opportunities in some roles/Departments.

Project Nova

Project Nova engages with ex-military veterans who have become involved with or are on the periphery of entering the Criminal Justice System. Work placement opportunities are part of a programme to divert them away from offending or reoffending.

Project Nova

CTP Resettlement Services

With effect from 1 August 2020, Tri-Service Resettlement Policy has been changed by the Ministry of Defence (MOD), to allow all Service leavers regardless of reason for discharge to have access to the full resettlement entitlements they are eligible to receive.

Service leavers who have served either 4-6 years or 6+ years by their date of discharge, will have access to their respective resettlement entitlement. This policy change will provide these Service leavers with an opportunity to undertake resettlement training to re-skill for a new career.

JSP 534: The Tri-Service Resettlement and Employment Support Manual will be amended to allow those that are compulsory discharged to have access to full resettlement entitlements in line with time served with effect from 1st August 2020.

Starting your Resettlement - Ex-Service Personnel Resettlement

Walking with the Wounded/Help for Heroes/ Phoenix Heroes

We are working with Walking with the Wounded to offer work placement opportunities to support veterans with mental health difficulties back into employment, and Help for Heroes who support those affected by their military service.​​ Phoenix Heroes work with veterans suffering from PTSD, including support back into employment.

Military Corrective Training Centre (MCTC)

We are working with MCTC to support detainees approaching the end of their sentence, to prepare for return to civilian life, by provision of job shadowing opportunities.

If your organisation is interested in supporting these projects, contact them direct for further information.

Military Corrective Training Centre

How businesses are helping to deliver the Armed Forces Covenant

You can find a useful summary of the businesses helping the Armed Forces community with mortgages, motor insurance, broadband, media packages and mobile phone contracts. 

Businesses Helping deliver the Armed Forces Covenant

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