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Veteran's Support Directory

A useful directory for veterans making the transition back to civilian life.


  • About the Veterans' Gateway
  • How does Veterans' Gateway Work?
  • Organisations in the Veterans Support Directory

While many Veterans manage the transition back to civilian life seamlessly, some can find it very challenging. Many veterans return home with physical injuries, or carrying mental scars following what they experienced while serving abroad.

Some people have become used to living a military life with lots of routine, and to having lots of other people around them, and find it hard to adjust to a more uncertain, unpredictable lifestyle, or to spending more time alone.

And veterans also face the challenge of having to find a 'normal' job and of being able to pay for life's essentials.


Veterans' Gateway

Veterans’ Gateway is the first point of contact for veterans or their families who need support. Veterans Gateway put veterans and their families in touch with the organisations best placed to help with the information, advice and support they need. From healthcare and housing, to employability, finances, personal relationships and more.

Veterans’ Gateway is made up of a consortium of Armed Forces charities including The Royal British Legion, SSAFA – the Armed Forces charity, Poppyscotland and Combat Stress. A group of referral partners also back the service, allowing Veterans’ Gateway to refer people to specialist organisations both within and outside of the Armed Forces sector.

How does Veterans' Gateway Work?

The team of advisors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and many are veterans themselves.   They can be contacted by calling the freephone number, by text or email.   Veterans’ Gateway also has an extensive Self Help service, allowing veterans to search for help and advice independently. 

Go to their website

Freephone Contact Centre Telephone Number: 0808 802 1212



The Uk Armed Forces Veterans ID Card


The Ministry of Defence will be launching a new Veterans ID card which will enable public and charitable sector services to instantly recognise the service of a Veteran. This card will provide proof that a Veterans has served in HM Armed Forces in line with the Government definition of a Veteran, which is one day’s service.

Currently, there is no way for existing Veterans to easily prove the fact that they have served, and the administrative burden on providers when verifying that a person is a Veteran can be considerable, both in time and cost. This card will allow you to confidentially verify that someone has served in the Armed Forces.

However, this card will not be held by all Veterans as it is being rolled out in tranches and some genuine Veterans in need may not have the capacity to apply for one.

Therefore, please do not take the absence of a Veterans ID card as proof that a person is not a Veteran. Instead continue to use your existing processes to verify their Veteran status.

If you are asked questions about the ID card, please refer Veterans to the Veterans UK helpline number and they will be able to provide the relevant information, details below.

Telephone: 0808 1914 218




Organisations in the Veteran's Support Directory


ABF The Soldiers Charity

ABF The Soldiers Charity aims to help army and former army personnel and their families in need.

Go to their website


Abberton Rural Training

Supporting the Wounded and Injured Service Personnel through the Colchester Personnel Recovery Centre. Providing 1 day introductory Woodland and Land Courses, and 5 day intensive Land Based Studies Programme.

Go to their website

Tel: 01787 228269



Age Concern, Colchester

We are Age Concern Colchester (formerly Age UK Colchester) and we are here to help the older generation of Colchester Borough live their lives better.  Need help, advice, companionship?

Go to their website


Alabare: Homes for Veterans

Charity provide temporary accommodation to British Armed Forces Veterans who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. 24 homes across England and Wales, providing 110 bedspaces.  

Go to their website
Phone:  01722 322 882


Armed Forces and Veterans Breakfast Clubs

Breakfast clubs exist to facilitate veterans, and often serving Armed Forces personnel, meeting face to face in a relaxed, safe, social environment.  They operate across the country including in Colchester, Braintree and Tendring. 

Go to their website


Army Families Federation

The Army Families Federation (AFF) is the independent voice of Army families and works hard to improve the quality of life for Army families around the world - on any aspect that is affected by the Army lifestyle. 

Go to their website


Army Welfare Service

Army Welfare Service helps serving married and single personnel and families with any personal or family difficulties that arise, by providing a confidential, comprehensive welfare service.  

Go to their website 


BLESMA (The Limbless Veterans)

Dedicated to assisting serving and ex-Service men and women who have suffered life-changing limb loss or the use of a limb, an eye or loss of sight in the honourable service of our country.

Go to their website
Phone:  0207 060 1677 


Blind Veterans UK

Blind Veterans UK helps vision impaired Armed Forces and National Service veterans to relearn vital life skills and provides them with the tools they need to be independent in their own homes. They offer new learning, training and recreation opportunities and provide long-term nursing, residential and respite care.

Go to their website
Phone: 0800 389 7979


Career Transition Partnership

The CTP provides resettlement services for those leaving the Royal Navy, Army, Royal Air Force and Marines. Regardless of time served, all members of the Armed Forces can benefit from CTP support when leaving Service.

Go to their website


Chavasse VC House Recovery Centre

Recovery Centre that aims to inspire those who have been wounded, injured or become sick whilst serving our country, to enable them to lead active, independent and fulfilling lives. There are 27 single en-suite bedrooms and two family suites. The centre promotes general wellbeing, and residents are encouraged to undertake their own recovery programme under the guidance of specialist staff. It may involve educational courses, work placements, medical appointments or sporting activities.

Read more

Phone: 01206 814880 or 01206 815838


Chelsea Pensioners

Chelsea Pensions supports ex-service personnel over 65.

Go to their website


Citizens Advice

Citizens Advice provide guidance and advice on a whole range of issues.

Go to their website


Colchester Institute - Building Heroes

Vocational college have launched Building Heroes which provides skills training to Military Veterans and support into employment in the building trades.

Go to their website


Colchester Mind

Colchester Mind support for those who are stressed, depressed or in crisis.

Go to their website


Combat Stress

Combat Stress is a Veterans mental health charity in the UK providing treatment for ex-Service personnel suffering with mental ill-health including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), anxiety and depression.

Go to their website

Phone: 24 HOUR HELPLINE: 0800 138 1619


Defence Discount Service

Defence Discount Service allows members of the armed forces, their families and veterans to make savings both online and on the high street.

Go to their website


Eastern VAPC (Veterans Advisory and Pensions Committee)

Formerly known as the War Pensions Committees - advise and liaise with veterans, their families and relevant organisations on their needs, issues and concerns. VAPC act as advocates and provide governance to the veterans’ community, and champion the rights of veterans and their families where there is injustice, inequality or a lack of fairness.

Go to their website


Enhanced Learning Credits Scheme

The Enhanced Learning Credits Scheme promotes lifelong learning amongst members of the Armed Forces.

Go to their website



Free and 100% confidential helpline that provides a supportive, listening and signposting service for serving personnel, former members of the Armed Forces and their families.

Contact:  0800 731 4880 (Monday – Friday 09.00 – 17.30) or by email


Forces Families Jobs (FFJ)

Forces Families Jobs is the go-to place for training and employment for family members of currently serving UK military personnel.  

Apply for jobs and access employment and training opportunities with companies and organisations who are forces family friendly. You can use this website with confidence in knowing that employers have signed the Armed Forces Covenant or are able to demonstrate their commitment to the Armed Forces. 

This is your gateway to accessing information about acquiring new skills, upgrading your existing skills or applying directly to employers who are understanding of the unique challenges that come with being a family member of a serving person. 

Go to their website


HAIG Homes

HAIG Homes are a housing provider for ex-Service personnel in the UK, owns over 1500 properties across 50 locations. Endeavour to help any veterans in housing need, whether they are transitioning into civilian life or are simply in need of a helping hand.

Go to their website

Phone: 0208 685 5777


Help for Heroes

Help for Heroes is a national network of support for those with injuries and illnesses sustained while serving in the British Armed Forces. No matter when someone served, they give them the support they need to lead active, independent and fulfilling lives. See also Band of Sisters / Band of Brothers

Go to their website


Help for Heroes – Hidden Wounds

Open to Veterans and their families, and the families of those who are serving. Psychological wellbeing service.

Go to their website


Head Start: Walking with the Wounded

They offer ex service personnel access to quality and effective treatments for mild to moderate mental health conditions. Referrals can be made through your GP.

Phone: 01263 863906

Our working hours are Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

Go to their website


Hire A Hero

Supports Service Leavers and Veterans to make the successful transition into civilian life, by working with them to help make the right choices through the transition period.

Find out more here


Jobcentre Plus Armed Forces Services

Support for current and former members of the armed forces and their families to access Jobcentre Plus services.

For Essex, the Jobcentre Plus Armed Forces Champion can be contacted via their email:



Launchpad are a charity providing affordable supported rental accommodation with onsite support to veterans of all ages and their partners. Accommodation in Newcastle and Liverpoool, provides a base from which residents can successful make the transition to civilian life. Accepts veterans with complex issues which can be resolved over a max of 2 years.

Go to their website
Phone: 0300 1111 238


Learning & Skills Solutions

Learning & Skills Solutions - provides fully funded training in English, Maths and ICT to service leavers and/or their families before or after leaving the forces.  

Go to their Website

Tel: 01206 769099 


Leavers Link - Colchester

Voluntary, free to all networking events between Service Leaver and Veteran community, and local Employers. Events held:  3rd Tuesday of the month, 6.30 pm, the Colchester Officers’ Club, Colchester, CO2 7EZ.

Contact: John Vickers      
Phone: 07974 245161

Naval Families Federation

Speaking up for Naval Service families.

Go to their website
Phone: 023 9265 4374 


NHS Veterans Mental Health Transition, Intervention and Liaison Service (TIL)

Armed forces personnel approaching discharge can now get treatment and support, and thereafter into their civilian life, whether it is months or years later.

East of England Hub through Essex Partnership University Trust

Go to their website
Phone: 0300 323 0137


Officers' Association

The Officers' Association offers regular and one-off financial help and advice to all ex-officers and their dependents in distress at home.

Go to their website



Outside the Wire

Offer innovative, comprehensive support - sensitive to the complexities of military life and the often understandable resistance to admitting the extent of any personal issues, especially those relating to: PTSD and other mental health; alcohol and drug use; domestic violence and family related issues.

Go to their website
Phone: 01603 626123


Parachute Regimental Association

The Parachute Regimental Association were formed to organise activities so members continue their associations formed during their service with the Regiment and Airborne Forces. The PRA is able to provide welfare support and advice to those in need or distress.

Go to their website


Phoenix Heroes

Phoenix Heroes supports veterans and their families dealing with PTSD. Working alongside local organisations and professionals they act as a support platform to place veterans and families on a range of outdoor group activity projects. Also help homeless veterans and offer training courses and employment opportunities across many industry sectors.

Phone: 01206932488

Go to their website


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, with the aim to divert them away from offending or reoffending.

Go to their website


QUEST (Courses4Forces)

Guide to support to find out about funding, help with job hunting, or general support with everyday challenges of settling back into civilian life. From education options whilst serving, to resettlement and beyond.

Go to their website


RAF Families Federation

Provides all RAF personnel and their families with timely and professional support, assistance and an independent voice regarding issues or concerns they may have. 

Go to their website 
Phone: 01780 781650


RAF Association

Provide confidential, professional and fair services to members of the wider RAF family from the youngest recruit to the oldest veteran and their families. 

Go to their website
Phone: 0800 0182 361


Recruit for Spouses

Recruit for Spouses offer help for military spouses to get into work or start their own business.

Go to their website



Relate offers relationship support.

Go to their website


RFEA - The Forces Employment Agency

The Regular Forces Employment Agency helps men and women leaving the armed forces to find employment throughout their working lives.

Go to their website


Ripple Pond

A self-help support network for adult family members of physically or emotionally injured Service Personnel and Veterans.

Go to their website


Royal British Legion

Royal British Legion supports the Armed Forces Community and those affected by disability, health conditions or social welfare needs. Help includes the provision of welfare, healthcare, housing, employment and development opportunities.

Go to their website

Phone: 0808 802 8080


Royal British Legion Industries (RBLI)

RBLI is a national charity supporting the Armed Forces, people with disabilities and people who are unemployed. We improve lives every day by inspiring those we help and supporting them to find work and lead independent lives.

Go to their website


Royal British Legions Veterans Hearing Fund (VHF)

Veterans Hearing Support assist ex-service men and women who have hearing loss or associated difficulties such as tinnitus to access the Royal British Legions Veterans Hearing Fund. The application process is free and is not means tested.  

Our service to veterans is free of charge and we have a network of highly trained audiologists right across the UK who will complete a full hearing assessment on eligible veterans to make sure they receive the correct hearing technology and assistive listening devices, or therapies required.

Go to their website

Phone: 0800 861 1102


Royal Navy & Royal Marines Charity

Support to sailors, marines and their families, for life.

Go to their website
Phone: 0239 387 1520


SEAP Military Advocacy Services

SEAPS Military Advocacy Services supports veterans, reservists and their families, who find themselves facing a range of health, housing, financial, family and social problems. 

Go to their website


The Services Insurance & Investment Advisory Panel (Siiap)

Provide specialist insurance and financial advice for members of Armed Forces. 

Go to their website


Soldier On!

Soldier On! is a national independent education charity which teaches members of the British armed forces who have been made redundant on medical grounds to plan and manage their careers.

Go to their website


Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen & Families Association (SSAFA)

SSAFA is the UK's oldest armed forces charity. They provide practical help and assistance to anyone who is currently serving or has ever served - even if it was only for a single day.

Go to their website
Phone: 0800 731 4880


SPACES - Single Persons Accommodation Centre for the Ex Services

SPACES, is a housing advice and placement service for veterans. SPACES targets the most vulnerable of Service leavers, regardless of rank, length of service, or reason for discharge.

Go to their website
Phone: 01748 833797/872940/830191



STOLL provides rehabilitative support to vulnerable and disabled ex-service men and women. The support offered includes provision of accommodation, employment training, benefits advice, a drop-in centre, and other social activities and groups.

Go to their website
Phone: 0207 385 2110


Support Our Paras

SUPPORT OUR PARAS is a charity which supports The Parachute Regiment and Airborne Forces through the welfare of veterans, serving soldiers and their families, and through the maintenance of its regimental efficiency, ethos, spirit and heritage. They provide welfare assistance to veterans, serving soldiers and families to complement or fill the gaps in State provision, as well as supporting vital aspects of the Regiment’s daily life and history

Go to their website



The purpose of Togetherall is to help foster positive mental health and offer a safe, stigma free environment where people can work through what they are experiencing, using a combination of community and clinical support. Most of the time, therefore, members will not be in crisis, but they understand that sometimes unexpected events do happen. They are not able to manage emergencies face-to-face or provide ongoing crisis support, but if you, or someone you know, needs urgent help related to their mental health, you can use the crisis resources.

Go to their website


The Not Forgotten Association

The Not Forgotten Association aims to provide leisure and recreation for serving and ex-service personnel who are wounded or have sustained permanent injuries.

Go to their website


Tom Harrison House

Specialist facility providing an addiction recovery programme exclusively to military veterans, reservists, serving personnel and their families. 12 week programme – supported accommodation for the programme duration in a dedicated recovery house.

Go to their website
Phone: 0151 909 8481


Transport for London

Veterans can get a free London Transport Oyster card.

Go to their website


Veterans Aid

In general terms all the charity’s activities revolve around helping ex-servicemen and women in crisis. Specifically it deals with all the factors that contribute to crisis – significantly those leading to homelessness.

Go to their website
Freephone: 0800 012 6867


Veterans Gateway

24 hour, 7 days a week helpline for veterans and their families

Go to their website
Freephone 0808 802 1212


Veterans Railcard

Get a 1/3 off most rail fares. You’ll be eligible for a Veterans Railcard providing you have served for at least one day or more in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces (Regular or Reserve). Merchant Mariners who have seen duty on legally defined military operations are also eligible.

Go to their website


Veterans Support Group

Arranged by ABF The Soldiers’ Charity - Held in the Pegasus Club, Colchester, every third Wednesday of the month, between 10.00 am -12.30 pm.

Go to their website


Veterans UK

Veterans UK administers the armed forces pension schemes and compensation payments for those injured or bereaved through service. They also provide welfare support for veterans, and their families, through the Veterans Welfare Service and the Veterans UK helpline.

Go to their website

Phone: 0808 1914 218


Walking with the Wounded

Walking with the Wounded supports a pathway for vulnerable veterans to re-integrate back into society and sustain their independence. At the heart of this journey is employment.

Go to their website


X Forces

Supports business start-up, learning, funding mentoring and ongoing support for military community.

Go to their website


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