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Supporting the Armed Forces

We are working together with military organisations to maximise the economic and social benefits of the Armed Forces' presence in the county.

Working together as the Dorset Military Civilian Integration Sponsor Group, the partnership provides a forum for local authorities and the military to:

  • respond to any military changes taking place in the county
  • measure and develop the economic contribution of the military to Dorset and the South West
  • embrace the skills offered by military personnel and their families
  • adapt services to meet the changing needs of the military and their families
  • spot opportunities for regeneration and attracting businesses to the area
  • contribute to building sustainable communities within Dorset
  • ensure Dorset remains an attractive location for long term investment by the Ministry of Defence (MOD)

Support for Armed Forces veterans and their families

As the transition back to civilian life can present real challenges for some people, we have listed the support available in Dorset for ex-service personnel (also known as veterans*), their families and carers. We have also listed organisations outside of Dorset that can offer support and guidance.

*Veterans are defined as anyone who has served for at least one day in HM Armed Forces (Regular or Reserve) or Merchant Navy Seafarers and Fishermen who have served in a vessel at a time when it was operated to facilitate military operations by HM Armed Forces.

Recent leavers

If you have recently left military service, you should have received a copy of the Service Leavers Guide from Veterans UK (opens in a new window)which contains helpful advice. You can also contact the free Veterans Helpline on 0808 1914218.

Serving members of the Armed Forces

If you are a serving member of the Armed Forces and you require further information about any of the issues listed, please contact your Unit Welfare Officer in the first instance.

Childcare support

Information and guidance to help children, young people and their families, including information about schools.

Education, learning and employment support

Financial and welfare support


Pensions support:

Healthcare support

On leaving the Armed Forces, you will need to register with your local NHS GP.  NHS Choices explains how to do this (opens in a new window).

Make sure that your GP has the information they need about your current health. You should have a summary record of your health history given to you on discharge, together with details about how your GP can obtain your medical records.

If you have a health problem that you think is related to your service in the Armed Forces, you may wish to raise this with your GP - they may be able to get you referred more quickly for any hospital care that is needed (but please note that this is subject to the clinical needs of others). 

NHS Healthcare (opens in a new window) provides information for military personnel and veterans, including getting treatment and contacts and rehabilitation.

Other health support:

Mental wellbeing

Being on active service can in some instances lead to mental health problems, including some that may occur some time after discharge. Services that can help:


Information about housing services provided in Dorset, including applying for a housing association home and housing benefit.

Dorset Armed Forces Community Covenant

The Dorset Military Civilian Integration Sponsor Group supports the principles of the Dorset Armed Forces Community Covenant.

The Dorset Armed Forces Community Covenant (pdf, 381kb) (opens in a new window) is based on the principles that all those who serve or have served with the Armed Forces and their families should face no disadvantage compared to other citizens in the provision of public and commercial services. In some cases, special consideration may be appropriate, especially for those who have given most, such as the injured and the bereaved.


The Dorset Military Civilian Integration Sponsor Group consists of the following organisations:

  • Dorset County Council
  • Christchurch Borough Council
  • East Dorset District Council
  • North Dorset District Council
  • Purbeck District Council
  • West Dorset District Council
  • Weymouth & Portland Borough Council
  • Bournemouth Borough Council
  • Borough of Poole
  • 1 Artillery Brigade (Tidworth)
  • Blandford Garrison
  • Bovington Garrison
  • Royal Marines of Poole
  • Defence Fuels West Moors
  • Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO)
  • Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP)
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