Armed Forces Community Covenant

The Community Covenant commits local civilian and military communities to working together more closely to support current and former armed forces personnel and their families.

The covenant recognises the challenges that armed forces personnel may face in identifying and accessing public services and aims to ensure that all parties will be better placed to understand and meet those challenges. This is particularly important when servicemen and women are making the transition from military to civilian life.

Guildford proudly signed its Armed Forces Community Covenant in April 2013.

The aims of the covenant are to:

  • encourage local communities to support the armed forces community in their area

  • nurture understanding and awareness, among the public, of issues affecting the armed forces community

  • recognise and remember the sacrifices made by the armed forces community

  • encourage activities that help to integrate the armed forces community into local life

  • encourage the armed forces community to help and support the wider community, whether through participation in events and joint projects or other forms of engagement

View the icon Guildford Armed Forces Community Covenant. [1.31MB]

For more information, visit the national website for Armed Forces Covenant.

Forces Families Jobs training and employment help

Forces Families Jobs is a website giving information on employment and training opportunities for spouses, partners and family members of serving and reserve UK military personnel.   

If you are an employer, this site gives you the chance to promote your organisation and showcase your commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant. You can advertise your jobs free of charge and access a large, highly-skilled candidate database of Armed Forces family members looking for work or training.

For more information, visit:

Forces Families Jobs involves a three way partnership of the Naval Families Federation (NFF), Army Families Federation (AFF) and Royal Air Force Families Federation (RAF-FF).

Grant funding

For information about deadlines, and to read the guidance and criteria on the Community Covenant Grant Scheme, visit Gov.UK Applying to the Covenant Fund.

For preliminary advice, contact

Applications can only be submitted online via Gov.UK's How to apply for a Covenant Fund Grant. 


Successful community grants

Take a look at our short video showing some of the projects that benefited from a community covenant grant in 2017-18.

Brookwood and Pirbright Children's Centre

The covenant grant has made a huge difference to the services and support offered by the Children's Centre. It has:

  • enabled the Children's Centre to work in partnership with Homestart Guildford and offer a parenting course for parents attending weekly.

  • helped the centre run two further four-week parenting courses.

  • allowed the centre to increase direct support for positive parenting within the home by up to 50% for 2017-2018.

  • ensured staff had additional hours to meet the needs of the centre's users.

  • funded a face-painting course enabling parents to gain skills and opportunities for them to establish their own business.

  • helped the centre set up a well-attended Outreach group used by families needing additional support

  • given families new opportunities, such as the chance to enjoy swimming outings, self-esteem workshops, holistic relaxing support, emotional well-being, First Aid and much more.

  • meant the centre ran two fully booked Parent Infant Mental Health baby massage courses on the barracks for service wives, helping support new mums.

Freedom to play

The grant for the Freedom to Play project helped set up an accessible programme of child-led play opportunities, helping service and civilian children of all ages to come together in the borough. The project consisted of: weekly outdoor play sessions, funded places on our holiday playscheme, and two community events.

  • Weekly outdoor play sessions

Our Playranger team delivered 30 free play sessions at the Beech Grove playground, ATC Pirbright. Aimed at children aged 5 to 12 years old, the sessions ran on Saturday mornings from 10.30am to 12.30pm in term time. The 'free play' sessions allowed the children to help themselves to, and create whatever play they wanted to, from the materials and play resources available. The Playrangers also planned and set up one or two semi-structured activities each session to broaden the children's experiences, learning, creativity, confidence and skills. 

The children got stuck into mud painting, created air rockets, air-dry clay sculptures, cooked on the fire bowl, made water cascades, built tree swings, and enjoyed den building and wood whittling. There was an equal split each week of service and civilian children, and the sessions attracted loyal attendance from a regular group.

  • Holiday playscheme

As part of Freedom to Play, we offered 48 places for young people from service families at the Fun in the School Holidays (FISH) holiday playscheme. The playscheme is for 10 to 16 year olds. A minibus collected the young people daily from ATC Pirbright and delivered them to the playscheme in Guildford, so lack of transport to the scheme was not a barrier for attendance.

FISH gives young people the freedom to play and participate in sports and arts opportunities, and a chance to relax and socialise, away from the pressures of home or school life. 

On offer at FISH were activities such as circus skills, archery, acrobatics, hip hop dancing, stop frame animation, giant inflatables, trampolining, baseball and even FISH's own version of Quidditch. The youngsters also had the choice of spending time with new friends over a game of pool or air hockey.  There were also opportunities to experience specialist activities on days out paintballing, go-karting, indoor sky diving, theme parks, horse riding or kayaking. The young people loved their time at FISH and we have had many requests from them to return to future schemes.

  • Community events

Two community events held at ATC Pirbright gave the Play Development team the chance to promote local opportunities for accessing play. One event in August 2017 celebrated National Play Day and the other in March 2018 celebrated Love Outdoor Play Week. Families joined in with toasting marshmallows, having a go on an inflatable assault course, bouncing on bungee trampolines, trying slacklining and having their faces painted and enjoying a well-deserved BBQ. Plus, there was an opportunity to climb aboard a military-police 4x4 to set off the 'blues and twos'. 

Each event was well attended by both service and civilian community members. Visitors included the then Mayor of Guildford Cllr Nigel Manning, Deputy Mayor of Guildford Cllr Mike Parsons, Lead member for Project Aspire, Health, Safeguarding and Sport Cllr Iseult Roche, the Council's Leisure Services Manager Jonathan Sewell, Chairman of the Play Association of South East England Ashley Rogers, Cannon Peter Bruinvels, Padre Trott and Woking Borough Council's Senior Policy Officer for community engagement Zafar Iqbal.

Peter Pan play area

A grant was given for an outdoor play area that was built during summer 2018.

Pirbright Village School - new building

Pirbright Village School was awarded a grant for a new classroom to support the work of the Promoting Emotional Development And Life Skills Team (PEDALS). The room will also be used by the home-school link worker who supports children and families through intervention groups and one-to-ones.

Welfare House improvements

The Unit Welfare team at the Army Training Centre Pirbright received a grant from the Armed Forces Covenant Grant Scheme in summer 2017 to refurbish the Family Welfare House.

The house offers a safe and secure, home-from-home environment for children and families, where marital breakdown or domestic abuse is affecting the family. it also provides emergency accommodation for families visiting service personnel in hospital.

The grant enabled the house to be redecorated and refitted, with new furniture, bedding, curtains, a cooker, microwave, crockery and cutlery.

The Welfare House provides a valuable social support to personnel and their families in times of need and the refurbishment has made the house more welcoming and appealing and improved the morale and wellbeing of the occupants using it.


For upcoming military events in Guildford, please see the Guildford Borough Council Events calendar.  

Military events in Surrey can be found on the Surrey County Council Armed Forces Events Calendar