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Transition to civilian life

Welcome to the HQ 1 Artillery Bde and HQ South West Transition page. The brigade area covers the counties of Wiltshire Gloucestershire, Bristol, Somerset, Dorset, Devon and Cornwall. We aim to complement the resettlement service already offered to the majority of Service leavers by adding a local focus where appropriate.

Transition to civilian lifeHQ 1 Artillery Brigade and HQ South West offers signposting help in five key areas to Service personnel and their families leaving the Army and wishing to settle in this region:

  • Employment – career selection or job search
  • Education – training options and children’s school selection
  • Health – registration or transfer of existing medical care
  • Housing – help with securing housing, whether social or private
  • Welfare – guidance and help from veterans’ organisations and programmes

Specific information in relation to each of these areas can be accessed via the links in the panels below.

Local authorities in this brigade's region include: Wiltshire, Devon, Dorset, Somerset, North Somerset, Gloucestershire, Bristol City, Bournemouth Borough, Plymouth City, Poole Borough, Swindon Borough, Torbay, and Cornwall.

For specific local authority information on housing, schools, Armed Forces Covenant and other matters, you are recommended to contact the appropriate council. Visit their websites using the 'Find your local council' link on the right.

Each region holds Transition Fairs which bring together local employers with a range of experts on the disciplines above. At Transition Fairs, Service leavers can find jobs and access essential information on where they want to live. Download the Transition Fairs flyer from the right-hand panel.

Transition fairs

Wiltshire and Swindon transition fair image

HQ 1 Artillery Brigade & South West, with support from Wiltshire Council, Swindon Borough Council & Career Transition Partnership will be holding the SW Armed Forces Transition Fair in Tidworth Leisure Centre on Wednesday 23 March 2016.

The event will host over 80 stands - a large number of local employers looking specifically to recruit Service Leavers, Veterans or spouses, along with numerous stands providing information and advice on local charities, welfare agencies, health, housing, training and education opportunities. 

Concise one-to-one personal coaching sessions will also be available to help individuals address changes in career, life and/or health & welfare. These sessions will be free of charge and confidential.

The SW Armed Forces Transition Fair is free to attend. All Service Personnel & their families, as well Service Leavers are encouraged to attend. No matter what stage you are in your career, there will be something of interest for you and your family.

Health care

Your health and that of your family is essential not only during Service but on leaving Service. You will need register with a GP and dentist to ensure you and your family have access to NHS health provision. This can be done before your discharge date by taking out a temporary registration. When you register make sure the doctor is aware you are a service leaver and that the Practice Manager obtains a copy of your service medical documents.

If you don’t know where to find your nearest NHS practice, the NHS Choices search tool will tell you. For local A&E departments, hospitals and consultants, GP practices, dental practices, opticians, pharmacists and support for carers please follow the NHS Service Directories link below.

If you haven’t used it before, NHS Direct (Dial 111 from landline or mobile free of charge) is a 24-hr service providing confidential health advice and information.

If you or your family are experiencing issues with the Transition process, there are a number of initiatives to provide advice and guidance including Combat Stress, Live at Ease and Big White Wall - anonymous support for ex-forces and families dealing with issues.