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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.


If you don’t have a home to go to, finding somewhere to live after leaving the Army can be one of the hardest challenges. Deciding where to live can depend on whether you are moving to a place where you have family roots, a new area because of a job, or just somewhere you wish to settle.

The most important thing to realise is that the housing process takes time - whether you wish to buy, rent or apply for social housing. Do start the process well before you leave – early contact with housing organisations is vital.

The housing world is complicated and your first move should be to contact the Joint Services Housing Advice Office (JSHAO) who provide free and unbiased help on what the choices are. They provide one day briefings as part of the resettlement process which spouses/partners are welcome to attend and also regional unit or garrison presentations around the country.

For single Service leavers, the Single Persons Accommodation Centre for the Ex-Services (SPACES) can provide you with help in finding somewhere to live.

Property prices are higher in the South, particularly around the cities. The average house price in Wiltshire is approx ₤160.000. However, there are many housing developments planned and being built as well schemes to assist those wishing to buy, particularly for the first time.

For social housing, go to the relevant Local Authority website (follow the 'Find your local council' link on the right) and click onto the housing tab. You will need to provide your Cessation of Entitlement certificate; giving the date you are due to vacate your military accommodation.