Somerset launches two new Armed Forces Hubs

Two new armed forces hubs were officially launched in Somerset last week by Deputy Lieutenant Brigadier Toomey, representing HM’s Lord Lieutenant of Somerset and Shelagh Meldrum Chief Nursing Officer at NHS Somerset. Also, in attendance were serving personnel from RNAS Yeovilton, 40 Commando, a number of veterans, charities and other agencies who work with the Armed Forces.

The Hubs which are located within Taunton and South Somerset are open to all members of the Armed Forces community including those serving, their families and veterans. They provide lots of information to help our armed forces community to navigate the system and find the services and support they need.

In Somerset we have a very large Armed Forces community. This includes serving personnel at two military bases, and their families, as well as a large veteran population and reservists. A conservative estimate is that 9% of the Somerset population is part of the Armed Forces community.  And 1 in 20 of our population are veterans (compared to 1 in 25 nationally).

CEO Chief executive of NHS Somerset, Jonathan Higman, said:

“The armed forces play a vital role in Somerset.  I was delighted to sign the Armed Forces Covenant on behalf of NHS Somerset last year as we continue to support people across our communities.

“We are delighted now to be able to work in partnership with Ark@Egwood to provide dedicated Armed Forces link workers who will both support the needs of the Armed Forces community and provide a valuable resource as armed forces hubs in Somerset”.

In addition, we now have two thirds of our GP practices accredited as Veteran Friendly and continue to work with other practices interested in gaining this national award.  If you are a Veteran or part of an Armed Forces family, please do make sure you let your GP practice know.

Nigel Bell, CEO of Ark@Egwood said “We had a lovely afternoon launching the two new Armed Forces Hubs in Somerset together with Arc (formerly Taunton Association for the Homeless). A big thank you to NHS Somerset and Deputy Lieutenant Brigadier Toomey representing HM’s Lord Lieutenant of Somerset and cutting the symbolic ribbon. Also thank you to everyone who attended. We look forward to working with you all to improve the services for our Armed Forces community”.

For more information on how NHS Somerset is supporting our armed forces community visit