Support For Armed Forces Personnel

Heroes Welcome

Leaving the armed forces can have a huge impact on your life and your family. Not only must you find a new job and housing, but also settle your family into schools, jobs and social activities.

A wide range of services are available from Bassetlaw District Council and our partner organisations that can help with your resettlement.

Bassetlaw District Council has marked its support for the local services community by adopting an Armed Forces Community Covenant.

The covenant is a voluntary statement of mutual support between a civilian community and its local armed forces representatives. It not only recognises the contribution of serving personnel, their families and veterans but importantly it identifies practical ways the Council can help them access support to help them adjust to life after leaving the services.

In turn, the armed forces promote ties with the local community and offer support wherever they can.

Other partners and local groups, have also signed up to the principles in the Community Covenant, including Nottinghamshire Police, local NHS services, Nottinghamshire Fire & Rescue, Job Centre Plus, and BCVS on behalf of local voluntary and community services.

You can read the Bassetlaw Community Covenant for additional information.

There are a range of national and local support services listed here. There are also local organisations that welcome ex forces personnel and their families to join them.

Heroes Welcome

The Heroes Welcome campaign encourages businesses and organisations to join in order to give support, recognition and a little extra hospitality to Armed Forces personnel and their families. If you run a business, find out how you can join Heroes welcome.

Help From Other Organisations

A range of support services are also available from local and national organisations that will help to get you settled in to civilian life.

Royal British Legion

Royal British Legion (RBL) provides practical care, advice and support to serving members of the Armed Forces, veterans of all ages and their families. The RBL run the Poppy Calls Handy Person Service which provides a service for small household repairs and minor adaptations around the home.

Looking for a job or training? Need advice about resettlement? Trying to work your way through the pensions minefield? You'll find a whole range of useful guides and contacts are available via the Royal British Legion's Civvy Street Website.

Soldier, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association

Soldier, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA) provide financial, practical and emotional assistance to anyone that is currently serving or has ever served in the Army, Navy or RAF and their families. The local branch can be contacted on:

Service Personnel and Veterans Agency

Veterans UK provides a range of services including a veterans advice helpline, a welfare service that will provide a dedicated caseworker to assist veterans and their families, links to other veteran charities offering advice and details of how to contact local veterans advisory and pensions committees who provide support to war pensioners and war widow(ers).

Joint Service Housing Advice Office

The role of Joint Service Housing Advice Office (JSHAO) is to provide specialist housing information and evidence to encourage service personnel (and their dependants) to consider their civilian housing options and assist the transition into civilian life.


Shelter, the housing end homelessness charity provide specialist advice to Armed Forces and Ex-Services personnel.

Army Families Federation (AFF)

The Army Families Federation (AFF) is independent of the Army and offers confidential advice on a range of welfare issues including money matters and family life. AFF works at a local level directly with families and local command.

MOD Army

The MOD Army provides details on a range of welfare issues including deployment support for families, legal assistance and a dedicated Forcesline for confidential guidance.

Naval Families Federation

The Naval Families Federation lists organisations and charities that can help with a range of welfare issues, including bereavement and disability needs.

Royal Navy Community

The Royal Navy Community provides information to help serving personnel facing bullying, harassment or stress.

Help for Heroes

Help for Heroes can provide swift financial assistance and a long term support network. Our whole focus is supporting you and your family on the road to recovery.

Local Support

  • Royal British Legion - Retford Branch
  • Royal Air Forces Association
  • Fellowship of the Services

  • Worksop Breakfast Club (WBC)
    A group of veterans from Her Majesty's Armed Forces
    Meets 10.00am every Saturday
    at Yates, Victoria Square, Worksop. S80 1DX

    Contact Simon Kieth Tierney

  • Retford Breakfast Club (RBC)
    A group of veterans from Her Majesty's Armed Forces
    Meets 9.00am every Saturday
    at the King and Miller, North Road, Retford. DN22 7XW

    Contact: Denis Scaife

Get Involved

The following groups especially welcome Armed Forces and Ex-Service personnel and their families. Some have made special arrangements for you.


Take up a pleasurable and therapeutic pastime.

Misterton Arts Group

  • Every Thursday
  • Dovecote Cafe, Granary Room, Grovewood Road, Misterton
  • 10.00am-12.00noon
  • 1.00pm - 3.00pm
  • Drop-In
  • Free membership first year and half price to painting sessions


Retford Athletic Club would be delighted to welcome any Ex-Service personnel into their club.

They meet on Monday and Thursday evenings and have a lively membership comprising mainly road, cross country and fell running. The fees are quite low anyway at just £45 per year but they would be happy to offer a 50% discount in year 1 if anybody wanted to join. They also have a thriving junior section of some 100 7-17 year olds. If any Ex-Service personnel have children then they can join too. Finally, they always need more coaches so if any Ex-Service personnel are interested in coaching juniors then they would be happy to put them through the training programme.

For more details consult the Retford Athletic Club Website.


Worksop Basketball Club is open to all and is always on the look out for new members, male or female and of any age. No experience is necessary for those who would just like to join in with training sessions for keep fit. Experienced players will be able to compete in our senior teams with play in the Sheffield League.

Training is £4 and takes place at Portland Academy, Sparken Hill on Tuesdays 7.00pm-8.30pm (during term time).


Retford Bowling Green Club will offer free membership for one season, commencing April 2013, to all returning service personnel who are no longer employed by the MOD. They expect to support each person with two bowling members as mentors, both in a sports and social capacity at the Green and in the Clubhouse, where in addition to the bar they also have a snooker table. Those interested in flat green bowling will be provided with equipment and offered free coaching. Membership is available with immediate effect.

For more details contact...

  • Name: Joan Mather (Membership Secretary)
  • Telephone: 01427 848762
  • Name: Ken Hoddy (The Fellowship of the Services)
  • Telephone: 01777 706310.


Clumber Park Cricket Club can offer the chance to play, but also to get involved in a thriving sports club in a number of other ways such as volunteering, coaching, grounds men etc. For more details consult the Clumber Park Cricket Club Website.


Retford Golf Club provides an 18 hole golf course and Clubhouse with full catering facilities. It is generally open every day (except Christmas Day), weather permitting. Further information should be requested through the Office initially.

Retford Golf Club is in full support of the scheme and will look at reducing subscription for the first year membership and also support free taster sessions.

For more details contact...


Retford Judo Club hold training sessions on Wednesday night 8.00pm-9.30pm at St. Saviours Parish Centre, Lidget Lane, Retford, DN22 6QW. Membership fees are £10 a year (open 50 weeks a year) and £3.50 a session and ex-services personnel will get "two free taster sessions". All are welcome regardless of previous experience. Retford Judo Club are affiliated to the British Judo Association and all players must have a licence to practice Judo as the policy is strict and "no licence, no Judo'.

Retford Judo Club is not just for Judo players, there is a lot more to it if you wish. The Club will try to accommodate and support all who come through their doors.

For more details contact...

Martial Arts

The Dojo is a full time Martial Arts centre based in Worksop which has been established for 30 years and teaches Karate, Kickboxing and Muay Thai. The Dojo can also offer people training, amateur and professional, so members can compete on a national basis giving members aims and objectives which will give new direction for discharged soldiers.

The Dojo would be happy to help with the scheme and can offer a reduction on training fees and a 20% reduction on the membership. This will make the membership £40 which will include a uniform and reduce the class fees to £4.

Personal Fitness

A Team Fitness


All serving and ex-service personnel are welcome at the Retford Rugby Club and while those who wish to play are most welcome we will open the hand of comradeship to those who only seek social contact. The main times of opening are from 1.00pm to 11.00pm on a Saturday during the Rugby season (September to April), but we are also open for training nights on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The bar is open from 9.00pm on these nights.

For more details contact the club:

  • Nick Brough (Chairman) - 01777 705311
  • Richard South (Club Captain) - 07973 666872
  • Edward Henderson (Secretary) - 01777 706987
  • Address: Ground and Clubhouse: Ordsall Road, Retford, DN22 7PW

Table Tennis

A Table Tennis Club operates every Saturday at the Worksop Leisure Centre on Valley Road in Worksop (located next to Valley Outwood Academy School).

This section is open to all cross sections of the community and family groups can be accommodated to create family bonding which may suit the needs and the requirements of some of the ex-services personnel.

The normal fees are £3 for Adults and £2 for Under 16's and Senior Citizens, but a concessionary rate will be offered.

They also run a league comprising of Divisions 1 - 2 & 3 and if any of the ex-service personnel already have competitive table tennis skills they could accommodate them as a team or as individuals and link them to a club.

The season starts in September.

League competitors have to be members of the Sports Governing Body - English Table Tennis Association (ETTA) whose fees etc can be obtained from their website.

For more details contact the club:

  • Glyn Williams - 07507126969
  • Rob Vaughan - 07962963735


Bassetlaw Community and Voluntary Service provides information and advice on local volunteering opportunities. They will provide guidance and assistance.

Bassetlaw Action Centre is based in Retford and is a Community Resource Agency linking individuals and organisations with help and support. It runs a number of projects including Community Car Schemes and Community Minibus. The centre is always looking for drivers and other volunteers.

Health services

The Veterans’ Wellbeing Assessment and Liaison Service (VWALS) is a new mental health and wellbeing service to support veterans and their families in the north east. For the very first time, it will provide a single point of access to the range of mental health support services which already exist across the region, making it much easier to get signposted to the right help and support.

The local mental health trust (Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Trust) has a dedicated, nationally recognised Community Veterans Mental Health Service which provides tailored support for those who have left the Forces.

Other services

Looking for a job or training? Need advice about resettlement? Trying to work your way through the pensions minefield? You'll find a whole range of useful guides and contacts are available via the Royal British Legion's Civvy Street Website.

  • The Royal British Legion (RBL) provides practical care, advice and support to serving members of the Armed Forces, veterans of all ages and their families. The RBL run the Poppy Calls Handy Person Service which provides a service for small household repairs and minor adaptations around the home.
  • Finchale Veterans Service is a specialist training college which hosts a veterans support network and produces a Directory of Services. Finchale was founded in 1943 as a rehabilitation and resettlement centre for disabled servicemen.