Armed Forces Covenant

The armed forces have been rooted in North Yorkshire for more than 100 years and the county is proud of its military and community connections.

Catterick Garrison, situated just south of Richmond, in the north of the county, is one of the largest British Army establishments in the country.

North Yorkshire was one of the first places in the UK to have an Armed Forces Covenant in place. The first signatories signed the Covenant at a ceremony at Catterick Garrison in 2011. Many other organisations have signed the Covenant since then.

Cllr Kevin Foster, who is the designated Armed Forces Champion for North Yorkshire Council, actively promotes, supports, and participates in armed forces events locally, including national Armed Forces Day celebrations and other celebratory and ceremonial events.

Loyalty to the guiding principles of the Covenant is reflected in the Employer Recognition Scheme gold award, which was given to the council in 2020.

The Armed Forces Covenant and Armed Forces Act 2021

The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise from the nation that those who serve, or have served in the armed forces, and their families, are treated fairly. The Armed Forces Act 2021 enshrines the Covenant into law to help prevent armed services personnel and veterans from being disadvantaged when accessing public services. 

A key feature of the Act is a new statutory duty to have due regard to the principles of the Armed Forces Covenant as follows:

  • the unique obligations of, and sacrifices made by, the armed forces
  • the principle that it is desirable to remove disadvantages arising for service people from membership, or former membership, of the armed forces
  • the principle that special provision for service people may be justified by the effects on such people of membership, or former membership, of the armed forces

The implications of the Act for councils

New statutory guidance sets out the detailed requirements for councils to implement the new due regard duty. To help embed the Covenant within our organisation, North Yorkshire Council has published a new Armed Forces Covenant Policy. This purposefully short policy provides a vision and a framework for the new council and its partners to reset their collective commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant in North Yorkshire.

Staff training on the Armed Forces Covenant

All of our staff have access to training to help raise awareness of the military community and the Armed Forces Covenant. This nationally developed course provides an overview of the challenges faced by the armed forces community. The course also reflects the Armed Forces Act 2021 so that staff can apply the principles of the Covenant with confidence, as we work to embed awareness of the Covenant within the council.


As part of the governance arrangements, North Yorkshire Council coordinates North Yorkshire Armed Forces Covenant Network, which brings together a broad range of partners from the public sector, voluntary sector, and armed forces. 

Please contact us for further information.

Other websites and resources

Signatories to the North Yorkshire Armed Forces Covenant

  • Army
  • Royal Air Force
  • Royal Navy
  • NHS Hambleton, Richmondshire & Whitby Clinical Commissioning Group
  • South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Leeds and York Partnerships NHS Foundation Trust
  • NHS Harrogate and Rural District Clinical Commissioning Group
  • Airedale NHS Foundation Trust
  • Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust
  • North Yorkshire Police
  • North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority
  • North York Moors National Park Authority
  • ABF The Soldiers Charity
  • The Royal British Legion
  • Citizens Advice Hambleton, Richmondshire and Selby & District
  • HIVE information services
  • Community First Yorkshire
  • SSAFA Forces Help
  • Riverside ECHG
  • Service personnel and veterans agency
  • National Probation Service
  • A1 Community Works Ltd
  • Holy Rood House (centre for health and pastoral care)
  • Hipswell Parish Council
  • Groundwork North Yorkshire
  • Department for Work and Pensions
  • Yorkshire and Humber Veterans Advisory and Pensions Committee
  • North Yorkshire Sport
  • York and North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership

The North Yorkshire Armed Forces Community Covenant is also supported by the Army Families Federation (AFF), the Naval Families Federation (NFF) and the RAF Families Federation.