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Legion and SPVA attract attention from Service families with fridge magnet

21 October 2010

The Royal British Legion and MOD's Service Personnel & Veterans Agency (SPVA) have joined forces to produce 252,000 magnetic emergency contact cards for the Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre (JCCC).

SPVA and the Legion's fridge magnetThe JCCC is the first point of contact for Service families in the event of a family emergency or domestic crisis that requires the return of a Service person from deployments overseas. Service personnel will be familiar with the JPA P001 cardboard card that has been in circulation since JCCC's formation in April 2005. This small card, about the size of a credit card, provides families with clear and easy to follow guidance on how to contact the JCCC in a crisis or family emergency, such as a sudden illness or accident involving a loved one.

But when feedback from the Services suggested something more durable might be helpful, the Legion and SPVA teamed up to produce a new magnetic version - aptly named the JPA P002.  The magnet is easily attached to fridges, washing machines or other metal surfaces so it's to hand when it's most needed. Funded by Legion and distributed by SPVA, the double-sided card also now features website information for the Legion and other organisations providing support for Service families. 

The Royal British Legion Director of Welfare, Sue Freeth, said: "The Royal British Legion is proud to be working in partnership with the MOD to inform the Armed Forces community where to seek help in times of a family crisis.

"The £30k we have invested into the production of fridge magnets will ensure Armed Forces households across the UK have the JCCC's number stored in a convenient and easily accessible place in case of an emergency.

"The Legion can offer a raft of support to Service personnel and their families when dealing with a death or illness in the family. We can provide advice and guidance on the Armed Forces Compensation scheme, funds to meet immediate needs, online support networks and free independent legal advice to bereaved families.

"It is vital the Service community know who to turn to for support and by working closely with the MOD on this project we're able to place that advice directly where its needed."

Air Cdre Chris Bray SPVA Head of Military Operations and Development said:
"My thanks go to Legion for their support with this initiative. It's an excellent example of how the MOD and charities like the Legion can work together to produce something simple but really useful. The JCCC provides a vital function for Service families. I am sure those deployed on operations or overseas will be reassured by the knowledge their loved ones have this information close to hand in the event of a family emergency."  

SPVA's JCCC is located at Imjin Barracks, Gloucester and provides casualty reporting and compassionate travel services for all three branches of the UK's Armed Forces.  JCCC is manned 24 hours a day/ 365 days a year and makes and receives over 86,000 telephone calls per year.


Notes to editors

About SPVA
1. The Service Personnel and Veterans Agency is an Agency of the Ministry of Defence and provides essential support functions to the Armed Forces and Veterans communities.  These include forces pay and HR, issue of all medals, casualty repatriation and compassionate services, pensions, injury/bereavement compensation and Veterans welfare support.  The Agency operates from four main UK sites at Glasgow, Norcross near Blackpool, Imjin Barracks near Gloucester and HMS Sultan, Gosport.

About the Legion
2. The Royal British Legion is the nation's leading Armed Forces charity providing care and support to all members of the British Armed Forces past and present and their families. It is also the national Custodian of Remembrance and is best known for the annual Poppy Appeal and its emblem, the red poppy.

For Further Information
For further information on SPVA, please contact David Johnson, SPVA Press Officer on 07717 882014 or Sian Gausden, SPVA Assistant Press Officer on 01452 712612 ext 6726. For information on the Legion and their role in this project, please contact Becky Warren, Public Relations Officer, on 020 3207 2239.

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