Army Welfare Service (AWS)

By SPP Reporter

The AWS is the Army's professional welfare provider; it delivers a comprehensive and confidential welfare service responsive to the needs of individuals and families and the Chain of Command in order to maximize the operational effectiveness of our servicemen and women. The Army Welfare Service's remit includes Regular Soldiers, their families and communities, the Army Reserve and Reservists and, in certain circumstances, Veterans, other Services and MoD civilians serving overseas.

The Army Welfare Service has 4 key delivery pillars: Personal Support, Community Support, Information (HIVE) Support and the Joint Service Housing Advice Office.

Personal Support

Personal Support (PS) Staff provide accessible, independent, confidential and professional specialist welfare services to soldiers and their families with any personal or family difficulty, thereby strengthening and enhancing the resilience and resourcefulness of the soldier and their family. PS provides specialist advice to the Army Chain of Command and outside agencies and is delivered by Army Welfare Workers (AWWs) and Personal Recovery Unit Social Workers (formerly Casualty Key Workers), assisted by Gurkha Support Workers (GSW).

Issues AWS can help with:

Relationship difficulties
CSA concerns
Parenting skills
Child care
Special Needs
Benefits information
Equal Opportunities issues

Contacting the Army Welfare Service

For all Personal Support enquiries and referrals please contact the AWS Intake and Assessment Team on the below details:

Civ: 01904 882053
Mil: 94777 3053

Further information

Contact numbers for your local AWS offices (including HIVEs, JSHAO and the SCC) are available through the military directory of enquiries on: 02072 189000

For all Veteran matters including welfare support, pensions and medals, please contact Veterans UK on 0808 191 4218 or visit:

In a Compassionate Emergency, please contact:
The Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre (JCCC) on: 01452 519 951

For other enquiries please contact the SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity helpline on: 0800 731 4880
SSAFA lines are open, Monday-Friday 9.00am-5.30pm.

What about confidentiality?

AWS operates a strict confidentiality policy, in accordance with legal requirements, to ensure that personal information is not passed to anyone outside of AWS without the person's consent.

There are a few exceptions to this principle involving situations when there is risk to self or other, serious criminal acts including breaches of security or if operational effectiveness is seriously compromised.

Everyone, who uses the AWS, has a right to see personal information held about them, this is in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998.

Deployment Support for Families

Army life means that soldiers may have to deploy away from their home and family on unaccompanied tours from time to time.

This may be for an operational deployment, training or an assignment to a location that does not offer family support facilities such as health care or housing.

The first point of contact for Army personnel regarding any deployment issues is their Unit Welfare Officer. Their local Army Welfare Service team can also help.

Service Families Accommodation (SFA)

Families of Regular Army soldiers living in Service Families Accommodation (SFA) will normally keep their house for the whole period of an unaccompanied tour.

In certain circumstances, for instance during longer unaccompanied tours, families may request surplus SFA in an alternative area, for instance back in the UK. However, these may not always be available.

Family guides to deployment

The Army has produced a guide to help families prepare for periods of deployment. This is available as a PDF document through the following link:

Travel for families of service personnel on operational tours

The dependants of a married service person stationed in or mobilised from the UK but who is serving on an emergency tour of 4 months or more are entitled to 2 return journeys (by rail warrant or Motor Mileage Allowance) during each emergency tour.

This is to enable them to visit their parents or parents-in-law living in the UK, or a nominated NOK (including a child at boarding school) or another close relative. This concession does not permit family members to visit other relatives or friends.

Community Support

The purpose of AWS Community Support is to provide learning opportunities, activities and experiences that are sociable, recreational, educational and responsive to need, but also locally accessible, affordable and of good quality. This provision is likely to include Pre-school groups, Community Centres, Youth Centres and projects within the community as well as provision for children and young people during some school holidays.

To enable the best possible use of premises and resources we need your help as a volunteer. You are the vital resource of AWS Community Support.

We believe that the best way to support our communities is to listen and develop an understanding of their needs and concerns and then where possible facilitate a programme that meets these.

Make the Difference

Telephone or see your AWS Community Support staff today!

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