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Supporting the Armed Forces community through research, educational provision and community engagement.

Mission Statement

Our mission is to support the military community through innovative and high quality research, educational provision and community engagement.


Our vision is to:

Provide subject matter expertise and a focal point of consultation to our partners within the North West of England for the betterment of military veterans and their family’s wellbeing.

Support a vibrant, inspirational and innovative learning environment to provide a rewarding academic experience to:

  • University of Chester personnel and academic partners;
  • Clinical, welfare and military staff who provide care or services to the military community;
  • Local authority partners engaged in the care and support of veterans;
  • The veteran population.

Grow a robust research profile that will have a positive impact on veteran’s health and healthcare at regional, national and international level. This profile will embrace new technologies and creative methodologies to address issues that negatively affect the wellbeing of the military population. 

Be dynamic and enterprising in our response to new opportunities.

Develop positive wide-reaching partnerships with higher education institutions, businesses, third sector organisations including charities, veterans associations and the military population.

Armed Forces Community Research International Webinar Series

The Centre is hosting the Armed Forces Community Research International Webinar Series every 2 months, details including previous sessions, can be found here.

We are proud to support the Armed Forces community.

The University has signed the Armed Forces Covenant, which sets out our pledge to support both staff and students who are associated with the Armed Forces community. The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise by the nation ensuring that those who serve or who have served in the armed forces, and their families, are treated fairly.

Gold MOD Employer Recognition Scheme Award

The University of Chester has received the Ministry of Defence’s Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award for its outstanding support towards the Armed Forces community.

The Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) encourages employers to support defence and inspire others to do the same. The Scheme encompasses bronze, silver and gold awards for employer organisations that pledge, demonstrate or advocate support to defence and the armed forces community, and align their values with the Armed Forces Covenant.

Colonel (Retd) Alan Finnegan, Professor of Nursing and Military Mental Health at the University of Chester, who leads on veterans research, said: “The Westminster Veterans Research Centre has helped many other organisations to engage in this incredibly important initiative. Without our staff commitment, motivation and determination, then we would not have got this far and I need to acknowledge the brilliant contribution of my colleague Lottie Ainsworth-Moore. That said, I would like to say thank you to everyone from across the University who has worked so hard to make it happen. This award is their award, and a reflection of their loyalty and steadfastness in supporting those who have served and their families.”

Internal Armed Forces Network

As part of the Covenant, the University has created an internal Armed Forces Network and appointed Colonel (Retd) Alan Finnegan, as our first Armed Forces Champion.

The University is part of the Cheshire Armed Forces Covenant Partnership, which is a commitment by civilian organisations in collaboration with the MoD to support the Armed Forces community. It is an opportunity to recognise the value of serving personnel, both regulars and reservists, veterans and military families and their contribution to the UK. This is built on recognition that Armed Forces personnel sacrifice some significant civilian freedoms, face dangers and are much more likely to sustain injury or death. Families also play a pivotal role in supporting the operational effectiveness of the Armed Forces and are embedded in the commitment.

The Covenant defines that those who serve in the Armed Forces, veterans and their families, should face no disadvantage compared to other citizens in the provision of public and commercial services. Special consideration is appropriate in some cases, especially for those who have given most such as the injured and the bereaved. This commitment includes voluntary and charitable bodies, private organisations, and the actions of individuals in supporting the Armed Forces. 

The Cheshire Armed Forces Covenant Partnership comprises Cheshire West and Chester, Cheshire East, Halton and Warrington Councils, the NHS, Clinical Commissioning Groups, charities, the Department of Work and Pensions, the emergency services and the University of Chester. Being part of this group enables the University access to networks and information sharing which in turn gives the ability to provide members of our own internal Armed Forces Network with the relevant advice, guidance and practical support that may be needed by this community.

The skills and experiences that service leavers can bring to the University are highly valued.

We are also members of Universities in Support of Wounded, Injured and Sick Service Personnel (UNSWIS) network.

Armed Forces Champion

Alongside his day job as Director of the Westminster Centre for Research in Veterans, as Armed Forces Champion Alan helps develop and support the University of Chester’s Armed Forces Network. He acts as a designated point of contact within the institution, represents the University on matters relating to the Armed Forces Community and is happy to provide informal advice to staff and students connected with the military. Alan has developed a new teaching programme to enhance the knowledge of student nurses with regards to veterans. This programme is now being made into an online learning module with funding from Health Education England, the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust and the AFCFT.

Enhanced Learning Credits Scheme (ELCAS)

We are an Approved Learning Provider on the Enhanced Learning Credits Scheme. Further information can be found on the ELCAS website.​

Explore Westminster Centre for Research in Veterans

Castle Drive
United Kingdom