About Us

What is the Sussex Armed Forces Network?

The Sussex Armed Forces Network (SAFN) is a multi-organisational group which includes members from the NHS, MoD, Armed Forces Reservists, Mental and Physical Health Clinicians, the Royal British Legion, SSAFA and other interested charities and organisations from across Sussex (i.e. police and local authorities). The members work together to improve the lives of the armed forces community (ex and serving personnel and their immediate families). The network also includes champions from a wide range of the organisations across Sussex who are advocates for the armed forces community and have the skills and knowledge to support through direct service provision, linking with other organisations or signposting to where additional support could be received. It is managed by the Armed Forces Director for both Sussex and Kent & Medway CCGs. It has a Clinical Director from the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust as the Chair of the Network. Its aim is to facilitate our CCGs and the local community in the delivery of the Armed Forces Covenant Commitment.

In November 2014, the Network won a National Military and Civilian Health Partnership Award for its work on education, training and research with local military personnel. The Network was commended for its work on developing a unique set of relationships to ensure organisations are identifying and meeting the specific needs of the Armed Forces community through local health and care services.

Chair of the Sussex Armed Forces NetworkNick Lake

Dr Nick Lake is a Senior Clinical Director at Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation NHS Trust. As a Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Nick has a specialist clinical interest in working with people who are suffering from the effects of trauma, particularly veterans. He is also a Champion for veterans within the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

Armed Forces DirectorKate Parkin

Kate Parkin is the Armed Forces Director for both the Sussex and Kent & Medway Armed Forces Networks working across all 15 NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups within this footprint. Kate has been providing the leadership for Sussex Armed Forces Network since 2011 and since July 2016 has been working in Kent and Medway. Previously Kate has had significant clinical experience, operational and delivering a complex programme of work through teams, across organisational boundaries, and these include: reviews, strategic summits, multi-commissioner procurements, evidence based case for changes, supporting large public consultations for service reconfiguration and option appraisals and the delivery of change.

Clinical AdvocateVicki Pattenden

Vicki Pattenden’s work as the Clinical Advocate focuses on clinical and operational management which includes any enquiries that come into the Sussex Armed Forces Network either through the website, telephone calls or emails from charities or champions. Vicki is also a Mental Health Nurse by background with experience of working within the community and has worked extensively with veterans to stabilise their mental health to be able to move onto psychological therapy. Vicki has an interest around brain injuries, dementia and mental health within the Veteran community. Vicki is currently doing a MSc. Global Military Veteran & Families Studies under Anglia Ruskin University.

Champions Training Co-ordinatorAndy Layzell

Andrew Layzell has 45 years military experience after joining the Army in 1971 at the age of 15, he joined the Infantry junior leaders Battalion in Oswestry Shropshire’ Joining his operational Battalion 1st Battalion the Queens Regiment in 1973. As a career infantry man, having worked through the ranks, he completed 24 years as a regular soldier having undertaking 8 operational tours that included one of 2 year, served as an instructor at the Royal military Academy Sandhurst and Regimental Sergeant Major of an Infantry Battalion.
Since leaving the Regular Army in 1996 he was commissioned into the TA, serving as Transport Officer, and Machine Gun Platoon Commander. In 1988 he took up the appointment of Permanent Staff Administration Officer for B Company 3rd Battalion Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment, in this roll he was responsible for all aspects of recruiting, training, administration, welfare, deployment and recovery of all combat reservists in Sussex, and Casualty Officer for Sussex. Andy was awarded the MBE in the Queens 2014 New Year’s Honours list.

Carers, Families and MHFA Training LeadJane Burt

Jane Burt’s work for the Network focuses on support and recognition for carer’s and families from the armed and ex armed forces community. Jane has worked extensively in the voluntary sector for services that provide specialist support to informal carer’s including mental health carers. Jane also has significant experience in engagement and consultation. Jane is also a trained Mental Health First Aid instructor and leads on providing this within the Network.

Darzi Clinical FellowLen McCarthy

Dr Hélène (Len) McCarthy is working with the Network as a Darzi Clinical Fellow following appointment through Health Education England. Len is working across the region on ways to promote the Armed Forces as a valuable asset to local communities. By background, Len is a histopathology specialty registrar with a focus on coronial autopsy and community deaths.

The Royal British LegionRoyal British Legion South East Team

The Royal British Legion South East Area team (pictured) provides practical, emotional and financial support to all members of the British Armed Forces past and present, and their families. Whether it is families coping with the loss of a loved one, help at home to adapt to independent living, recovery centres for injured personnel, money and careers advice or residential care: we are here to help.
We actively campaign to improve their lives and safeguard the Military Covenant between the nation and its Armed Forces. Our mission is to provide welfare, comradeship, representation and Remembrance for the Armed Forces Community.
The Area Office and Sussex welfare team can be found at 100 Queens Road, Brighton (Mon-Fri 10:00-16:00) or can be contacted via the Contact Centre on 0808 802 8080 seven days a week.

SSAFASSAFA Sussex

SSAFA the Armed Forces charity, is the oldest military charity and was established in 1885. SSAFA provides lifelong support for those who are serving or who have ever served in the British Army, the Royal Navy, the Royal Marines or the Royal Air Force, and their families. Eligibility is based on ‘one day of paid service’ and help is provided whenever there is hardship, loneliness or need.
SSAFA works closely with the other Service charities and also occupational and generic charities. Practical and financial assistance is provided in varied ways: it may be helping to pay a war widow’s heating bill, dealing with housing and care problems, providing debt guidance, friendship, helping a family with a disabled child, funeral costs, arranging the provision of essential disability equipment or providing financial assistance for the purchase of clothing or household goods.
The SSAFA Sussex Branch is run by over 60 unpaid volunteers and was awarded the prestigious Queens Award for Voluntary Service in July 2015 (pictured).
To contact the SSAFA Sussex Branch, please either telephone the Branch Secretary on 0800 169 9060 or email: bsec@ssafasussex.uk

The community as a whole is better facilitated to provide excellent support to the Armed Forces Community across Sussex. Those who serve in the Armed Forces whether Regular or Reserve, those who have served in the past and their families, should face no disadvantage and receive the integrated care and support they require tailored to their particular needs in accordance with the Armed Forces Covenant.

The main aims for the Network are:

  • To support individual vulnerable and complex members of the Armed Forces Community.
  • To support faster appropriate care for the Armed Forces Community whether reservists/regulars to be deployable or those who have been impacted by serving or a member of their family.
  • Holistic support for individuals, families and carers to ensure wellbeing, prevention and care.
  • To support the quality and safety of the armed forces community.
  • To support the transition and utilisation of this community as an asset to the wider population.

Definitions

Find out more about the types of forces stationed in Sussex

Forces distribution

Discover the location of various forces in Sussex

The Covenant

Read about the Armed Forces Covenant

Contact us

Get in touch with us via email or telephone