Information for families

If you are looking for help with your situation you can contact Forcesline for confidential and independent support on 0800 7314880.

Moving to Devon

Health Services

You will need to register with local health providers such as a doctor, dentist and optician. Try to register as soon as possible so that there is no break in any ongoing care and medication you may be receiving.

Find a service near you:

Find a local doctor:

Find a local dentist:

Find a local pharmacy:

Find a local optician:

When you find a doctor and dentist near where you live, or will be living, you will need to contact them directly and ask for a new patient form.

A pharmacist can help you with minor illnesses and injuries, and advise you on the best over-the-counter medicines.

The NHS recommends that you have an eye test every two years. Contact your local optician and book an eye test with them directly.

Children’s health services

Many specialist children’s services such as child and adolescent mental health, speech and language therapy, community nursing and the autism diagnosis service are provided by the Devon Integrated Children’s Service.  You can find help, advice, toolkits and information online.


To get around Devon, Travel Line South West provides a quick service to find and plan journeys in and around the county.

Council Tax – district councils

Council Tax is paid to your local district council. You can find out which one this is through the council finder.

Once you’ve found your local district council you can visit their council tax pages to find out how to contact them and to view local details.

You can also use a tool to find out the council tax band of your property.

Find a home

You can use Rightmove or Zoopla to find a property that suites your needs. These services list many homes to buy or rent in Devon.



Schools and childcare

Children’s centres

Children’s centres offer advice, support and activities for all parents and carers of children from pregnancy until the children are five years old.

Find a children’s centre in Devon:

Find a children’s centre in Plymouth:

Find a children’s centre in Torbay:

Devon Family Information Service

Information for parents and carers of children and young people aged 0-19 years. Contact the service for information on registered childcare, support, activities and sports for children, young people and parents.


Information about choosing and paying for childcare and the options available to parents and carers

Schools in Devon

There are a range of different school options, including grammar schools, academies and federated schools. You can search for schools in your area and then visit the school’s individual websites to find out details about the school and it’s application process .

Find a school in Devon:

Find a school in Plymouth:

Find a school in Torbay:

Applying for a school place

In most cases, you will have to apply for a school place through the local council website.

Applying in Devon:

Applying in Plymouth:

Applying in Torbay:

Let the school know that you are a service family. The school may be able to provide extra support for your child if needed.


Band of Sisters

The Help for Heroes Band of Sisters network is open to loved ones, both male and female, who care for those who have suffered a life-changing injury or illness while in service.

HMS Heroes

A national support group for the children of Service men and women and their relatives. As a network of after-school clubs, HMS Heroes brings together members of Service families aged between three and 18 years old from all over the country. Over 50 schools in Devon and Plymouth are part of HMS Heroes.

The Warrior Program

The Warrior Programme runs residential programmes in the South West for veterans and adult family members.

Mediation and counselling services

Adapting to civilian and family life after a period in the armed forces can be complicated. Many ex-forces families experience difficulties and there are services available which will understand the issues and offer support.

Mediation services in Devon:

Directory of counselling services:


Following a bereavement Cruse can provide information and support to military families.
Phone: 0844 477 9400

The Wave Project

Located in North Devon and across the UK, The Wave Project for young people (between 8 and 21 years old) provides support to overcome anxiety and improve emotional health. These are surf course that make people feel calmer and more motivated.



SSAFA provides a service to support service leavers and their families whenever, whoever and for however long they are required.


Local libraries have something for everyone, with books and information, music, films, and computers with access to the Internet.

Find a local library in Devon:

Find a local library in Plymouth:

Find a local library in Torbay:

Places of worship

There are a variety of places of worship offering support and social activities.

Find a place of worship in Devon:

Find a place of worship in Plymouth:

Find a place of worship in Torbay:

Fitness groups

There are gyms and fitness facilities across Devon providing a range of services to keep fit and socialise.

Find a fitness facility in Devon:

Find a fitness facility visit:

Find a fitness facility visit:


Devon has plenty of classes and groups which provide creative and therapeutic arts and crafts sessions.

Adventure breaks

Royal British Legion

The Royal British Legion offers free week-long adventure breaks to children of men and women who are currently serving, or have served in the Armed Forces.

Calvert Trust

The Calvert Trust offers a fantastic weekend break which includes food, accommodation and adventurous activities for just £50 per person.

The offer is open to serving, reserve and veteran armed forces families with a disabled service person, partner or child in the family. The break is available to people of all abilities, including: physical or learning disabilities, ADHD, autism and challenging behaviour, visual or hearing impairment and post-traumatic stress disorder.

If you are looking for help with your situation you can contact Forcesline for confidential and independent support on 0800 731 4880. Forcesline is a service provided by SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity.