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Author: NFF

On 30th September 2018, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson announced a new package to help Armed Forces personnel and their family members throughout their careers and their transitions into civilian life.

 

He said:

‘’The bravery and dedication of our people is second to none. Whether they are in service, have served, or support the service of a loved one, we owe them a great debt of gratitude for their work in keeping this country safe. It is only right that we give our Armed Forces every opportunity to develop their skills to reach their potential, while ensuring that their spouses and civil partners are just as valued for the part they play.

The vast majority of those who have served in our Armed Forces go on to lead successful and rewarding lives, but it’s important we recognise that the transition is not always smooth. We are dedicated to upholding the support they receive while in uniform as they take this next step, and I’m delighted to be adding an extra helping hand to those most in need.‘’

 

The new package will include the following schemes:

  • Launching a new transition programme and ID cards for Service leavers. A new Defence Transition Service will deliver specialist support for Service personnel to adjust to civilian life, including help with housing and employment. New ID cards will be available to Service leavers shortly, and those who have already made the transition will be able to apply for an ID card in 2019. These cards will allow easy access to the range of support available from the public and charitable sectors, including registering with your local authority for priority healthcare and housing;

 

  • A new fund will be dedicated to support the careers of Service spouses and partners, following the success of the MOD’s Spouse Employment Support trial. This will facilitate access to vocational training and development opportunities to entering new sectors or self-employment;

 

  • By the end of 2020, all serving personnel will have access to their own Professional and Personal Development Plan, a scheme that will enable them to hone the skills they need to succeed throughout their service, and to equip them for the next stage of their careers. It can also help create a support network for those living with significant illness, caring for others.

 

We will share further details as they become available. The Naval Families Federation welcomes your feedback on these and other issues. Please do contact us via our website with any comments you make have.

 

Posted on: 1st October, 2018

Following the collapse of Wonga, the payday lender who went into administration, Service personnel with Wonga loans are being offered a “payday payoff” loan facility from Plane Saver Credit Union.

This facility is offered to support serving personnel who are affected by Wonga’s collapse. Please visit this site to read their full terms and conditions.

 

Posted on: 1st October, 2018

The Ministry of Defence has produced a guide to expenses and allowances for Serving personnel and the support families could receive.

 

This booklet, accessible here, holds a wealth of information to help both regular and reserve members of all three Services to better understand some of the most common expenses, allowances and other provisions that are available.

 

Introducing the categories of entitlements, explaining the common terminologies, and the claiming process, it can also signpost you to the correct departments and appropriate chapters in JSP 752 (primary authority). You can also find a FAQ in form of scenarios that are most commonly experienced by our Serving people.

 

Please note that this document is for guidance only, do always refer to JSP 752 and contact your Unit HRs.

 

Posted on: 19th September, 2018

*Event Expired*

 

KPMG, with support from the NFF, will be hosting an Armed Forces Spouses Insight Event in Glasgow on Wednesday 26th September.

 

Having signed the Armed Forces Corporate Covenant as well as being Gold MOD Employer Recognition Award winner (2016), KPMG are committed to support our serving personnel and their family members. They understand and respect the contribution made within the Armed Forces community. As part of KPMG’s signed Covenant, they endeavour to offer a degree of flexibility in granting leave for Service spouses and parents before, during, and after their other half’s deployment.

 

This event will start at noon for two hours, with networking afterwards. Participants will learn more about this company, which offers job opportunities in different fields, from administration to chartered accountant.

 

Please contact Alice Andrews at Alice.Andrews@KPMG.co.uk for more details, and to sign up for your place.

 

Posted on: 12th September, 2018

Please be aware that there is an ongoing, isolated issue affecting certain mailbags destined for Brunei.

 

The mailbags were originally seized in April due to liquid being identified inside a parcel, which resulted in Thai Customs withholding the entire shipment. Previous attempts in negotiation with the Thai authorities to release the mail have been unsuccessful, and BFPO is now seeking assistance of the Defence Attaché in Bangkok.

 

There is an official statement issued by HQ BFPO to clarify this incident and to update those who have been affected. You can read the statement and find their contact information here.

 

Posted on: 10th September, 2018

Reading Force is a shared reading initiative for Service families. The charity provides free books and scrapbooks to Service children of all ages, in order to support and encourage Armed Forces families with shared reading both at home or when separated.

 

Through this programme, participating families experience the following benefits:
• Maintaining good contact with a parent when they are away from home;
• Increased contact with extended family, especially grandparents;
• Improved communication within the whole family;
• More fathers get involved with their children’s reading;
• A sense of community and affirmed identity.

 

Please see this brochure to find out more about their causes, and use this link to sign up for your copy.

 

Posted on: 6th September, 2018
Updated on: 21st June, 2019

 

Thank you to everyone who responded to our recent survey about mental health for Royal Navy and Royal Marines families. Your feedback is extremely valuable and helps us to represent accurately your views and experiences. The results of the survey are here.

 

This survey was carried out to assist the House of Commons Defence Committee (HCDC) with its current inquiry into the Mental Health of the Armed Forces. The Committee makes recommendations for change. On 25 July 2018 it published Part 1 of its report into the Mental Health of the Armed Forces, which considers the scale of mental health issues. The Naval Families Federation provided evidence for this report. The Committee accepted our view that mental health should be considered in a holistic way, rather than focusing solely on the serving person. We want to find out more about the impact of military service and lifestyles on the mental health of family members, to make sure you are properly supported. Part 1 of the Committee’s report acknowledges that families’ mental health can be affected by the stresses of Service life and by traumatic events experienced by their military partners. It makes a number of recommendations, including that the Ministry of Defence, in conjunction with the health departments of the four nations, places a greater focus on Service and veterans’ families as part of its mental health care provision. This should include supporting further research into the mental health of current and former Service families to determine what provision is needed. The Ministry of Defence should also monitor how this provision is applied across the UK as part of its annual report on the Armed Forces Covenant.

 

You can read Part 1 of the HCDC report here and our evidence here. We will keep you up to date with any further developments as they happen.

 

Posted on: 5th September, 2018

 

On Wendesday 29th August 2018 it was announced that CarillionAmey is rebranding, and will be known as ‘Amey’ from now on.

 

There are sereval changes that you may wish to take note of:

 

  1. Their new website will be https://www.ameydefenceservices.co.uk/
  2. You can find out more about their services (including a SFA guide, advice and support etc.) here.
  3. There is a change to their email address domain (@ameydefenceservices.co.uk). Please refer to this page here for more information.
  4. Their phone numbers will remain unchanged.

 

You can read their official statement here.

 

Posted on: 30th August, 2018

*Event Expired*

 

Little Troopers Annual calendar competition launches today. The charity wants to find 13 new stars for their 2019 Military moments calendar. This competition helps the charity find pictures of those special moments between our serving personnel and their families. The popular calendar helps to raise funds for the charity to continue its work in supporting military families.

 

Louise Fetigan, founder and operations manager of the charity, said: “Mums and Dads who serve our country as part of the British Armed Forces can spend up to nine months a year away from their children. The time they have together with their children and family is precious. Capturing those moments when they are reunited at a homecoming, sharing a military occasion or staying connected while apart provide some of the best memories for our families. We are privileged that so many choose to share them with us.”

 

Everyone who enters an image will have the chance to win one of three great prizes. There are also nine runner-up places:

 

1st Prize –£75 cinema voucher, Little Trooper hoodie, and a featured month in the calendar
2nd Prize – £50 cinema voucher, Little Trooper hoodie, and a featured month in the calendar
3rd Prize – £25 cinema voucher, Little Trooper hoodie, and a featured month in the calendar
10 runner-ups will all get their pictures featured as a month in the calendar

 

Louise encourages any family who has a parent serving in the Royal Navy, British Army, Royal Air Force or the Reserves to enter.

 

The charity behind the calendar Little Troopers aims to help maintain the family bond through events, online resources and initiatives. The Little Troopers: ‘Military moments’ calendar shows a side of forces life very rarely shared. The seventh calendar (2019) will be on sale for £9.99 and can be pre-ordered at www.LittleTroopers.net.

 

Photos should be emailed to competition@LittleTroopers.net alternatively you can post them to Little Troopers, 4b 80 High Street Egham Surrey TW20 9HE. All entries should be marked ‘Calendar Competition’ and include your name, address, contact email, phone number and your Little Troopers name and age. Closing date is the 5th September 2018 and all Terms and Conditions (which must be read prior to entry) can be found here.

 

If you have any further enquiries or would like to set up an interview please call Cheryl Randeria on 078 1069 7957.

 

Posted on: 14th August, 2018

Update: The survey results are here. Please read on to find out more. 

 

We need your help to find out how Royal Navy and Royal Marines families are finding the provision of mental health care. We know that your time is precious, and so we have tried to keep this survey as short as possible, whilst giving an opportunity to you to comment on the key questions. You can skip any parts that are not relevant to you. The survey is here.

 

To find out more about why we are carrying out this survey, keep reading below.

 

Why are we asking you these questions?

The House of Commons Defence Committee is carrying out an inquiry about the Mental Health of the Armed Forces. It makes recommendations for change. On 25 July 2018 it published Part 1 of its report into the Mental Health of the Armed Forces, which considers the scale of mental health issues. The Naval Families Federation provided evidence for this report. We now have details of the next phase of the inquiry and want to make sure that we accurately represent your views and experiences.

 

The Committee accepted our view that mental health should be considered in a more holistic way, rather than focussing solely on the serving person. We want to find out more about the impact of military service and lifestyles on the mental health of family members, to make sure you are properly supported. The Committee’s report acknowledges that families’ mental health can be affected by the stresses of Service life and by traumatic events experienced by their military partners.

 

The report makes a number of recommendations, including that the Ministry of Defence, in conjunction with the health departments of the four nations, places a greater focus on Service and veterans’ families as part of its mental health care provision. This should include supporting further research into the mental health of current and former Service families to determine what provision is needed. The Ministry of Defence should also monitor how this provision is applied across the UK as part of its annual report on the Armed Forces Covenant.

 

You can read the full report here and our evidence here.

 

Update

Thank you to everyone who responded to our recent survey about mental health for Royal Navy and Royal Marines families. Your feedback is extremely valuable and helps us to represent accurately your views and experiences. The results of the survey are here.

 

Posted on: 27th July, 2018
Updated on: 5th September, 2018