Author: NFF

TrusteeFemale portrait photo.

Having experienced the pressure and rewards of naval life I feel immensely privileged and proud to be a Trustee of the Naval Families Federation.

My husband was a submariner and I remember very well how it felt to move with him to a new location with a new baby just as he went on deterrent patrol, far away from family and yet to make new friends.

I have worked in the public, private and 3rd sector and am currently the Director of People for an adult Hospice, a role I took on following a period of HR Consultancy. This role is varied with responsibility for HR, Volunteers, Payroll, Pensions, Health & Safety, Non-Clinical Education and Estates.  I am also pleased to have gained an MSc in Organisational Psychology which supports me in my Trustee and Hospice role.

In my spare time I enjoy walking, cycling, sailing, reading, and spending time with the family.

Portrait of Sarah ClewesInterim Chief Executive Officer

Sarah enjoyed a long and successful career in the Royal Navy (1991-2012) and served in HMS Coventry, HMS Invincible, HMS Argyll as well as shore bases in Plymouth, Portsmouth, and Scotland. She gained a BA (Hons) in Business via the Learning at Work partnerships offered by Portsmouth University.

Since taking voluntary redundancy from the Royal Navy, she launched her own Virtual Assistant business offering an outsourcing option to deliver projects, secure funding, produce and deliver communications plans, provide mentoring, and offer flexible business solutions to the Charity sector. Employed roles have included Events, Projects and Fundraising Manager as well as an interim role as the Deputy Director of Operations at Care after Combat, a tri-service charity supporting veterans in the criminal justice system. Sarah has also worked with the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) assessing leadership training.

She has contributed to military charities in a number of voluntary roles; as the Chairman of the Royal Navy Royal Marines Widows’ Association, Trustee for the Royal Naval Benevolent Trust, and as a panel member for a ‘Through Life Pathways’ funding programme, for the Royal Navy Royal Marines Charity.

Sarah joins the NFF from a local Hospice; as Head of Income Generation, she led teams in both Southampton and the Isle of Wight.

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The NFF meets annually with the Armed Forces’ Pay Review Body (AFPRB) to present feedback from Service People and their families. The AFPRB makes recommendations to the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Defence on military pay, allowances and charges. This year’s AFPRB will meet later this month.
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Deputy Chair of TrusteesPhoto of NFF Trustee David


David served in the Royal Navy until 1983 and from then on in the Royal Naval Reserve until 2015. His current role within Portsmouth City Council is the Head of Leisure and Sports Facilities, where he has delivered a new type of Leisure Management Contract ensuring greater value for money for sports facilities.  Prior to this he was the Seafront and Events Manager and the project director for D-Day 70 events in Portsmouth.  This entailed detailed engagement with Navy Command operationally and at a strategic level to deliver one of the best events Portsmouth has seen for many years and celebrating the only VIP’s of the year, the D-Day Veterans. Before that he headed up the commercial side of Portsmouth Museums Service, including the D-Day Museum. David has the also been appointed to lead for Portsmouth for next year’s 40th Anniversary of the Falklands conflict and Armed Forces day events to be held in the Portsmouth Historic Naval Base.

A Trustee of the Royal Military Police Museum at Southwick Park since 2008 David was previously a Trustee of HMS Warrior.

Formally he was the Chair of the Portsmouth Armed Forces Covenant Partnership.  Remains an active member of the amalgamated Portsmouth Southampton and Isle of Wight partnership.


NFF News: 26th October 2021


Sarah Clewes is to take up the role of interim Chief Executive of the Naval Families Federation (NFF) from 4 January 2022. 

Having gained wide experience in the charity sector, following a long and successful career in the Royal Navy as both a rating and an officer, Sarah is well-positioned to continue the comprehensive development of the NFF that has been achieved under outgoing Chief Executive Anna Wright. 

As Chief Executive, Sarah will be responsible for ensuring that the NFF continues to improve its support for Royal Navy and Royal Marines families, both by championing their cause with policymakers and senior officers, and by stepping in to help individual families when existing processes and guidance fall short. 

Sarah, who is married to a Naval veteran – for a period they were a dual-serving couple – said: “I am thrilled to be joining such a dynamic organisation as the NFF. 

“The Federation is well-known for its role championing Naval families on the basis of their lived experience, and I look forward to working across a wide range of projects and initiatives to address both ongoing and emerging issues.” 

Sarah spent 21 years in the Logistics Branch of the Royal Navy, serving in HM ships Coventry, Invincible and Argyll, and her last job was at the RN Leadership Academy at HMS Collingwood, where she taught leadership, management and coaching while also successfully undertaking a business degree. 

After taking voluntary redundancy from the Royal Navy, Sarah embarked on a new career in the charity sector in a variety of roles, running events, projects and fundraising initiatives, and also running a successful virtual assistant business. 

One of the projects for which Sarah was responsible, the Royal Naval Association’s Project Semaphore initiative to alleviate loneliness and digital isolation amongst Naval veterans through the provision of iPads, won a national award. 

Sarah has also contributed to Naval charities in a voluntary capacity, as Chairman of the Royal Navy Royal Marines Widows’ Association (RNRMWA) and as Trustee for the Royal Naval Benevolent Trust. 

Anna Wright, who leaves to take up the role of Chief Executive of the Armed Forces Covenant Trust Fund (AFCFT), said she is leaving the NFF in very safe hands. 

“I am delighted that Sarah is taking up the reins at the Federation, because she has exactly the set of skills and experiences that will be of huge benefit to our families and her new colleagues,” said Anna. 

“Although I am honoured to be joining the AFCFT, and excited to build on the very strong foundations laid by my predecessor Melloney Poole, I will be sad to leave the excellent team at the NFF. 

“But I leave Whale Island confident that Sarah will pick up where I left off, and she will have the pleasure of working with some extraordinary people.” 

Chairman of the NFF Board of Trustees, Paul Quinn, said: “I have had the pleasure of working with Sarah in the past, and am delighted to welcome her to the NFF team as our Chief Executive. 

“Her experience within the Naval family and charity world ideally equips Sarah for her new and exciting role as chief advocate for Royal Navy and Royal Marines families.” 

As there are no Service provisions for dental care by Defence Primary Healthcare (DPHC) (Dental) in ISODET locations, personnel are authorised to seek dental treatment from local civilian dental practitioners. Dental treatment is accessed via One HMG Healthline (HEALIX) and provided by local Host Nation dental practitioners. Prior to attending any dental appointments, contact should be made with One HMG Healthline who will provide further clarification on their processes to follow and they will also provide the relevant forms and paperwork to take to your appointment.


Prior authorisation for all ‘non-routine’ dental treatment must be obtained from One HMG Healthline before the treatment can be carried out. Further details can be found in 2020DIN01-091. Patients are strongly recommended to acquaint themselves with this document prior to booking any dental appointments. All treatment requires authorisation from One HMG Healthline for funding before undertaking the treatment.


If One HMG Healthline is not available in your current location, prior approval is obtained from DPHC (Overseas) using 2021DIN01-113. Patients are strongly recommended to acquaint themselves with this document prior to booking any dental appointments. Guidance and prior approval can be sought from


Dental Fitness prior to Overseas Assignment. All Service, Entitled Personnel, and Civil Servants are to ensure they are dentally fit before taking an assignment abroad. With enough notice, DPHC(Dental) staff will prioritise treatment to SP who are assigned to isolated locations. All entitled personnel are to ensure they have a dental examination and all associated routine treatment completed prior to commencement of the overseas assignment. All family members are required to complete dental clearance through the One HMG Healthcare Hub up to 6 months prior to their posting. Dependants departing without dental clearance may not be entitled to full dental care while overseas.


You will also find location-specific dental care leaflets on ISODET dental page and NSE tabs on EJSU.Net.  For more patient-focused information you can also visit the ISODET Dental Care -Rest of World page on My Healthcare Hub on Defence Gateway.

Posted on: 25th October 2021




Chair of TrusteesMale portrait photo.


Born in the East End of London, Paul was brought up in a family of four boys and one girl, at one time living above his Dad’s shop in Walthamstow. 

Mad keen on the CCF at school, Paul joined the Royal Navy at Dartmouth and studied at the University of Newcastle as an RN Cadet.

He enjoyed a 37-year career in the Logistics branch, serving in six frigates, two minesweepers, the nuclear deterrent submarine force, a hunter-killer submarine and aircraft carrier HMS Invincible. The latter stages of Paul’s career were largely in HQ personnel roles, and he became involved with Naval charities in 2000 as Fleet Commander’s representative on numerous boards. He led on charity merger, becoming a founding Director and Trustee, and eventually Chair, of the  Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity. 

On retirement from the RN in 2008 Paul became National Director of the Apostleship of the Sea, placing chaplains in UK commercial ports. 

In 2010 he was appointed General Secretary of the RNA – “eight-and-a-half very happy and challenging years” which included an award-winning project to help digitally-isolated Naval veterans and the creation of the Naval Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum. Paul has also been Chair of Governors of a large secondary school, and chairs the parish council in Hambledon, Hampshire, where he lives. 

Paul’s wife Liz trained as a nurse at Guy’s, later becoming a secondary school teacher, and also trained to be a Church of England Lay Minister.  The couple have two daughters and six grandchildren. 

Paul is passionate about the NFF, having been its first RN contact, and is proud of being a Foundation Trustee of the charity.  His particular interests are in improving childcare for Naval families, and recognition of the challenges faced by dispersed families and families in overseas appointments. 

He brings skills and experience of charity governance, marketing and fundraising to the team. 


TrusteeImage of Steve, NFF trustee.


From joining as an Air Engineering Mechanic in 1986 to being commissioned in 2017, my career has often taken me far from the village where I grew up in West Cornwall. 

My amazing wife and three wonderful daughters have supported me every step of the way. The reassurance that organisations such as the NFF are there when our families need them is vital for serving sailors and Royal Marines. 

As a former Warrant Officer of the Naval Service, I collaborated with the NFF on projects to help improve care and support. 

Being selected as a Trustee is an immense honour and enables me to contribute more broadly to the welfare of others again. 

I have a vast experience of the issues affecting our people and a wide network to draw upon. 

Our people definitely are our greatest asset and it is great to be back onboard with the NFF!  


TrusteeImage of Jan Walker, NFF trustee.


I began my career doing research in behavioural psychology before training as a Probation Officer, working with offenders and trying to understand the reasons for their criminal behaviour. 

Since 1985 I have conducted research into family life and relationships, becoming increasingly aware that while all families have their ups and downs, it is the quality of family relationships which is central to our mental health and wellbeing and to children’s outcomes. 

I was privileged to talk to many Naval families about their needs during a recent review for the MOD, and I am passionate about finding better evidence-based ways to support families to remain strong and stable, to ensure that the right help is available at the right time. 

I will bring this passion and my research expertise to the NFF as a Trustee. 

My understanding of the commitment to duty by Royal Navy personnel and their families is continually enhanced as the mother of a serving Naval officer.  


TrusteeImage of Michelle, NFF trustee


Hello, I’m Michelle, and I’ve been a member of the RN/RM community my whole life; as a child with parents in the RN, living in married quarters moving from place to place every few years, and now, as a parent of three and proud wife of a submariner here in Scotland.  

I’ve seen and experienced first-hand the fantastic opportunities and tough challenges we and our families face being part of this incredible community. 

I recall many a teary evening home alone, with the children in bed, waiting for what seemed like a never-ending patrol to finish, so we could be together again as a family, and have also enjoyed amazing opportunities to live abroad, learn about different cultures, make fantastic memories and wonderful new friends. 

I’m incredibly proud to have been asked to become a Board Trustee of the NFF and am particularly passionate about helping and supporting our families more with the impact of devolution, the challenges of submarine life, quality and continuity of our children’s education, and as non-serving partners, our wellbeing and opportunities for employment.