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Author: NFF

TrusteeImage of Bryony, NFF trustee

 

I feel so privileged to have been appointed to the trustee board of the NFF and have this opportunity to represent modern Naval families. 

My husband is currently serving in the Royal Navy and at the moment we are living in Northwood, having been previously based on the South Coast (or at least I was, but that’s another story…) 

I work as a lawyer in the City on high value and complex litigation cases, regulatory investigations and financial crime, and I’m also a trustee of the Military Wives Choirs. 

I’m interested in all of the areas of the NFF’s work but I’m especially keen to get involved in the issues of childcare, dispersed families and support for families of those posted to roles in the joint environment or wider defence. 

 

Male portrait photo.
Families Engagement Officer (South West England) and OISC Level 1 Immigration Advisor

 

Pete Hawley joined the team in July 2016 in the role of Families Engagement Officer for the South- West of England, following a 32-year career in the Royal Marines.  The last 13 years of this were spent providing welfare support to the personnel and families of Royal Marines and Royal Navy through the in-service welfare organisations during a busy operational period.

Pete has been able to use his past skills, experience, and networks effectively to ensure that a wide range of personnel and families throughout the South-West of England are able to have their views and experiences heard whilst also promoting the important role of the Naval Families Federation.

In February 2018, Pete volunteered for the additional role of Commonwealth and Non-UK Lead for the NFF which entailed training to become an Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) Immigration Advisor.  Pete is now a qualified OISC Level 1 Immigration Advisor which has enabled the NFF to become regulated and authorised by the OISC to provide free timely and accurate immigration advice to our Commonwealth and Non-UK personnel and families.

Pete lives in Exmouth with his wife Julie and has two grown up sons, Josh and Ben. Pete is a keen cyclist and is regularly seen donning his lycra and hitting the Devon roads.

 

Families Engagement Officer (South West)

 

Image of Sian

Sian Timms was appointed Assistant Families Engagement Officer South – West for the Naval Families Federation at the beginning of September 2021.  She is also the overseas lead for the Federation, with responsibility for policy affecting serving personnel and their families posted abroad.

 

Sian served for over 24 years in the Royal Navy in a variety of jobs, including welfare support and operational roles.  She also has first-hand experience of being part of a dual-serving couple and a serving parent.

She is married and lives with her family in the West Country.  Sian is a keen sportsperson and loves being in the outdoors.

 

Image of Rania.
Marketing & Digital Manager

 

Rania was born in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, one of the many Islands of the Caribbean that is part of the Commonwealth, and from which many recruits come to the UK to serve in the Armed Forces. One of these recruits is Rania’s Mum, who is currently serving as a Petty Officer in the Royal Navy.

 

Rania’s experience as the child of a serving person is incredibly helpful in terms of her understanding the lived experience of Naval families and the challenges that they may face.  She spent much of her upbringing in the Portsmouth area and attended Portsmouth University where she studied Marketing with Psychology.

 

Rania is now putting her degree to excellent use as the NFF’s Marketing and Digital Manager, which she says she is loving to bits!

 

Image of Jennie
Families Advocate

 

Jennie joined the NFF in March 2021 beginning in a job share role with another Family Advocate and, together, they hit the ground running.   After a few months the position of Secretary to the Board of Trustee’s opened and Jennie was delighted to take on that challenge too.

A former Royal Navy Medical Assistant, Jennie served for nearly 10 years. She worked in medical centres across the UK and at the Royal Hospital Haslar. After leaving the Service Jennie has worked in the hospitality and service industry, for the NHS as a medical receptionist and in retail.  She has also volunteered at her daughter’s school as Secretary and Chair of their PTA and helped out with local and national council elections as a poll clerk.

Jennie is married to a Royal Navy Marine Engineer, and currently lives in service family accommodation with their two daughters.  She is an avid shoe collector and loves music and books.

 

Image of Natalie
Families Advocate

 

Natalie is a Naval spouse – her husband has served in the Royal Navy for almost 20 years as a rating and an officer, clocking up plenty of sea-time and weekending.  The couple have two school-age daughters, the younger having just started school.

Natalie’s background is in hospitality, having taken on various roles within a national hotel chain over 15 years, including helping to open new hotels and acting as a trouble-shooter on behalf of hotel management teams.

When Covid-19 hit the hospitality industry Natalie found herself looking for a new job and hoped to find one within the Naval community as she had carried out voluntary work in that area.

Proving the worth of the jobs and training platform, Natalie found her current role with the NFF through Forces Families Jobs.

Natalie said she particularly likes the collaborative way in which the Federation works, with colleagues pooling expertise, experience, and skills to achieve better outcomes for Naval families, and she also likes the fact that everyone’s opinion is valued – “it’s nice to know that no question is a silly question!” she said.

 

Male portrait photo.
Editor of Homeport

 

Mike has a family history of military service – his father was in the RAF before joining the police, and various uncles served in the Royal Navy, the RM Band Service, and the Army.

Mike’s career has been in journalism, starting with 11 years at The News in Portsmouth, where he worked as a reporter, sub-editor and as Production Editor before taking up a post in the MOD.

After almost a year as Second Sea Lord’s Deputy PRO, dealing with a range of HR issues, he moved across to Navy News, where he spent 22 years, the last eight as Editor. This involved covering all aspects of the Naval Service at home and overseas, at all levels from AB to Admiral, and also serving the wider Naval community, including Sea Cadets, families and veterans.

When the opportunity came to join the NFF in 2018 Mike moved across the Upper Lawn on Whale Island, from Navy Command HQ to Building 25, and has been Editor of Homeport ever since, also helping where required (from shifting boxes to checking grammar…)

 

Female portrait photo.
Families Engagement Officer (Devolved Administrations)

 

Wendy joined the NFF in April 2019 as the Devolved Administrations Families Engagement Officer, tasked with leading a comprehensive understanding of need for Royal Navy and Royal Marine families across Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales and representing this to those in position of power across the devolved governments, local authorities, and Chain of Command.

Wendy’s previous work in the third sector and local authority lends itself well to engaging and influencing positive change for RNRM Families. The spouse of a veteran submariner, Wendy has an inherent understanding of the nature of service life.

Originally from Rutland, Wendy lives in Scotland along with her husband and four children.

 

Image of Vicky
Families Engagement Officer (Devolved Administrations)

 

Part of the Scottish Families Engagement Team and based in Helensburgh, Vicky is married to a serving submariner and mum of two very young children.  She worked in retail for many years and was previously an area trainer for RoC UK.  Most recently Vicky has managed a small children’s charity, Fun First, based in Helensburgh.  This is a charity that works with children and their families to provide free, fun sessions to aid children’s development from birth.  Throughout the COVID-19 lockdowns she worked closely with families offering support and helped to facilitate friendships and connections for families within the local community.  She has taken a keen interest in Makaton, through her work with Fun First and will have completed level 3 training by mid-September.  Vicky has also volunteered with the local SSAFA in service team for the past few years, working to help support local families.

 

Profile shot of woman with brown bobbed hair.Senior Family Advocate

 

Originally from East Yorkshire, Helen now lives in Hampshire with her serving RN husband.  She is a former Retail Manager and Local Authority Housing Benefits Officer, working alongside the Housing Options team.

Helen’s customer service skills are put to good use as she leads the NFF’s Families Advocacy Team as the senior families advocate.  Helen is tenacious in supporting individual families and, having ‘lived the life’ relishes being in their corner.  Helen is also the organisation’s policy lead for Accommodation and attends national meetings to inform service providers and the MOD about the housing maintenance and allocations issues affecting Royal Navy and Royal Marines’ families.

Helen joined the team three weeks before the first Covid lockdown and still managed to get to know everyone with her very popular weekly ‘Get to Know You’ questions.