Author: NFF

Image of SheridanFamilies Engagement Officer (Devolved Administrations)


Sheridan joined the team in August 2021 as the NFF aimed to grow its Scottish presence and became part of the Scottish Families Engagement Team. She covers the East coast of Scotland and Northern Ireland within her role.

Sheridan has been working within the charity sector since March 2019, her previous role at RMA – The Royal Marines Charity was as the Membership Co-ordinator. Her role there involved working closely and building relationships with veterans, serving Royal Marines and their families.

Originally from the Midlands, Sheridan has moved within Scotland and Plymouth with her serving Royal Marine husband and two sons.


Female portrait photo.Marketing and Communications Manager


Having joined the NFF in 2018 in a maternity cover role Cinmi was invited to remain on a permanent basis as the Marketing and Communications Manager.

Cinmi gained her BA degree in Communications and English Studies from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 and received her Master’s in Journalism, Media, and Culture from Cardiff University in 2016.  In her spare time, she is a content creator and blogs about beauty and lifestyle for fun. Her blog enables her to experiment and gain new skills, which she can utilise to help grow the NFF’s social presence.

Having been with her serving sailor since 2015, Cinmi has lived both the ‘weekending routine’ and the ‘married patch’ life.  She has great awareness of the challenges our RN/RM families are facing, and she is delighted to be in this role to support the community to which she belongs.


Female portrait photo.Health & Wellbeing and Covenant Policy Adviser


Jenny Ward has worked within the Armed Forces community for more than 30 years, having started as a Civil Servant in the Ministry of Defence. Since 2007 she has primarily worked in support of Armed Forces families, initially as the Evidence Manager for the RAF Families Federation and then as the Armed Forces Covenant lead and Regional Team Manager for the Naval Families Federation (NFF).

Jenny now represents the NFF within the policy areas of health and wellbeing and the Armed Forces Covenant. She is a member of the NHS England Armed Forces Public Patient Voice Advisory Group and the DHSC UK Health of our Service Families Working Group.  Jenny has a particular interest in improving mental health support services for Armed Forces families and is currently leading the Headspace App pilot project, which is being delivered by the NFF in partnership with the Royal Navy.

Image of Rebecca LovellEducation and Childcare Policy Adviser


Becky joined the team in June 2021 as the Education and Childcare Policy Adviser and is the Naval Families Federation’s subject lead in the areas of education, childcare, and parenting.

As a former teacher and school leader, Becky has extensive experience working in both secondary and junior schools. Her specialism was the teaching of English and the promotion of literacy – especially reading – across the curriculum. During this time, Becky also conducted research in education, focusing on teacher training. Currently, she is a school governor at her local primary school, with a particular interest in Early Years and mental health and wellbeing provision.

Rebecca is herself part of a naval family and lives with her serving spouse and two school aged children.

Female portrait photo.Director of Operations


Nicola joined the team in April 2014 on a one-year fixed contract working on an Armed Forces Covenant project.  Following the success of the project she was retained on a permanent basis as a Regional Liaison Officer for Southeast England and after seven years with the NFF, Nicola stepped into the role of Director of Operations in June 2021.

Nicola started her career in Human Resources and was fully funded by her employer to attend university and achieve a Post Graduate Certificate in HR and a Post Graduate Diploma in Management.  After many years in HR she changed career direction, due to starting a family and a husband serving in the Royal Navy, and moved into assessing NVQs.  Nicola decided to apply for the NFF position as her own lived experiences provided her with the necessary skills to advise and support families, whilst her career experiences provided the skills to communicate families’ feedback to those in a position of power.

Nicola is a keen runner and completed her first marathon in 2019.  She lives in Portsmouth with her serving husband and two children.

Female portrait photo.Chief Executive Officer (Outgoing as of 3rd January 2022)


Passing out from Britannia Royal Naval College in 1990, Anna served as a logistics officer for 8 years. She is married to Stuart, a naval logistics officer and barrister, and left the Service prior to the birth of their second child in 2000.  Anna re-trained as a Business and Economics teacher and has since taught and managed in three Further Education Colleges and become an Advanced Practitioner whilst ‘following the flag’. Taking advantage of the proximity of her service family accommodation to Brunel University, she completed a master’s degree in education in 2014.


As Chief Executive Officer of the Naval Families Federation for six years she has led ground-breaking research work into the unique dynamics of the Royal Navy’s lifestyle focusing on non-operational separation, conducted a full strategic review of the organisation and led multiple projects and work-strands in important areas such as childcare, family separation, health, and education.

6th October, 2021


A groundbreaking NFF project to gain an insight into how Naval families were feeling during the Covid-19 pandemic has reached a milestone in its progress. 


Time, On My Watch was born of the desire to reach out to families during a time of isolation when our normal face-to-face channels of communication – families days, coffee mornings and the like – were closed off to us. 


Instead, prompted by an initiative by the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust, we explored ways in which we could use creative processes to see how our families were coping with the additional stresses and strains which were inevitable in the uncertain times of the summer of 2020. 


Our initial engagements with families suggested that the approach would bear fruit, so we developed our bid, which was approved by the Trust. 


The next step was to enlist the considerable expertise of professional artist Tim Mann, who offered a very different perspective on what was, for the NFF, a very different initiative. 


Naval families were invited to submit their thoughts on the concept of time, and how it affected them, representing those thoughts in the form of drawings, poems, handicrafts or photography. 


The Story Behind ‘Time, On My Watch’

This collection, we believe, presents a powerful message, delivered in creative work that ranges across the emotional scale, from heartfelt words to dark doodles. 


They hint at how people seize special moments, or steel themselves for a patient wait, or watch as the sands of time slip away, highlighting some coping strategies adopted by the Naval community and the effects that separation has on both the deployed and their families back home. 


One strong theme that emerges from the works is that of the importance of the community in supporting one another – which came as no surprise to the NFF team. 


The honesty and openness displayed makes the collection all the more valuable as a means of communication – and justifies our original intention to somehow capture the spirit of the project for posterity. 


One longer-term ambition is to make the collection accessible to all, possibly in the format of an online exhibition, and a more traditional touring exhibition is also an option that could be considered. 


But the latest development is a book which presents the works anonymously as a miscellany, and which will be presented to key policy and decision-makers in the military and government to help inform their thinking, and to contributors to the project. 


Displayed on this page are some of the works submitted; our thanks go to all of you who took part and made the project so worthwhile.

Book reading video

NHS England is seeking to improve the health and wellbeing support provided to military families, and your views are helping to shape that plan. The NHS in England provides healthcare services for families of serving personnel – regulars and reservists – who have registered with an NHS GP practice. But not everyone in the NHS understands the specific health needs of Armed Forces families, and what they are entitled to under the Armed Forces Covenant. That can mean, in some cases, that such families have problems getting the right care and support, which can lead to further challenges and difficulties.


Armed Forces community support networks have been set up in some parts of the country, focussing on improving their experience of health services, and feedback from families with experience of such networks has been positive. But in many areas such links are more informal and not as well-developed, so one strand of the engagement exercise was to explore whether setting up more networks might help.


The engagement took place for two months from the end of September 2020, supported by a questionnaire and a series of online focus groups and one-to-one interviews. More than 160 organisations were contacted directly to encourage responses, and with the supporting media also playing its part, a total of 1,391 responses were received by the NHS. Armed Forces families contributed 424 responses, and more than 80 per cent of the respondents were aged between 26 and 65. Just under 20 per cent of the respondents were from, or had links to, the Royal Navy or Royal Marines.


Now the results have been analysed, the NHS is embarking on a programme of actions under the heading ‘you said, we will do…’


One general theme that emerged was that Armed Forces families believed they would benefit from more information and dedicated support to help them find and access NHS services, and that a person acting as a single point of contact outside the chain of command, rather than an array of documents and leaflets, would be more helpful. And one line of thought is that community support networks could fulfil the function of a single point of contact, as well as helping NHS organisations understand the military culture and lifestyle, as well as the implications of the Armed Forces Covenant.


Furthermore, reducing waiting times as a result of moving bases and more joined-up communication between NHS organisations and between the NHS and Defence Medical Services (DMS) would ensure that Armed Forces families do not repeatedly have to start the referral process every time they move.


Respondents also indicated that better understanding from NHS staff, particularly from GPs, would make accessing services easier.


These findings have been shared with decision makers to help shape what support could be put in place for Armed Forces families in the future – and although this engagement has been completed, the NHS will continue to seek the views and experiences of Armed Forces families to ensure that any future support put in place meets their needs. The findings will be considered by the NHS England and NHS Improvement Armed Forces Oversight Group (AFOG), who will look at what actions are needed to progress improvements in this area.


Agreed actions will be progressed in collaboration with the NHS England and NHS Improvement Armed Forces Patient and Public Voice Group, Armed Forces families/Armed Forces community, the Naval Families Federation and our two sister groups in the Army and RAF, the wider NHS, Department of Health and Social Care and Ministry of Defence.

NHS report: 'You said, we will do'
Click here to access the 'You said we will do' report.
Front cover of the NHS report
Click here to access the research findings.
Posted on: 13th September, 2021

The Royal Navy has a comprehensive website aimed at guiding and informing all applicants through the recruitment process for all applicants which includes Commonwealth candidates. For further information about Royal Navy Careers, including the Royal Marines – click here. The additional Information contained in Naval Families Federation (NFF) website is intended to pull together this information along with additional information that will help to guide and inform candidates and their families through some of the common pitfalls and frequently asked questions (FAQ’s) regarding the Royal Navy.

Joining the RN/RM as a Commonwealth Applicant

Joining the Royal Navy or Royal Marines as a Commonwealth Applicant

Commonwealth and Non British Candidates

The Royal Navy has received a large amount of applicants from Commonwealth member countries wishing to join the Naval Service in all branches. Due to this large demand anyone applying will have their enquiry put on hold, however, please be reassured your contact details and date of application have been captured in our records, and we will be in touch with you when we are in a position to move your application forward.  For further information click here.

Royal Navy Commonwealth Applicants

You can find all the roles currently available to Commonwealth applicants in the link below. To apply, you will need to hold a valid passport and meet the eligibility criteria for your chosen role. If you’re an overseas applicant, you need to be age 18 or over and have a Visa. If you live in the UK, you can apply from age 16 and will need a biometric residency card. For further information click here. It is important to look at all aspects including information about bringing your family to the UK.

Royal Marine Commonwealth Applicants

Royal Marines Commandos are among the most highly trained, elite amphibious soldiers on the planet. They tackle our most challenging operations, using their unique skills and the all-important state of mind that separates them from every other force. Now, if you’re a Commonwealth citizen, you could be one of them, even if you aren’t a UK resident. For further information click here. It is important to look at all aspects including information about bringing your family to the UK.

Official Guide for Potential Royal Navy and Royal Marines Candidates from Outside the UK

For detailed information into the selection process that you must undertake in order to join the Royal Navy (RN) or Royal Marines (RM) and to inform you of some of the challenges that you may encounter as an overseas applicant click here.

Posted on: 7th September, 2020

The NFF’s advocacy for Naval families has hit the gold standard with the award of the highest accolade in the Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS).


A year after achieving silver status, the Federation has gone one step further for our support to the Royal Navy and Royal Marines community, in this case specifically for our commitment in the field of employment.


The ERS was launched in 2014 by the then Prime Minister David Cameron to recognise employer support for the wider principles of the Armed Forces Covenant and the full spectrum of Defence personnel, including Reservists, spouses, and service leavers.


Gold status is reserved for those organisations that go beyond the Covenant pledge and show the highest levels of commitment to the military community, both in their own recruitment practices and in their advocacy for employing members of that community.


NFF Chief Executive Anna Wright said: “We are delighted and honoured to have been granted ERS Gold Award status”


“We have long championed the case for employing Naval family members, particularly Naval spouses, and our own recruitment policy recognises the challenges such families face as well as the impressive skill set they have developed as a result of those challenges.”


“More than 90 per cent of our team has either served or is a close relative of a serving person or veteran, so we walk the walk as well as talking the talk!”


“I am also enormously proud of the role the Naval Families Federation played in setting up the successful Forces Families Jobs platform, taking our advocacy a step further to provide real jobs and training for our enormously talented Naval families.”


Announcing the latest tranche of successful bids for the prestigious award, Defence Minister Leo Docherty said today that 140 organisations have received the Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award for their outstanding support towards the Armed Forces community.


“I would like to thank all the organisations who have proven their support for the Defence community during such unprecedented and challenging times,” said Mr Docherty, the Minister for Defence People and Veterans.


“The vast range of those recognised this year demonstrates how employing the Armed Forces community makes a truly positive and beneficial impact for all employers, regardless of size, sector or location.”


Winners alongside the Naval Families Federation included international business process outsourcing and professional services company Capita, construction and engineering giant Costain, the Isle of Man Government, Lloyds Banking Group, Manchester City Council, Merseyside Police, Norfolk County Council, Recruit for Spouses, Saab UK, Scottish Power and the Victory Services Club in London.


This year’s announcement brings the total number of Gold holders to 493.


The full list of Employer Recognition Scheme Gold, Silver, and Bronze award winners is available here

More information on the Armed Forces Covenant, the promise by the nation ensuring that those who serve or who have served in the Armed Forces, and their families, are treated fairly, can be found here

Posted on: 16th July 2021

Updated on: 30th November 2021