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Author: NFF

In January 2019, Andrew Selous MP was asked by the then Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson to produce an independent report to capture the needs of Service families.

 

The review team gathered evidence to inform the study in a number of ways, including email consultations, visits to military bases, schools with large numbers of Service children, and meetings with key military personnel and stakeholders. The NFF was delighted to host the team at our offices to meet with Service personnel and spouses/partners at a forum during the consultation period.

 

The report, ‘Living in our Shoes’, which features our parental absence guide, is now available.

 

Key themes emerged during the review about the challenges experienced by Armed Forces families today which are regarded as detrimental to modern family life and relationships. These refer to: Service Family Accommodation (SFA); mobility; deployment; the impact of Service life on military children and young people; the employment and careers of spouses/partners; the health and well-being of Serving personnel and family members; and the impact of Service life on personal relationships.

 

Members of the Armed Forces have a great sense of pride in the work they do and the sacrifices they and their families make.

 

The report outlined over 100 recommendations in different areas to support Service personnel and their families. The recommendations are targeted primarily at actions for the MOD and the three single Services, but some have implications for other government departments and local authorities in England, the Devolved Governments of the UK, and a range of organisations in the statutory, private and charitable sectors.

 

  • You can download a copy of the summary here. The full report can be found here
  • Please click here to see the Government’s response to the recommendations made in the report.

 

Posted on: 30th June, 2020
Updated on: 16th April, 2021

Whether you are currently based in the UK or returning from an overseas assignment, Forces Families Jobs (FFJ) is the go-to place for employment and training opportunities.

 

Take a look at the success stories from the Royal Navy and Royal Marines community as a result of using FFJ/ services provided by FFJ partners:

 

Employment
  • AnnMarie

The NFF is thrilled to announce the first FFJ success story. AnnMarie is a Royal Marine’s wife currently living in Arbroath. She has successfully secured a job working as a Teaching Assistant with Dundee City Council. Watch this video to follow her journey:

 

  • Megan Green

Megan Green, an Army spouse living in Germany secured her new job with FFJ:

”I heard about it (FFJ) from the coffee morning and also through Facebook as well so for about a month I’d sat with the website ready to go … Getting a job was to get me out and about, getting me working again as I’d spent nearly two years not working. It also meant I could get my son into nursery, which has helped him a lot and it gives us that extra stability of being able to pay the bills.”

Read her full interview here.

 

Training opportunity
  • Sarah

Sarah worked at SHAPE and attended one of LifeWorks Families’ courses because she was returning to the UK soon. She wanted to update her knowledge on what an employer would be expecting. Visit this page to find out more about LifeWorks Families.

 

“Following the course I had 3 job offers, the course gave me much, much more confidence in writing my CV and in myself… I even turned down 2 job offers because I knew they weren’t right for me. I think I was selling myself short before, which again is thanks to the course. I am now working in the Civil Service where I’m based.”

 

Posted on: 10th June, 2020
Updated on: 2nd July, 2020

 

Over the past two years the Naval Families Federation (NFF) have facilitated the training of one of their team members to become a Level 1 Immigration Advisor through the Officer of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC). This has been achieved with funding assistance from a Royal British Legion ‘Capacity Building’ grant, the ongoing support of the Army Families Federation’s Foreign and Commonwealth Specialist Katherine Houlston and GBS UK Immigration’s HM Forces Immigration Law expert Joanne Sullivan.

 

We are thrilled to announce that Pete Hawley has successfully passed the OISC Level 1 Assessment and the NFF are now regulated by the OISC to give qualified and timely immigration advice to Royal Navy and Royal Marines personnel and their family members, the Chain of Command and NS FPS caseworkers.

 

The Naval Families Federation’s OISC Regulation number is N202000087

 

Working in collaboration with Joanne Sullivan from GBS UK Immigration and CPO Janine Potts from the Royal Navy Commonwealth Network, Pete is currently working on developing a comprehensive Immigration Information section for the Naval Families Federation website. The aim is for this to be a ‘one-stop shop’ for all immigration enquiries and will greatly help our Service personnel and their families to navigate the complex area of the UK’s immigration laws, which can result in significant unnecessary expense if you get it wrong.

 

Please click here to contact us.

 

Posted on: 27th May, 2020

UPDATE

As 2020 draws to a welcome close and we keep our fingers crossed for 2021, we’ve revamped the project in order to offer you a warm, welcoming Winter Glow. Please click here for more information.

On the 75th anniversary of VE Day, the Naval Families Federation (NFF) is proud to announce the ‘Brighten Your Day’ project, funded by the Annington Trust.

 

We are grateful for our Armed Forces’ sacrifice to protect our nation and its interests. As we celebrate the end of conflict in Europe 75 years ago today, we are also proud to be in the corner of currently serving members of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines and their families.

 

Our community is resourceful and resilient. Families and partners juggle work, childcare, finances, home responsibilities and everything else during periods when serving people are working away or deployed.

 

During the coronavirus pandemic, we recognise that there is additional pressure on currently serving Royal Navy and Royal Marines personnel and their families. The NFF has received funding from the Annington Trust to provide them with resources to support their resilience, to enhance coping strategies and to brighten a family’s day during COVID-19.

 

UPDATE

This project has been replaced by ‘Winter Glow’. Please click here for more information.

Gallery

Thank you for your positive feedback and on-going demand – here are some of the pictures featuring you! Please contact us with your photos as we would love to see them!

Posted on: 8th May, 2020
Updated on: 7th December, 2020

Whether it is ‘weekending’ or deployment, we understand that Royal Navy and Royal Marines families spend a considerable amount of time away from each other.

Pile of books including 'My Daddy's going away'

 

For the past 2 years, the Naval Families Federation (NFF) has been providing serving personnel and their families with book resources to help them during periods of separation and deployment.

 

Thanks to your positive feedback and ongoing demand, the Royal Navy & Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC) has kindly agreed to fund a continuation of the project, which has been further enhanced with additional resources relevant to the current Covid-19 lockdown.

 

The project includes resources to assist with times of parental absence, relationships, parenting, anxiety, bereavement and more.

 

Guidelines for provision of books/ resources

  • Full list of books from the NFF family resource projectA maximum of one book for each child/ family member of currently serving Royal Navy/ Royal Marines personnel.
  • You will be asked to provide your (or your serving person’s) Service number for eligibility purposes.
  • While every effort will be made to process orders quickly, this project is not supported by any additional staffing resource, so please be patient with us.
  • Provision of particular titles is subject to availability.
  • Please note that during the current COVID – 19 situation there may be a slight delay.
Posted on: 4th May, 2020

 

We want to say a huge ‘thank you’ to all the people who are working as part of the national response to Covid-19.

 

Many key workers in the NHS, the Armed Forces (Regular and Reserve) and other vital services are working away from home at the moment as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. If you are living away from your family, here are some tried and tested tips from the experience of Royal Navy and Royal Marines families which may help you to navigate this time of separation.

 

You can download our resource free here.

 

 

Posted on: 30th April, 2020

 

Supporting Service Children in Education (SSCE) Cymru is a Welsh Local Government Association programme initially funded by the MOD’s Education Support Fund and funded by Welsh Government from 2019.

 

Since the programme began in 2014 SSCE Cymru has worked with schools, children and young people, Local authorities, Welsh Government, education professionals, Armed Forces families and support organisations to gather their views and experiences, build networks across Wales and raise awareness and understanding of the experiences of children of Armed Forces personnel. SSCE Cymru has developed guidance and digital resources for schools and families, hosted conferences and stakeholder days and commissioned research to better understand the needs of Service children in education.

 

School survey

In 2019, SSCE Cymru invited all schools in Wales that have Service children enrolled to participate in a survey. The topics included:

  • School information – e.g. number of Service children, language of school, location
  • Mobility data – number of Service children joining and leaving the school
  • Challenges – those that Service children face in education, and schools face in supporting them
  • Support – that schools offer to their Service children, including mental health and wellbeing assistance, and how schools are working collaboratively
  • Funding – that schools are accessing, and what it is being used for
  • Armed Forces community – and how schools are engaging with it
  • SSCE Cymru resources – to learn what schools would find beneficial in helping them to support their Service children
  • SSCE Cymru training – to identify what type of training schools would like, and for who

You can download the full survey findings here.

 

Listening to our Service children

In 2019/20, SSCE Cymru ran a number discussion groups in schools in Wales, to hear from Service children about their experiences of education in Wales.

These findings will feed into the Year of the Service Child Voice project by the Service Children’s Progression Alliance (SCiP Alliance).

You can download the full project analysis here.

 

Posted on: 31st March, 2020

 

As new measures and guidelines develop around COVID-19, we have put together a list of fun activities and useful resources specifically designed for the serving Royal Navy and Royal Marines families community.

 

Please also visit this page for updates from the NFF, Chain of Command and other stakeholders.

 


Activities

 

  • ‘Brighten Your Day’ project

 

    • During the coronavirus pandemic, we recognise that there is additional pressure on our Royal Navy and Royal Marines families. The NFF has received funding from the Annington Trust to provide our families with resources to brighten their day.

 

  • NFF & Headspace

NFF, Headspace and RN FPS are delighted to offer RN/RM families free access to the Headspace app

 

    • The NFF, supported by Royal Navy Family and People Support, is delighted to launch our Headspace for Families project on National Stress Awareness Day (4th November 2020). The project is open to non-serving family members (RN/RM/RFA – regular and reserves). Headspace is a platform for mindful living which you can take with you wherever you go – watch this video to find out more. You can find out more, and sign up for 12 months free access to Headspace here.

 

  • Time, On My Watch

Time, on my watch promotional poster with quote and logos.

 

    • The new NFF project is funded by the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust. It’s an opportunity for you to show that your time is valuable and that you matter too. You can say what you like, in whatever medium you like. Send a photograph of the completed piece to us and Artist Tim Mann will use your images to create a final piece of artwork, which will be anonymous.

 

  • Downloadable content

 

    • Visit Little Troopers’ website to download their free activity sheets for your young person.

 

  • Reading books

 

    • For the past 2 years, the NFF has been providing serving Royal Navy and Royal Marines personnel and their families with book resources to help them during periods of separation and deployment. Thanks to your positive feedback and ongoing demand, Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity has kindly agreed to fund a continuation of the project, which has been further enhanced with additional resources relevant to the current Covid-19 lockdown. The project includes resources to assist with times of parental absence, relationships, parenting, anxiety, bereavement and more. Click here for more information.

 

    • The name Clare Shaw may perhaps ring a bell? The ”My Daddy’s/ Mommy’s Gone Away to Work” author from our book list has written an online book about COVID – 19 for children and it is available to download for free here.

 

    • A free book explaining the virus to children has been created by the Gruffalo illustrator Axel Scheffler. Click here to download a free copy or to watch it with your children by video.

 

    • Click here to access Staying Home, a book by Sally Nicholls and Viviane Schwarz. This storybook help explain the current situation to children.

 

    • 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.

 

  • Staying active

 

    • Visit our guide here to access top tips to staying active and healthy.

 


Useful resources

 

  • Arriving Home Safely

 

    • Thank you to our NHS and key-workers. We have produced the above infographic to help you arrive home safely.

 

  • Bereavement support

 

    • Please click here for a leaflet produced by the government that shares important information to help bereaved families, friends or next of kin make important decisions during this national emergency and explains the next steps, answers some of your questions, and guides you to the extra help and support that is available.

 

    • During the global coronavirus pandemic we are facing a tragic loss of life, often under very difficult circumstances. Cruse have put together these resources to share how bereavement and grief may be affected by this pandemic.

 

    • Winston’s Wish provide support for bereaved children, young people and their families with a military connection.

 

    • Child Bereavement UK supports families and educates professionals when a baby or child of any age dies or is dying, or when a child is facing bereavement.
    • Relate have extended their counselling offer to Naval Service families to include bereavement and loss.

 

  • Child Safety

 

    • With children at home, you may worry about their safety. The Child Accident Prevention Trust have produced a guide to preventing accidents at home.

 

    • The RoSPA have produced this list of ideas to keep under-5s safe.

 

  • Domestic abuse

 

    • Measures announced over recent weeks to tackle COVID-19 are essential to beat the virus and to protect our NHS. Staying at home is particularly challenging for people who are experiencing or feel at risk of domestic abuse. Domestic abuse is unacceptable in any situation, no matter what stresses you are under. Find out more about how you can access help here. If you need urgent support, dial 999.

 

    • During the coronavirus crisis, Hestia’s UK SAYS NO MORE campaign has been working to ensure victims of domestic abuse across the UK can access vital support in a safe space. All Boots UK stores will facilitate their consultation rooms as Safe Spaces, enabling people facing domestic abuse to access specialist domestic abuse support services.

 

    • Please click here to access a safety planning guide for domestic abuse survivors.

 

    •  Click here to access a safety planning guide for children in isolation.

 

  • Homeschooling/ adult-learners

 

    • The Learning and Development Organisation have produced this PDF containing hyperlinks to resources for parents now home schooling, and adult learners.
    • BFBS TV will broadcast eight hours of BBC Bitesize educational programmes to help Armed Forces families overseas with home schooling by giving them access to the new ‘lockdown service’ available on the BBC in the UK. Click here for more information on the schedule.

 

  • Mental health support 

 

    • How is it going? Challenging times like so can affect our mental health. Help is available.
    • Combat Stress have released a series of videos and resources with helpful advice, information and strategies to help get you through.

 

  • Relationship support

 

    • Relationships may face extra pressure during this difficult time. Relate offers Royal Navy and Royal Marines personnel and their families free access to their counselling service.
    • ‘Building Stronger Families’ portal is a self-directed online learning programme supporting naval couple and family relationships, which may also be able to assist.

 

  • Service charities

 

    • Here is a list of other Service charities you may wish to take note of.

 

  • Strengthening Families

 

    • While this is not a covid-19 relief project, ‘Strengthening Families – By Your Side’,  is a new offer of support for all Royal Navy and Royal Marines families. Find out more about how the programme partners can support you and your family here.

 

  • Working Away from Home

 

    • Are you living away from your family? Here are some tried and tested tips from the experience of Royal Navy and Royal Marines families which may help you to navigate this time of separation.

 


Posted on: 26th March, 2020
Updated on: 5th November, 2020

The following sections contain information and communications from the NFF and Armed Forces partners to cover a range of topics concerning serving Royal Navy and Royal Marines families during this difficult time. The page is updated regularly.
**Please kindly reload this page twice to ensure the post is displaying the latest information. Thank you.

 


 

 

Message from the NFF

Health and safety is our highest priority. Staff based at our office in Portsmouth are currently working from home until further notice.

 

Our phone line and emails continue to operate as usual. We will continue to post updates to keep you informed.

 

Please watch a video below for a message from our CEO.

 

We hope you and your loved ones are staying healthy and safe.

 

 

Resources:
    • We have put together a page with activities and free online services to help you and your family through this challenging time. 

 

    • Our Family Resource Project has been further enhanced with additional resources relevant to the current pandemic. The project provides currently serving RN & RM families with book resources to assist with times of parental absence, relationships, parenting, anxiety, bereavement and more.

 

    • If you are currently separated from your family due to the coronavirus, our ‘Working Away from Home’ booklet includes tried and tested tips from RN & RM families and suggested activities to help you to navigate this time of separation.

 

    • The NFF, supported by Royal Navy Family and People Support, is delighted to launch our Headspace for Families project on National Stress Awareness Day (4th November 2020). The project is open to non-serving family members (RN/RM/RFA – regular and reserves). Headspace is a platform for mindful living which you can take with you wherever you go – watch the video below to find out more. You can find out more, and sign up for 12 months free access to Headspace here.

 

 

 


Messages from the government/ Chain of Command
Ministry of Defence

 

  • Please click here to read a letter from the Chief of Defence People for Service Families (November 2020).
  • Click here to read a MOD Letter to Service Partners on employment (June 2020).
  • Click here for updates from the the MOD Remuneration Allowances Team on allowance and expenses (JSP 752).
Chain of Command

 

  • Click here to watch a video recorded by the First Sea Lord on the Royal Navy’s response to for all sailors, marines and RFA personnel (April 2020).
  • The Second Sea Lord and Fleet Commander have personally addressed Naval Service Families and you can read the message in full here (March 2020).
  • Families are encouraged to sign up to the Royal Navy Forum to receive the latest updates from the Chain of Command.
  • The Royal Navy Family & People Support (RN FPS) have extended their open hours to support Service families in this challenging time. Please click here for their contact details.
  • All Royal Navy personnel are requested to log in and register their status on the My Navy App.
Other information
Accommodation

      

 

  • DIO and Amey understand that families may have concerns about the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID 19) on the management and maintenance of their SFA and the impact on any upcoming moves.  They have therefore put together a business continuity plan with the aim of minimising the spread of the virus and keeping both families and their staff as safe as possible:

 

    • Please click here to visit gov.uk to receive the latest updates on Service Family Accommodation (SFA). This page includes a FAQ regarding COVID-19 for the MOD housing community and an address from Air Commodore Wendy Rothery, Head of Accommodation DIO.
    • Please click here to visit Amey’s COVID-19 guidance for SFA, including information on maintenance, moves, and more.
    • Future Accommodation Model: Please click here to read a service update.

 

Education
  • For the latest updates from the Directorate Children and Young People, please visit their Facebook page, hereThe Children’s Education Advisory Service (CEAS) team are working remotely. If Service families need to contact them regarding any issues to do with their child’s education for example CEA, School admissions, advice regarding their child’s Special Educational Needs and Disability/ Additional Needs, overseas education, or retaining Service Family Accommodation for educational reasons, then they should email: DCYP-CEAS-Enquiries@mod.gov.uk  Please do not ring or post documents as there is no-one in the office to respond, but the general email is checked several times a day. 

 

 

  • Where parents have particular concerns over any impact on their child(ren)’s education, particularly where a child is approaching key examinations, they should contact their child(ren)’s school(s), and may also seek specific advice from the MOD Children’s Education Advisory Service at DCYP-CEAS-Enquiries@mod.gov.uk . Parents with children in UK Independent Boarding Schools may also access Independent Schools Council advice here.

 

 

  • There has been an update from the MOD on School Children’s Visits (SCVs) in response to Coronavirus (COVID-19) and border control restrictions. The page also includes a FAQ section to have your questions answered.

 

  • For England only, the Department for Education coronavirus helpline is now available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children’s social care, but please note that they have a reduced service right now. If you do not get through to the helpline, please email them and they will aim to get back to you as soon as possible.
Employment
  • Service leavers:
    • Career Transition Partnership (CTP) has produced some FAQ to address questions you may have.

 

  • Non-serving family members:
    • Please click here to read the government’s guidance to employers and businesses.
    • The Ministry of Defence has produced a letter to Service partners on employment during this challenging time. The annex included with this letter provides details of the employment support that is available to partners and spouses.
    • The NHS and some of the nation’s major supermarket chains are signed up to Forces Families Jobs, a tri-Service employment and training platform for Armed Forces families. If you would like to get involved and help the communities or to attend a free/ discounted online training course, please head over to the portal to sign up for free.
    • If you live in another area of England or Wales and are interested in working for the NHS to support them during this difficult time, please visit the NHS Jobs website here. NHS Jobs in Scotland can be found here.
Finance
  • Click here to find information about employment and benefits support from the DWP. 

 

  • Click here to visit Business Wales to find out more about support to business owners and those who are self-employed.
Well-being
  • Please click here for general information and guidance about Covid-19.

 

  • Please click here for general information from the NHS.

 

  • Please click here for an information leaflet for the Armed Forces community.

 

  • Bereavement support: During the global coronavirus pandemic we are facing a tragic loss of life, often under very difficult circumstances. Please visit the government’s website that shares important information to help bereaved families, friends or next of kin make important decisions during this national emergency and explains the next steps; Cruse have put together these resources to share how bereavement and grief may be affected by this pandemic; Winston’s Wish provide support for bereaved children, young people and their families with a military connection; Child Bereavement UK supports families and educates professionals when a baby or child of any age dies or is dying, or when a child is facing bereavement.

 

  • Domestic abuse: Any victim of domestic abuse has the right to be supported and to stay safe. Here is a list of organisations that can help.

 

  • Supporting Children and Young People’s Mental Health: The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is going to affect everyone’s daily lives, as the government and the NHS take necessary steps to manage the outbreak, reduce transmission and treat those who need medical attention. Regardless of their age, this may be a difficult time for children and young people. Some may react right away, while others may show signs of difficulty later on. The Government has produced some guidance on how we can best support children and young people’s mental health through this difficult period of time, click here.
Overseas assignments
  • Please click here to view the government’s guidance for those affected by changes to UK immigration and borders due to coronavirus. 

 

  • BFPO: Please click here for a service update.

 

12 January 2021 update:

The latest guidance on self-isolation when travelling to England, and links to information on rules for the devolved nations, can be found here.

From 14 January 2021, passengers arriving from all international destinations will be required to present a negative COVID-19 test result before departing for England. This is in addition to the mandatory 10 day self-isolation for arrivals. All the latest information about COVID-19 testing, including reimbursement of costs, for Service personnel and their immediate families returning to the UK can be found here. Definitions of immediate family can be found here.

Posted on: 17th March, 2020
Updated on: 26th March, 2021

 

The Naval Families Federation (NFF) is delighted to announce the launch of ‘Strengthening Families – By Your Side’, a new offer of support for all Royal Navy and Royal Marines families. This project is supported by funding from the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC), as well as funds awarded by the Armed Forces Covenant.

 

Strengthening Families – By Your Side has been developed by the RNRMC and the NFF, in partnership with the Royal Navy, Kings Active Foundation, Home-Start UK and Relate. Initial funding of project activities, provided by the RNRMC and the Armed Forces Covenant, is to be rolled out over the next three years. The offer aims to provide comprehensive support to Naval Service families whenever and wherever they need it.

 

This groundbreaking partnership will work collaboratively to address some of the key issues underlined in the RNRMC’s ‘Understanding of Need’ report, primarily looking at the gap between the support available for dispersed families nationwide compared to support available for those living in or near base ports.  The RNRMC’s ‘Understanding of Need’ report highlighted that dispersed Naval Service families, i.e. families distributed throughout the country, are less likely than those who live close to base ports to be aware of available help and support and far more likely to have difficulties accessing the support available.

 

The project also seeks to tackle problems reported by Naval Service personnel and their families to the Naval Families Federation and the Royal Navy Chaplaincy. These can include a sense of isolation, relationship and parenting issues or mental health difficulties.

 

Anna Wright, CEO of the Naval Families Federation said:

‘We are delighted to have been involved in this vital initiative, particularly in the case of our isolated families.

Royal Navy and Royal Marines families are more widely dispersed than those of our sister Services, which brings its own challenges in terms of mutual support, gleaning information and access to the range of services that are available to families near base ports and other Naval establishments.

This kind of partnership between ourselves, the RNRMC and other stakeholders points to a potentially more effective way of using scare resources to greater effect.’

 

Mandy Lindley, Director of Relationships and Funding at the RNRMC said:

‘By working together, we can deliver the improvement in quality of life that is needed by our service families. Strengthening Families – By Your Side is about early intervention and prevention, providing a range of services leading to improved family cohesion, conflict resolution, health and well-being, and increased levels of happiness.’

 

More information about Strengthening Families – By Your Side will be coming soon to our website.

 

Posted on: 6th March, 2020