Author: NFF

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.
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Message from the NFF

Our phone line and emails continue to operate as usual. Please watch a video below for a message from our CEO. We hope you and your loved ones are staying healthy and safe.



    • 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 serving personnel and their 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).
  • Did you receive your vaccinations via your ship/unit? Click here to find out how to get your vaccination certificate. Note: Your NHS number can be obtained via the My Navy app.
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



  • 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 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.


  • 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:  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 . 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.


June 2021 update:

  • Service personnel and their immediate families may be eligible to claim costs associated with COVID-19 tests. Full details can be found here.
  • For Get You Home (Overseas), Duty Travel and any other arrangements, click here.


July 2021 Update:

For Allowance and Expense Arrangements in Response to COVID-19, click here

Posted on: 17th March, 2020
Updated on: 28th June, 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



Sincere thanks to everyone who generously gave their time to respond to our childcare survey. The survey is now closed. We will keep you updated via our website and social media channels once the final report becomes available. We will take your thoughts and concerns to the government and the Chain of Command to inform change.


If you missed the survey deadline, please email us at as we would still like to document your ‘lived experience’ about this and any other issues that concern you.



You may recall that the NFF conducted a Childcare survey back in 2016.  Thank you for your excellent responses which we collated and used to advocate strongly for change to remove disadvantage in this area. The whole report can be downloaded here. 


As a result of our advocacy, the MOD has now agreed to consider how Service families can be better supported with childcare.  We now have an opportunity to directly inform any potential changes and decisions and wish the specific needs of Royal Navy and Royal Marines families to be represented.


By completing this survey, you will be informing us and helping us to build a clearer picture of the childcare issues that affect you.


This survey should take about 10 minutes to complete:


Posted on: 13th February, 2020
Updated on: 20th April, 2020


SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity announced the release of a new survey report written by the FANDF committee. This powerful report shares the voices of this sometimes-overlooked Additional Needs and Disability community within the Armed Forces. This is the first time that this demographic has shared these insights and their experiences in an official capacity with the Ministry of Defence.


Under the MOD’s Defence and Inclusion (D&I) strategy, efforts are being made to shine a light into every corner of the Forces community. In order to better support these families, their opinions and personal experiences have been collated and their own on-the-ground-recommendations are being shared.


Key report findings:

  • Lack of a ‘normal’ family routine caused by military lifestyle leaves those families with additional needs and disabilities struggling to climb waiting lists and access specialist services required
  • Children’s education can suffer as stretched local authorities subconsciously under-resource support for children who will ‘move on’ shortly. The report finds ongoing issues with obtaining an educational diagnosis and support for children, according to 29% of respondents surveyed
  • Access to continuity of health care is a big concern, with health and educational records taking time to be transferred and those families claiming access to support having to start again from scratch every time they move
  • Autistic Spectrum Disorder is the most common additional need identified by 48% of respondents, and specialist support for military families dealing with this is necessary


Click here to read the report in full. 


Posted on: 27th January, 2020

Researchers at King’s College London are carrying out a new study into maternal health and wellbeing in the Armed Forces community. Findings from the study will be used to help those providing care to spouses and partners of UK Armed Forces personnel, including NHS and Defence healthcare professionals, Armed Forces charities, community and welfare teams, and perinatal health organisations. It is hoped that this will lead to improvements in services for spouses and partners of Service personnel during and after pregnancy.  


Pregnancy and the arrival of a new baby signifies a period of unprecedented change, excitement and hope for the future for most women. However, for some, it can be a particularly difficult time due to mental health issues, which may arise during or after pregnancy.  The spouses and partners of Armed Forces personnel may be at increased risk of developing a mental health problem in the perinatal period (pregnancy and up to 12 months following birth) as they are exposed to unique factors associated with this unique lifestyle. 

However, we know very little about what pregnancy and early motherhood is like for UK Armed Forces spouses and partners, with the majority of available evidence coming from the US. 

About this study

The study is being supported by the three Families Federations and funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). The project is being conducted via an online survey.

To take part in the study, participants should be: 

  • Currently pregnant (by a minimum of 12-weeks) or up to12 months postnatal 
  • 16 years old or above 
  • NHS registered  
  • Currently living in the UK  
  • In a relationship (married/civil partnership or other) 
  • Partner currently on regular or Full-time Reserve Service (FTRS) in the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, British Army or Royal Air Force OR in full-time civilian employment  

Please click this link to participate in the research.

Get in touch

If you’d like to know more, please don’t hesitate to get in touch:  

Posted on: 22nd January, 2020

It was announced in 2019 that Service personnel who are in a long-term relationship or have residential responsibility for a child will now be able to apply to live together in surplus Service Family Accommodation (SFA) at all UK bases where properties are available. Before that, only married couples, those in civil partnerships and those with legally dependent children could live in SFA.


Service personnel wishing to cohabit in surplus SFA in the UK will still be required to comply with Para 0301 of JSP 464, Vol 1, Part 1 as follows:

  • Be aged 18 or over;
  • Have completed Phase 1 training;
  • Be serving on a regular engagement in the UK Armed Forces or be a Full Commitment Reservist as defined in single-Service regulations.


Please note that this is NOT part of Future Accommodation Model (FAM), but rather a new policy. This is not an entitlement to SFA – if there is no surplus SFA at your place of work (50 miles within your assignment location), you will not be able to take advantage of this new policy.

For more details, please refer to 2020DIN01-014 (available via Dii).
Posted on: 19th September, 2019
Updated on: 28th January, 2020


The Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust has launched a new, open consultation to discover how those within, and working with, the Armed Forces community feel funding could be best used to support them. The consultation comes ahead of the re-launch of the Armed Forces Covenant: Local Grants programme, which has successfully supported hundreds of local projects over the last five years, strengthening the Armed Forces community both in terms of integration and delivery of local services.


By seeking valuable feedback as part of this eight-week consultation, the Trust will shape a new programme, based on the needs and priorities identified at a local level, and will use the evidence gathered to inform their overall priority for 2020 of Integration and Engagement.


Your views are vital

As well as which groups of people you feel are most in need of funding support, your views of grant size and how those grants are made are also welcomed. The consultation is live from 13 January until 6 March 2020. To take part, visit the Trust’s website where details can be found on their homepage.


Posted on: 15th January, 2020



The 2019 Covenant Annual Report was published today (20th December 2019). The NFF was delighted to have the opportunity again this year to set out our Formal Observations on the report (p.15-17).


Further support delivered this year includes:
  • The Forces Families Jobs website has been launched, providing free access to employment and training opportunities to families in the Armed Forces
  • Introduction of flexible service allowing regular personnel to temporarily work part time
  • The launch of the Future Accommodation Model pilot, looking at how the accommodation offer for Service personnel and their families can be improved
  • Extension of the Forces Help to Buy scheme to December 2022, helping armed forces personnel to get on the property ladder


As set out in the Queen’s Speech this week, the Armed Forces Covenant will be further incorporated into law over the course of this Parliament. The legislation will seek to strengthen current arrangements to remove disadvantage and improve the consistency of Covenant outcomes for the Armed Forces community.


We would encourage you to read through the Report to learn more about the work being undertaken to support you and your family. If you have any comments on the Report, or would like to raise a concern which you believe falls within the remit of the Armed Forces Covenant, please get in touch with us via our website.


Posted on: 20th December 2019

Located in New Forest National Park, the Poppy Pod Village is the Tile Barn Outdoor Centre’s legacy to Armed Forces personnel. These Pods are here in perpetuity to recognise and remember the sacrifices made and faced by the Armed Forces Community.


With the help of the Armed Forces Covenant, the Royal British Legion (Brockenhurst Branch) and Hampshire County Council, this project has been made possible.


In the campsite, you will find wooden camping pods, which are sustainable and environmentally friendly with solar panels. Inside each pod, you will find a fixed double bed/ seating area, two folding camp beds, USB phone charging socket, and LED lighting. The campsite is also fully equipped with toilets and showers, fridge/freezer, car park and more.


Adventurous activities run every Saturday morning for weekend bookings or Tuesday/Thursday mornings for week bookings. Visit this page for more information on their Adventure Days.


The Poppy Pod Membership for 2020 is now open for purchase. Serving personnel (Regular and Reservists) and Veterans can join this scheme via Hampshire County Council and use the facility for free, along with their family members, at weekends and school holidays.



Posted on: 18th July, 2016
Last updated: 18th December, 2019

We wish you a very Happy Christmas from all of us here at the Naval Families Federation. Please note that our offices will be closed from Friday 20th December 2019 to Thursday 2nd January 2020. Should you require urgent assistance over this period, you can find emergency contact details here:

Combat Stress Mental Health Helpline

If you’re currently serving in the UK Armed Forces, you can call Combat Stress’ 24-hour mental health helpline. A team of specially-trained professionals are available day and night to provide free confidential advice and support. The helpline is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Their contact details are as follows:

The Royal British Legion

The Royal British Legion supports serving members of the Armed Forces, veterans and their families. They will be closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

Their Contact Centre helpline will be available to call for the rest of the period:

  • 0808 802 8080 from 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week (calls are free from UK landlines and main mobile networks) for all enquiries.
  • From overseas: +44 (0)20 3376 8080 (full rate)
The Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre (JCCC)

If circumstances should arise, whilst your relative is deployed overseas that make it necessary for you to apply for his or her return home on compassionate grounds, such as a death in the family or a serious illness, you should contact JCCC at +44 (0)14 5251 9951. This number is manned 24 hours a day, 7 days per week throughout the Christmas period.

Naval Service Family & People Support (NS FPS)

If you have a concern or issue over the Christmas period that needs some support, especially if your Serving person is away from home please call NS FPS. Please click here to see their opening hours and emergency contact details for the Christmas period.

The Samaritans

The Samaritans are available 24 hours a day all year around.

Please call:

  • UK – 116 123
  • Welsh Language Line – 0808 164 0123 (Not 24-Hour, please see link above)
  • Republic of Ireland – 116 123
Posted on: 10th December, 2018
Updated on: 17th December, 2019