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NFF News: World Mental Health Day (10th October, 2020)

Updated in April 2021

 

Introducing Headspace – a new project specially for you

Dealing with challenges is part and parcel of Naval family life, but in these strange times, some members of our serving Naval families might benefit from some extra support.

Covid-19 has brought many additional new challenges. What if there was something you could carry in your pocket to help you navigate through whatever you are facing?

We believe that the Headspace App can help, by giving you the skills you need to be able to focus on your own health and wellbeing.

That’s why NFF, supported by RN FPS, are delighted to offer serving and non-serving family members free access to the Headspace App as part of a pilot project.

We hope Headspace can help you find a little joy in your everyday.

 

What is Headspace?

Headspace is a platform for mindful living, meaning you can take it with you on a walk, a run or you can even do a workout with one of the Headspace trainers. You can use it to help you get to sleep with guided sleepcasts and music, as well as all the mindfulness courses on any topic you can think of. There are even topics and courses for children. Headspace also partners with many sports institutions to support developing a performance mindset for athletes. It’s really a gym membership for your mind. Click here to read an information leaflet. More information can be found on their website.

 

 

What you need to do

Please read the note below before you click the button to sign up for your free Headspace account. There is also a FAQ section at the bottom of this page to guide you through the application process.

 

Important note
  • Up to 3,000 serving RN/RM/RFA (regular and reserve) personnel and their loved ones will have free access to Headspace; our priority is for those families who will be most receptive to this support and most likely to make full use of it.
  • The licence gives registered family members free access to the Headspace app for 12 months starting from 4th November, 2020. The earlier you create your account, the more beneficial it will be.
  • You will be asked for a Service Number on the registration form so that your eligibility can be confirmed by the RN.
  • Due to the limited numbers, we are only able to allocate one licence per Service number.
  • Once you have registered, and your eligibility has been confirmed, you will be contacted within 2 weeks with a link to create your account.
  • Only your name and email address will be shared with the Headspace team so that your account can be created.
  • More details about our privacy policy can be found here.
  • If you would like to know more about the support services that are available for families,  please visit our Mental Health pages.
FAQ

We are aware that a small number of people have encountered some issues with their access to the Headspace App. If you do have any problems, please check the list below as hopefully the answer is here:

I’ve submitted my application but I’ve not received the link yet.

Q: I’ve submitted my application but I’ve not received the link yet.

 

A: If you have submitted an application for the App and haven’t heard from the NFF within two weeks, please check your junk/spam mailbox – once we have confirmed your eligibility, we are sending out the special enrolment link in an email which comes from noreply@nff.org.uk

I’ve received the email with the link, what do I do now?

Q: I’ve received the email with the link, what do I do now?

 

A: When you receive the email, please make sure that you click on the link and activate your account so that you can start to benefit from all of the great support that Headspace can offer.

How do I set up my account?

Q: How do I set up my account?

 

A: Please follow the below steps –

  1. Click on the enrolment link which can found at the bottom of the email we sent you (please check your spam inbox)
  2. When you get to the NFF page on the Headspace website, click on Login
  3. Enter your Headspace login details – remember to use the same information that you provided when you completed your application form
  4. Click Next
  5. When you reach step 2 of the verification process, make sure that you use the same email address that you entered on your application as this is what we used to enrol you on to the Headspace system
  6. You will then receive an email asking you to verify the account – you need to follow the steps right up until completion
  7. Now log out of the app and then log back in again.
  8. Now you can access 1000’s of different sessions and courses!

 

If you are still having problems once you’ve tried this, please contact the NFF team at contactus@nff.org.uk and we will get in touch with you to resolve it as soon as we can.

Thank you for sharing with us your wonderful creations. Entries are now closed. We will keep you updated once the final artwork is live. Watch this space!

Project aim

Time, on my watch promotional poster with quote and logos.The Naval Families Federation is currently running a creative project, funded by the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust, which is looking at the concept of time, as we think it means something different for our serving Royal Navy/ Royal Marines families.  This is an opportunity for you to think about how you spend your time. What do you enjoy doing together as a family? What do you miss when someone is away? How have you been filling your days during lockdown?

 

What you need to do

Don’t worry if you feel that you’re not very creative. We’re not looking for a perfect picture, we just want to give you the chance to say how you feel in a very different way. You might want to write a poem or draw a picture or take a photo of something that you enjoy doing, perhaps while you’re playing with your pet, or the view you love while you’re going for a run in the park. You could even show us what it looks like at home, when you’re trying to home-school and work at the same time. If you already have something made, like a piece of artwork that you spent time making with your family, that’s great – you don’t have to make something new, but you can if you want to.

 

Once you’re happy with your work, you need to send a photograph of it to us. You can do that by using the link below. We are working with a professional artist, Tim Mann, who is going to create an exhibition using all of the images that you send in, so you will be able to see your work on display as well.  You can be really honest about how you’re feeling too as the final exhibition will be anonymous. Take a look at our gallery below to see some of the photos that have already been sent in to us – we’ve had such a wonderful and diverse range of images already and we can’t wait to see what you send in too.

 

This isn’t a competition so we won’t be judging the photos that you send to us, but everyone who takes part will have their name put into a draw* – please read important details from the ‘further information’ section below.

 

Entries closed at 23:59 on 31st March, 2021.

Further information
Prize draw
Prize draw

Although this is not a competition – there are no winning entries or the like – the names of all those who enter will be put into a draw*, sponsored by Eurest Support Services (ESS). The winner will be able to select a prize from a range of options which includes access to a creative writing course, a Polaroid camera, an electronic tablet or a £100 Amazon gift voucher. 

 

*Please note you will only be entered into the prize draw if you submit at least one piece of work.

Photographic Consent Terms & Conditions
Naval Families Federation – ‘Time, on your watch’ Project
Photographic Consent Terms and Conditions

 

Thank you for taking part in the Naval Families Federation (NFF) ‘Time, on your watch’ project.

 

The photographs you have chosen to share with us will be used to form a larger work of art, which will be exhibited either live, virtually or in a printed book.

 

Any personal details shared with the NFF as part of this project will be retained by us in accordance with our Privacy Policy and will not be passed on to any third party without your prior consent.

 

We may use some of the images from the project to promote our work and our funders may use pictures from this project for promotional purposes.

 

By giving your consent for us to use these images, you are confirming that:

  • You give permission for the Naval Families Federation, Building 25, HMS EXCELLENT, Portsmouth, PO2 8ER, Tim Mann Artist and the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust to use and disclose your photograph(s) without restriction in any media or format
  • You will let the Naval Families Federation know if you wish to withdraw this permission.
  • Your permission allows the Naval Families Federation, Tim Mann Artist and the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust to use your photograph(s) for any publicity or advertising in connection with their work, and they are permitted to share your photograph(s) with other organisations (such as media and advertising agencies) for publicity purposes.
  • You have volunteered your photograph(s) and agree that you will not receive or request any payment, royalty or other form of consideration for your images, or participation in any project of the Naval Families Federation.

 

If the photographs that you choose to share with the Naval Families Federation include images of any individuals under 16 years of age, you must confirm that

  • Their parent, legal guardian or authorised legal representative has the lawful authority to give their consent for the image to be used.
  • Their parent, legal guardian or authorised legal representative has read, and understood, the terms and conditions and consents to the individual sharing the images with us on these terms and conditions.
Press release

Time. Art.

 

Big concepts, but also the universal threads that run through our lives.

 

The alarm in the morning, the drop-off and pick-up at school, the length of a ship’s deployment.

 

The book we relax with, the drama, soap or comedy we enjoy on TV, a striking image on Instagram.

 

We are so immersed in time and art we can easily overlook them in our day-to-day existence.

 

But your time is valuable, and if you stop for a moment (time!) you might reflect that your time seems to pass quicker than someone else’s. You are always rushing to keep up with your busy schedule while your sailor or Marine is away.

 

Or maybe the hours stretch out, waiting to be filled, and days crawl by as you wait for someone to return home.

 

You might doodle while you daydream. Capture a picture on your phone of a dramatic sunset. Pour out your heart in a diary entry. It’s all expressive; it’s all art.

And we would love to gather those thoughts, feelings, doodles, whatever, and create a large-scale work of art that reflects the lives of Royal Navy and Royal Marines families.

 

The Naval Families Federation has joined with artist Tim Mann to launch a project funded by the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust.

 

Called Time, On My Watch, the project focuses on the concept of time as we think it has different meanings for serving personnel and families. This is an opportunity for you to show that your time is valuable and that you matter too.

 

It is a chance to take a moment and realise that you can put yourself first, to reflect on how you feel and to let other people know. You can say what you like, in whatever medium you like, and maybe find that the honesty of the exercise brings some form of release.

 

Express yourself in a poem, a drawing, a painting, a photograph, a sculpture, a doodle, some craft work, or that diary entry.

 

Once you’ve finished, all you need to do is send a photograph of it to us. We’re working in this way because we want to make sure that everyone can take part, whatever current restrictions are in place regarding social distancing and lockdowns. By sending us your image via our website, you can participate from the comfort of your own home or unit.

 

You don’t have to be a Rembrandt, a Shakespeare or a Pepys – and the elements of the final work of art created by Tim will remain anonymous.

 

Your work will form part of an exhibition that will either be live, virtual or in the form of a printed book.

 

The project is exclusively for Royal Navy/ Royal Marines serving personnel and their families.

 

For further details of how to be part of this exciting initiative, see nff.org.uk/timeonmywatch

Meet the artist

Meet the artist

Meet our artist Tim Mann, Tim is an experienced, passionate and exciting artist. He is unremitting in his commitment to ensure that his artistic engagement is innovative, accessible, diverse and sustainable.

 

Quote from Tim Mann, artist of Time, On My Watch.

Videos

In this section:

  1. Short introduction to the TOMW project by NFF CEO, Anna Wright
  2. Short introduction to the TOMW project by Artist Tim Mann
  3. Conversation piece: Capt Gibbons (Captain of HMNB Clyde) & Tim (TOMW artist)

Posted on: 1st October, 2020
Updated on: 12th April, 2021

 

*CLOSED*

 

The NHS has launched a questionnaire and series of virtual events to explore how it can improve health and wellbeing support for the Armed Forces community in England. 

 

NHS Armed Forces Families Engagement poster for serving personnelWhilst most Armed Forces families enjoy healthy lives, the unique circumstances of military life can cause pressures for some and affect an individual’s health and wellbeing. This is in addition to moving home every few years, which can make accessing the NHS difficult. The NHS want to help change this, so Armed Forces families are able to access NHS services easily in all parts of England. The NHS also want to ensure that they can get care and support from clinicians and people who understand their health and wellbeing needs.

 

Anyone can share their views, however, the NHS is particularly keen to hear from serving, reserve and veteran families, people who are serving in or who have served in the British Armed Forces (Regular and Reserves) and organisations working with or supporting the community. (Please see note at the bottom of this article)

 

Questionnaire –

 

Virtual events –

NHS Armed Forces Families Engagement posterIn addition to the online questionnaire, the NHS are also keen to engage directly with Service families. Unfortunately, they are not able to go out and meet with people face to face at the moment, so we have arranged a series on online events for serving RN/RM families instead, which we will be jointly hosting with the NHS team.  These will be small discussion groups* as we want everyone to have an opportunity to have their say and we have arranged events at different times to suit your needs.

 

If you can help us with this important piece of work, which will have an impact on the provision of Service families’ health and wellbeing in the future, please click on one of the links below to register.

 

 

*Please note that you can also remain anonymous during these online events, if you would prefer to. 

 

Note –

The Armed Forces Families Engagement Programme is a new NHS England initiative. However, the team are keen to hear from any Armed Forces family member who may want to contribute, wherever they live at the moment, as we are sure that many will still have had experiences of using NHS England services at some stage. We understand that NHS England intend to share the final report and outcomes of this programme with the NHS in the devolved administration areas too, so that they are aware of any local issues or feedback that our Service families may raise over the coming weeks.

 

Posted on: 30th September, 2020
Updated on: 1st December, 2020

 

A new section has been added to the Naval Families Federation website offering advice and guidance through the complex rules and regulations on UK visas and citizenship.

 

The new pages complement the personal advice offered by recently-qualified NFF immigration adviser Peter Hawley, who handles cases and enquiries from serving military personnel and their families, as well as veterans and their families who are still under Armed Forces immigration rules.

 

Information contained within the UK Visas and Citizenship pages will not only assist serving sailors and Marines and their families, but will also be a boon to the Chain of Command and supporting agencies.

 

UK immigration rules are an area requiring a degree of specialist knowledge – getting it wrong could lead to a costly error, or a situation which has major implications for future immigration applications.

 

As such, the information provided – compiled with the help of military immigration law specialist Joanne Sullivan of GBS UK Immigration – offers general guidance.

 

The pages also signpost to other websites which cover or specialise in visa and citizenship matters such as Gov.uk – the official UK government website – and the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC), which regulates immigration advisers.

 

Pete (Peter.Hawley@nff.org.uk) is qualified to provide immigration advice for all applications within the Immigration Rules for the following categories at Level 1:

  • Applications for entry clearance, leave to enter and leave to remain for visitors and family members;
  • Nationality and Citizenship;
  • Some aspects of EU and EEA immigration law.

 

He will not advise on enquiries relating to student or work visas, which are outside the scope of the NFF, and requests for advice on more complicated or specialist immigration issues will be referred on to agencies qualified to Level 2, in most cases either Joanne Sullivan or Katherine Houlston of the Army Families Federation (AFF).

 

For further details of how the NFF can help you in more complicated immigration issues see the OISC statement on our website at nff.org.uk/oisc-details/

 

NFF Chief Executive Officer Anna Wright said:

 

“I am thrilled that the NFF is able to expand the suite of advice and guidance that we can offer into the complicated area of immigration.

“My colleagues field queries on immigration issues on a regular basis, and this is yet more proof of our determination to provide a comprehensive support service for all of our Royal Navy and Royal Marines families.”

 

The new web pages, designed and created by NFF Marketing and Communications Manager Cinmi Walker, went live today (8th September, 2020) and will be updated regularly as rules and regulations change.

 

The NFF website also offers advice on accommodation, education, employment, finance, leaving the Service, overseas assignments, relationships and wellbeing.

 

Posted on: 8th September, 2020

 

A new helpline providing support for Service personnel experiencing or witnessing bullying, harassment or discrimination has been set up by the Ministry of Defence to clamp down on instances of unacceptable behaviour in the Armed Forces.

 

The helpline, which will go live in September, will be staffed 24/7 by trained bullying, harassment and discrimination advisers and qualified counsellors, who will provide emotional support, information and guidance to callers.

 

Individuals will be able to report incidents anonymously to independent advisers and seek help on how to take issues forward, including through local support networks or the service complaints system, where necessary.

 

Establishing the bullying and harassment helpline was one of the key recommendations of Air Chief Marshal Wigston’s review into behaviour across defence that was published last year. The report found that while the majority of personnel behave appropriately, there is still an unacceptable level of inappropriate behaviour in the military. Thirty-six recommendations were made as part of the report, all of which have been accepted by the Ministry of Defence.

 

To evaluate the success of current measures and ensure progress continues to be made at speed, an independent review of Ministry of Defence’s (MOD) anti-bullying work will be led by Danuta Gray, a Non-Executive Board Member and Chair of the People Committee at the MOD. In this role she has overseen processes for managing the careers of senior military officers and senior civil servants, with a specific focus on behaviour and incentives across Defence. The review will commence on the first anniversary of the Wigston review (Wednesday 15 July 2020) and will run for approximately 3 months.

 

Read the government’s press release here

 

Uploaded on: 2nd September, 2020

 

On the 1st September ‘Strengthening Families – By Your Side’, a new offer of support for all Royal Navy families, will officially launch.

 

Strengthening Families – By Your Side has been developed by the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC) and Naval Families Federation (NFF), in partnership with the Royal Navy, Kings Active Foundation, Home-Start UK and Relate. This project is supported by funding over the next three years from the Armed Forces Covenant. In addition to this, the RNRMC have also brought together funded projects from the Naval Children’s Charity, Aggie Weston’s and KIDS to provide a comprehensive support package to 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.

 

 

Professor Janet Walker, who has been instrumental in the project’s development, said:

“Increasingly, as Royal Navy families choose to live away from their home base, many are experiencing loneliness and social isolation, the absence of a military peer group who understand and share the same pressures, relationship difficulties caused by time spent apart during deployments and weekending, and the unpredictability of home-comings and family time.”

“‘Strengthening Families – By Your Side’ can break down the barriers to seeking support and will assist members of Navy families, wherever you live and whoever you are, to access confidential and personalised practical and emotional help.”

 

The importance of support for dispersed families was echoed by Anna Wright, CEO of NFF:

“From my perspective the most exciting aspect of this project is that it supports our dispersed community.  With 39% living away from bases, having located in every county in the UK, it is essential that RNRM families can access appropriate support on the ground. And being able to self-refer to this support as a naval family is vital. We are delighted to be working with a group of charities that are collaborative, flexible and committed to supporting the naval lifestyle.

 

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

“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.”

 

Further information

For more information about the full range of support available and how to access it please visit: rnrmc.org.uk/how-we-help/families-and-relationships

 

Posted on: 1st September, 2020

 

In 2019, the then Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Theresa May MP, commissioned The Rt. Hon. Mark Francois MP and his research team, to produce an independent report on improving Retention within the Armed Forces.

 

The review team gathered evidence to inform the study in a number of ways, including email consultations and visits to military bases. The NFF was delighted to host the team at HMS EXCELLENT to meet with Service personnel and spouses/partners at a forum during the consultation period.

 

The report, ‘Stick or Twist?’, which has been seen by the Prime Minister, is now available. 

 

It produces 14 specific recommendations to help improve Retention in HM Armed
Forces. These include reviewing the degree of operational tempo, pay and allowances, childcare and
the maintenance of Service Family Accommodation. Examples below:

 

  • It must be clearly acknowledged that the pressures on family/personal life remain the
    single biggest driver for people to leave HM Armed Forces and it is realistically unlikely
    that the problems of Retention can be ameliorated unless this challenge is faced head
    on. This means the Department must look again at both its alert states and its high tempo
    of recycling personnel in order to seek to achieve a more realistic work/life balance –
    without compromising key operations. (recommendation 2)

 

  • The cost and availability of childcare is now a material reason why Service personnel are
    leaving the Armed Forces and Defence needs to think innovatively in order to provide
    increased capacity in childcare, including “out of hours”, and also needs to ensure that this
    is a cost which even junior ranks can realistically afford. (recommendation 5)

 

Commenting on the findings of the “Stick or Twist?” report, Mark Francois MP said:

“My team and I have worked for over a year to provide proposals to improve Retention. Some of these, such as extending the Forces Help to Buy Scheme and expanding Childcare for service personnel are thankfully already being actioned. We have made further proposals, including taking Service Family Accommodation (SFA) away from the failing Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) and vesting it in a dedicated Forces Housing Association (FHA) instead. This new entity would be optimised to provide decent, affordable accommodation for service personnel and their families and would be run in their interests, not that of the MoD bureaucracy. However, there is always more to do, in order to persuade personnel to “Stick” rather than to “Twist” and dare I say it, Remain in HM Armed Forces”.

 

Click here to listen to an interview with our CEO’s reaction to the report from an episode of Sitrep via BFBS Radio (23rd July, 12:12 onwards). The Naval Families Federation (NFF) welcome your thoughts on the report, please do contact us.

 

Posted on: 22nd July, 2020
Last updated on: 14th August, 2020

 

 

 

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace and Chancellor Rishi Sunak announce £200-million new government funding for the UK Armed Forces’ housing and accommodation.

 

Thousands of UK Armed Forces families across the UK will have their housing and accommodation improved and renovated thanks to nearly £200-million of new Government funding, announced last Friday (17th July) by Defence Secretary Ben Wallace and Chancellor Rishi Sunak.

On a joint visit to Catterick Garrison, the Ministers chatted to soldiers about the ways the improvements will help them. Over 5,000 personnel, plus their families will have homes modernised with new kitchens, bathrooms and furnishings including re-roofing to reduce the risk of mould and damp.

As part of the funding injection 3,500 service homes will be upgraded as well as single living quarters. This will improve life for UK Armed Forces personnel deployed at home and abroad to keep the nation safe, including in the fight to halt the spread of COVID-19.

The work will also make UK Armed Forces estates more environmentally friendly. New windows and doors will provide better insulation, energy efficient boilers will drive down bills, and solar panels and electric vehicle charging points will reduce the carbon footprint.

Families with young children will benefit from new play areas, roads will be resurfaced and energy efficient street lighting will help modernise sites as part of the funding.

The Defence Secretary invited the Chancellor to Catterick Garrison last week, which will benefit from investment in Service Family Accommodation, to announce the news.

 

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said:

“Our Armed Forces work incredibly hard to keep our nation safe, and so it is only right that they have a place they feel proud to call home.

“From introducing a generous Forces Help to Buy scheme to piloting a new rented accommodation model, we have made enormous steps in recent years to offer flexible housing for a modern workforce.

“This latest investment will benefit thousands of our personnel and their families, providing the standard of living they deserve.”

 

Improving accommodation and facilities across military estates will also be part of bold new plans, including replacing 30 WW2 accommodation blocks in Longmoor, Pirbright, Westdown, Knook, Nesscliffe, Castlemartin Camps and providing new accommodation for on-call personnel in Northern Ireland.

 

The investment is expected to sustain around 2,000 jobs through the work on housing improvements including plumbers, electricians, painters and decorators. This will be delivered through the existing National Housing Prime contract. Upgrades will begin in late summer and will be delivered over a period of two years.

 

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said:

“Day in, day out, our Armed Forces make huge personal sacrifices for our country, and it is our duty to ensure they have the best conditions possible.

“This news doesn’t just mean service homes across the country will be upgraded, but will see 2,000 jobs in sectors where they are needed the most, like plumbing and decorating – delivering our Plan for Jobs.”

 

CEO Naval Families Federation, Anna Wright said:

“Having a decent standard of accommodation is fundamental to serving personnel and their families feeling valued by the nation for their work and the sacrifices they make and this is something we have campaigned for, for some time. That funding of £200M has been secured is hugely welcome.”

 

Over the last four years £530-million has been invested in improvements to Service Family Accommodation. The additional £200-million funding package will continue to improve the standard of both homes for Service families and single living accommodation on military bases.

Improvements to accommodation sit alongside a suite of recent changes to military accommodation to make it more accessible and flexible for personnel and their families.

The MOD recently introduced new flexible working arrangements, expanded offerings to cohabiting couples and extended the Forces Help to Buy scheme until the end of 2022, giving our UK Armed Forces the chance to get a foot on the housing ladder. This has allowed military personnel to borrow a deposit of up to half of their annual salary, interest free, to contribute towards buying a home, moving house, or building an extension.

This follows the announcement last week that military children will be entitled to free breakfast and after-school childcare as part of ongoing measures to further support the UK Armed Forces and their loved ones.

 

Funding details - infographic

 

 

Posted on: 20th July, 2020
Updated on: 1st October, 2020

 

The government has announced a 12-week consultation seeking views on how to remove the discrimination caused by the transitional rules which meant older Service Personnel (SP) remained in their legacy schemes when other, younger, SP were transferred to the reformed scheme in 2015. 

 

In 2015 the government implemented reforms to all the main public service pension schemes, including the Armed Forces Pension Scheme. The reforms included a policy of transitional protection that meant members closest to retirement stayed in their old schemes. The Court of Appeal later found the policy to be discriminatory, primarily against younger members, and so since then the government has been working to address the discrimination. Whilst the simplest option would be to put public service pension members back in their legacy schemes, the Government has been clear that it will not do this as a significant number of personnel will be better off in the reformed (2015) schemes. Therefore, the final policy design needs to allow members a choice of which scheme is better for them.

 

The public service pensions consultation is the next stage in the process to remove the discrimination identified by the courts in the 2015 pension reforms. The changes proposed in the consultation to remove the discrimination will apply across all of the main public service pension schemes and provide members with a choice of which scheme benefits they would like to receive for the remedy period.

 

Scheme members who will be in scope are those who had service on or before 31 March 2012 and on or after 1 April 2015. This includes any pre-31 March 2012 re-joiners with a qualifying break in Service of less than 5 years. This includes those members who are currently serving and in-scope personnel who have left the service since 1 April 2015.  Members who were originally covered by the transitional protection will also be provided with a choice of which scheme benefits they would prefer to receive for the remedy period.

 

The remedy period is the time period for which members will be able to retrospectively choose which scheme benefits they will receive. It will run from 1 April 2015 which is when the reforms were introduced, until 31 March 2022 which is the point when treatment will be equalised going forward. This is because the government also proposes that, with effect from 1 April 2022, all those who continue in service will do so as members of the AFPS 15 irrespective of whether they previously had transitional protection or not.

 

The Government and the Ministry of Defence have issued communications on the consultation, the options and impacts on pension schemes. Service Personnel and families are recommended to read these communications which can be accessed through MODNET or directly on the Government’s website.

 

Posted on: 17th July, 2020

The Naval Families Federation has been at the forefront of raising awareness of the childcare challenges for serving families since it carried out its first childcare survey in 2016, and its follow-up survey earlier this year (which will be published shortly). We are very grateful to everyone who responded so generously with their time and thoughts. You have allowed us to represent your experiences with authority and in detail to the Government, the Royal Navy and other stakeholders.

 

We are delighted that the announcement has been made of a new offer of free ‘wraparound’ childcare, to be piloted from September.

 

RAF High Wycombe and RAF Halton in Buckinghamshire will be the first bases to offer the scheme, with service personnel based in Catterick and Plymouth able to access the pilot scheme from January 2021. We will update you with further details of the Plymouth pilot as soon as these become available.

 

While we very warmly welcome this news, we are aware that wraparound care is only one aspect of this complex issue. We will continue to work hard to represent your experiences and challenges in all areas of childcare.

 

  • Read more about the announcement here.
  • Find out more about childcare for Service children here.
  • Click here to listen to an interview with our CEO’s reaction to the announcement from an episode of Sitrep via BFBS Radio (23rd July, 12:12 onwards).
Updates
November 2020

Royal Navy Wraparound Childcare (WAC) pilot for eligible Service Personnel assigned to the Plymouth area

 

The Wraparound Childcare (WAC) pilot provides funding to eligible parent(s) with children between the ages of 4 to 11 years old with up to 20 hours per week of free before and after school childcare during term time.

 

Parent(s) can choose their own OFSTED, (or equivalent), registered childcare provider. The first pilot started in the autumn term 2020 and included Service personnel assigned to RAF High Wycombe and RAF Halton. In January 2021, the pilot will be extended to include Service personnel assigned to the Plymouth area.

 

The second pilot is for Service Personnel (Tri-Service, Regular and Full Time Reserve Service (Full Commitment)) who are assigned to the Plymouth area, and have child /children aged 4 to 11 years old who are in school and/or being home schooled at the start of the spring term. Those whose Assignment Orders have a report for duty date between 1 January 2021 and 30 June 2021 may also apply.

 

At the start of the pilot, the Service person and their partner, or a sole parent in a lone parent family, must be:

  • In paid employment, or re-starting work within the next 31 days.
  • Working at least 16 hours each per week.
  • Earning a weekly income equivalent to 16 hours at the National Minimum or Living Wage.
  • Financially responsible for a child who usually lives with them, unless separated due to Service commitments or are on unaccompanied assignments.
  • Each earning less than £100K per year.

 

You can only claim for WAC if you are using registered, regulated and inspected providers who are eligible to use Tax-Free Childcare (TFC) or Childcare Vouchers.

 

Further guidance will be published shortly.

Posted on: 7th July, 2020
Updated on: 18th November, 2020