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RN/RM Announcements

6th October, 2021

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

The Story Behind ‘Time, On My Watch’

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Book reading video

*APPLICATIONS AR ENOW CLOSED- Thank you for your interest!*

Are you passionate about speaking up and championing the issues facing Royal Navy and Royal Marines families?  Can you speak truth to power and constructively engage Minsters and senior RN/RM officers to help them understand the effects of Service life on families?  Do you want to help families who have questions or issues that need to be resolved?  If so, you may be the right person to lead the Naval Families Federation into the next phase of its exciting growth and development as an independent charity.

 

We are looking for someone who ideally:
  • Has been, or is part of, the wider RN/RM community
  • Has experience in a profession and/or service in the RN/RM or as an MOD Civil Servant
  • Has experience of speaking up or advocacy
  • Has direct experience of the challenges of living in a RN/RM family
  • Has a proven track record of effective team leadership
  • Is confident and entrepreneurial
  • Is a strategic thinker
  • Can use evidence in making an argument or case

 

We are aware that the person we are looking for may have a CV with gaps or a succession of roles – this is very common in those who support those who serve.  We will be pleased to speak to you to see if the fit may be right.

 

We offer:
  • Direct access to Ministers and the top echelons of the RN/RM
  • A highly motivated and effective team in attractive offices in HMS EXCELLENT
  • A highly engaged and effective Trust Board to help and support you
  • A competitive salary with good leave and pension arrangements
  • The opportunity to be bold, creative and aspirational for Naval families

 

Applications
  • To discuss the role informally please contact Anna Wright on 02392 654374.
  • Please click here for a CEO’s Briefing Pack with includes a Job Description and Person Specification.
  • Applications should be 2 A4 pages describing how you match up to the person we are looking for and an up-to-date CV.
  • Closing date for applications is 1500 30 Sep 21. Applications to anna.wright@nff.org.uk . Interviews week commencing 4 Oct 21.

 

Posted on: 10th September, 2021

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

Posted on: 16th July 2021

 

The Naval Families Federation has joined 11 other military charities in calling for the strengthening of the Armed Forces Bill which is currently going through Parliament.

 

The 12 organisations have signed an open letter urging the government and MPs to widen the scope of the Bill, delivering on the full promise of the Armed Forces Covenant.

 

A new Bill is introduced every five years to renew the Armed Forces Act, allowing additions and amendments to be made before each Bill become law.

 

One of the key elements of the latest Bill is the proposal to make it a legal duty for public bodies to consider the Armed Forces Covenant when creating policy or making decisions.

 

The Covenant, which was enshrined in law in 2011, is the promise by the nation that Service personnel, veterans, and their families will not be at a disadvantage as a result of military service.

 

While senior figures in the military charity sector broadly welcomed provisions in the new Bill they believe that it does not go far enough in covering the full range of day-to-day issues that affect the Armed Forces community and which are regularly raised by families contacting the NFF.

 

In particular, the new legal obligations introduced by the Bill would only apply to local councils and some limited public bodies delivering housing, health and education – the national government and devolved administrations would be exempt from this duty, which the charities identify as a “major gap” in the Bill.

 

The letter states that this is “compounded by the omission of important topics including employment, pensions, compensation, social care, criminal justice, and immigration from the Bill’s scope.”

 

The open letter to MPs has been signed by NFF Chief Executive Anna Wright, along with leading figures in the Royal British Legion, Poppyscotland, Cobseo (the Confederation of Service Charities), Veterans Scotland, SSAFA the Armed Forces charity, Help for Heroes, Combat Stress, the Forces in Mind Trust, the Army Families Federation, the RAF Families Federation and the RAF Association.

 

Read the full text of the letter here.

 

Published on: 14th July, 2021

 Vacancy for a part-time, one-year fixed term position, based in Plymouth, 24 hours per week.

Salary £24,000 per annum pro rata.

*APPLICATIONS CLOSED – thank you for your interest*

Here’s who we are:

The Naval Families Federation exists to speak up for Royal Navy and Royal Marines families.  We champion families and advocate on their behalf to the relevant authorities. We represent their views and experiences to those who make the policies and decisions that affect them. We meet regularly with the Royal Navy’s Chain of Command, Government Ministers, Other Government Departments, and other key stakeholders.  We also support appropriate and relevant research.   

 

Here’s who we are looking for:

A self-starting team player who is happy to work from home but willing to travel across the West Country. Applicants will have current knowledge and experience of the modern Royal Navy/Royal Marines lifestyle, understanding the demands of being part of this community. They will have the ability to develop effective relationships to gain trust and build rapport with serving family members.

The successful candidate will report to the Families Engagement Officer & Immigration Adviser who is also based in the West Country, and the role will extend into developing a more in-depth knowledge base as a policy lead for Overseas Assignments.

This is a key role within a small organisation where everyone’s contribution makes a difference, so the ideal candidate will feel comfortable working as a team member and agile enough to manage several work-stands simultaneously. If you fit the description and have a tenacious approach, we would love you to put your application forward.

 

Applications
  • Click here to download the application form.
  • Click here to download the terms of reference.
  • Applicants are welcome to have an informal chat about the role with the Director of Operations on telephone number 023 9265 4374. If you wish to speak directly with the Families Engagement Officer, Pete Hawley, he will be available on 07884887037 from Thursday 15th July.
  • Send completed application forms to contactus@nff.org.uk or by post to: Building 25, HMS EXCELLENT, Portsmouth PO2 8ER
  • Applications close at midday on Wednesday 21st July 2021. 
  • Interviews for the vacancy will be held at the China Fleet Club on Thursday 29th July 2021.

 

Naval Families Federation 

CEO: Anna Wright

New contracts to enhance maintenance and repair services across Service Family Accommodation (SFA) supporting jobs across the UK Defence supply chain over 7 years has been announced today.

 

Five new contracts worth £650-million have been awarded to industry to deliver crucial building and maintenance services for more than 39,000 Service families.

 

Forming the next phase of the Future Defence Infrastructure (FDIS) programme, the four new regional accommodation contracts will cover the maintenance of properties across the UK, including plumbing, electrical works, repair services and the maintenance support helpline.

 

The contracts will create and sustain thousands of jobs across the UK supply chain and SFA sites including Portsmouth, Marham, Aldershot, Edinburgh and Cumbria which are all set to benefit from it.

 

The NFF carried out a housing survey in 2018 and which directly informed the Ministry of Defence’s tendering process.

 

The seven-year contracts have been awarded to:

Region Supplier
Northern Amey Community Ltd
Central Amey Community Ltd
South East (SE) VIVO Defence Services Ltd
South West (SW) VIVO Defence Services Ltd

 

In addition to the facilities work, military families will also profit from a new customer service centre acting as a single point of contact to streamline and resolve accommodation issues quicker. Pinnacle Group Ltd has won a £144-million contract to deliver these services.

 

Announced by the Prime Minister last November, Defence has received an increase in funding of over £24-billion across the next four years. This investment reflects the MOD’s commitment to improving service accommodation and prioritising funding for critical infrastructure and services.

 

The new contracts will require suppliers to work differently, such as fixing faults on an initial visit to a property and undertaking simple preventative maintenance while attending properties to reduce disruption to families.

 

The contracts ensure industry suppliers adopt and adhere to recognised industry standards for the allocation, management and maintenance of military homes, implementing robust mechanisms to address poor performance alongside incentives to exceed contracted standards.

 

In the last financial year, the Defence Infrastructure Organisation spent £160-million on major improvements and the modernisation of its housing stock. The new FDIS contracts will enhance this even further.

 

The accommodation services contracts follow the recent announcement of a £1.6-billion to deliver hard facilities management services across the UK Defence estate. The final phase of the FDIS programme will see a contract awarded for the management and maintenance of the UK Defence Training Estate.

 

Homeport article about the new contracts

Article from Homeport (Summer 2021, p.9)

Posted on: 24th June, 2021

Naval Families Federation immigration adviser Pete Hawley has been invited to contribute to a consultation which could result in visa fees being waived for non-UK military personnel at the end of their service.

 

The public consultation, launched at the end of May by Defence Secretary Ben Wallace and Home Secretary Priti Patel, would change policy so that non-UK Service personnel could be offered indefinite leave to remain in the UK for free after serving at least 12 years in the Armed Forces, subject to eligibility criteria.

 

The proposal from the MOD and Home Office could save each applicant £2,389 in the costs of applications.

 

The 12-year yardstick reflects the length of time all Service personnel initially sign up to serve, known as the initial engagement period.

 

There are currently more than 10,000 non-UK citizens serving in the UK Armed Forces from countries around the world including Australia, Canada, Fiji, Ghana, India, Jamaica, Nepal, New Zealand, Nigeria, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines and South Africa, many of whom may consider applying for indefinite leave to remain in the UK when their service ends.

 

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “We owe those who showed us loyal service our loyalty in return.

 

“It is right that we recognise their contribution by not only smoothing the pathway to residency and citizenship, but also by lifting the financial cost of doing so after 12 years of service.”

 

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “I am immensely proud that brave Servicemen and women from around the world want to continue to call the UK their home after their service.

 

“It is only right that those who continue to do extraordinary work on behalf of our country are recognised and rewarded, and I am determined to support them settle in our wonderful communities right across the UK.”

 

Leo Docherty, Minister for Defence People and Veterans, said: “That so many non-UK citizens choose to bring their dedication, expertise and bravery to the UK Armed Forces is not something we take for granted, and I am pleased to support this policy proposal.

 

“We look forward to hearing the public’s view and working together to move these plans forward, strengthening our support to those who want to build a life in the country they bravely defended during their service.”

 

While Pete has been invited to provide evidence in his role as an OISC Level 1 Immigration Adviser, members of the public can also contribute to the consultation on the proposed policy changes.

 

The consultation will run until 7 July, and feedback will be used to further inform and shape these changes. Subject to the outcome of the consultation, the proposed policy change is expected to come into effect for Financial Year 2021/22.

 

Posted on: 3rd June, 2021
Updated: 1st July, 2021

Households across England and Wales are being asked to take part in Census 2021. The census in Scotland will take place next year due to the impact of the pandemic. 

 

This year, the census will include a new question which will ask people if they have served in the Armed Forces. This data will help to support commitments made by central and local government under the Armed Forces Covenant. Anyone who has served in the Armed Forces for at least one day is classed as a veteran. Click here to watch an explainer video. The NFF welcomes this change as this will help to collate valuable information which will ensure that the Armed Forces community gets the right support in the future. 

 

Service personnel are encouraged to access the guidance issued in DIN: 2021DIN01-032 which provides key information, including instructions regarding employer address information, for those who work at particular MOD locations. For general queries or help, contact information is set out in paragraph 54 of the DIN. 

 

Useful information

We recognise that the family dynamics of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines community may be different than those of civilian households. 

  1. There is specific advice available for Armed Forces families, which can be found here.
  2. The team at Royal Navy Family & People Support (RN FPS) have shared guidance for MOD families when completing the census, which can be accessed here.
  3. The NFF put some additional questions to the Census team for a FAQ to clarify some areas that have caused confusion :
SFA - Who should fill this in?

Q: When Service families live in SFA, the serving person is named as the licence holder in accordance with MOD Policy, and they are also the named person responsible for the household bills – they would therefore be deemed to be the ‘householder’. If the SP is away from home on 21st March, due to an operational deployment or because they are working in a different part of the country, can their spouse/partner complete the Census on their behalf, in their absence?  

 

A: Yes, they can complete it, the Census arrives addressed to the household address not a specific individual. If a person is on active deployment, they will be able to note this as there is a section that says that they normally reside there but on the 21st March they are elsewhere. Click here to read the guidance on completing the census for someone else. 

Own homes - Who should fill this in?

Q: The same question applies for those Service families living in their own homes, if the serving person is considered to be the ‘householder’ but will be absent from the home on 21 March due to the needs of the Service. Can the spouse/partner complete the form? 

 

A: Yes, again, as above. The Census can be completed from receipt up until the end of April, but must record the household on the 21st March. Click here to read the guidance on completing the census for someone else. 

SLA - What if I live on base?

Q: What are the arrangements for those living in SLA? 

 

A: Advice for those living on base can be found here. If you live on a US military base, your CO will give you advice. 

SFA - Landlord

Q: We live in SFA. Who is my landlord? 

 

A: The RN FPS team have put together guidance on answering this question. Please click here to access the PDF.

Serving person away from home

Q: My SP is currently working away from home, should I include them? 

 

A: Remember to include anyone who usually lives here but is temporarily away from home. This applies to your SP, if this is their permanent or home address. You can read the full guidance on people currently away here. The advice for Armed Forces families can be found here. 

Serving person - Job title/employer

Q: Question 41-44 asks about my job. How should I answer those questions?

 

A: You are strongly encouraged to read this guidance produced by the Royal Navy – please click here to access the PDF.

Non-UK serving personnel

Q: Is there any guidance for non-UK military personnel? 

 

A: You can visit this page for more information. 

For further information or to get help, please visit census.gov.uk 

Posted on: 10th March, 2021

In December 2020 the Defence Committee launched an inquiry on Women in the Armed Forces: From Recruitment to Civilian Life.

 

The aim of the inquiry is to look at the experience of female Service personnel from recruitment to transition and consider whether there are unique challenges that are not adequately addressed by the current policies and services. Other areas of interest that the Committee are keen to cover within the scope of the inquiry include issues around pensions, terms and conditions of employment, housing, and general wellbeing.

 

As part of the inquiry, female Service personnel were invited to complete an online survey. Based on feedback and issues raised by Service personnel and their loved ones, the Naval Families Federation submitted our observations on behalf of our community. Key themes include:

  • Harmony and separation;
  • Culture and expectations;
  • Childcare;

 

You can find our paper and other written evidence here.

 

NFF CEO Anna Wright attended an oral evidence session on 4th March. Watch the recording here (11:09:19 onwards).

 

Posted on: 3rd March, 2021
Updated on: 4th March, 2021

On 8th February 2021, the Armed Forces Bill 2019-21 received Second Reading and was committed to the Armed Forces Bill Select Committee for consideration.

 

The Armed Forces Bill will enshrine the Armed Forces Covenant in law and help prevent past and currently serving personnel and their families being disadvantaged when accessing services like education and improve the Service Justice System for our personnel wherever they are operating.

 

Focusing on healthcare, housing and education, it will increase awareness among public bodies of the unique nature of military service, improving the level of service for members of the Armed Forces community, no matter where in the UK they live.

 

Quick overview

Since the launch of the Armed Forces Covenant in 2011, many businesses have committed to offering part-time or flexible working patterns to Reservists and military spouses/partners. Enshrining the Covenant in law also builds on a number of initiatives implemented over the past year to support Service leavers and veterans. These include the Defence Transition Services organisation, which was established to assist those facing the greatest difficulties successfully transition to civilian life after leaving Service.

 

The NFF are proud to be part of Forces Families Jobs, a collaborative project between the three Families Federations in conjunction with the MOD Relationship Management Team to support current serving military families and Service Leavers with employment and training opportunities.

 

The Bill will also make the complaints system more efficient by bringing the time given to personnel to lodge an appeal in line with timings offered in the private sector.

 

The Bill will also renew the Armed Forces Act 2006, following the Armed Forces Acts of 2011 and 2016.

 

Select Committee and their work

On 3rd March 2021, the House of Commons launched the Select Committee on the Armed Forces Bill, chaired by James Sunderland MP. 

  • NFF CEO Anna Wright attended an oral evidence session at 2.30pm on 4th March 2021. You can watch the session on Parliament TV here.
  • The Committee published a special report in April 2021. You can read the report here.
  • Based on feedback and issues raised by Service personnel and their loved ones, the Naval Families Federation submitted our observations on behalf of our community. You can find other written evidence here.

 

Further details
  • Please click here to read the news story.
  • Click here to find out more about the Bill and its other measures.
  • July 2021 – The NFF has joined 11 other military charities in signing an open letter which has appeared in several newspapers calling for the Covenant into Law part of the Armed Forces Act to be strengthened and to go further. Read the news story here.

 

Posted on: 11th February, 2021
Posted on: 14th July, 2021