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The Chartered Management Institute (CMI) has pledged to support Service spouses and partners in gaining the leadership qualifications to help them further their career.

 

Ensuring that Service spouses and partners are not disadvantaged in finding and staying in employment due to service life is a key part of the Armed Force Covenant, which states that: The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise by the nation ensuring that those who serve or who have served in the Armed Forces, and their families, are treated fairly.

 

The Chartered Management Institute has sought to uphold this promise by signing the Armed Forces Covenant. In their pledges, the CMI support Service spouses and civil partners through their MOD Family Membership Scheme, which provides access to Leadership, Mentoring and Coaching qualifications, helping Service spouses to gain the key skills and professional recognition which can help Service family members to find employment.

 

The Scheme is also available free to children of Service personnel (aged 16-18) and allows them to become a Campus CMI Affiliate with access to all the benefits of online resources, including study support.

 

CMI’s pledges offer a discount on their qualifications and membership for family members of Service personnel who are CMI members, and a commitment to support Service spouses or Reservists who they employ with flexible working arrangements, where possible.

 

Chief of Defence People, Lieutenant General Richard Nugee is a CMI companion and participated in the signing of the Covenant at an event on 14 November. He said:

“The families of our Service personnel are an important part of the Covenant. We value and are grateful to them – the unsung heroes who support our Armed Forces. Knowing that the nation, and organisations like the Chartered Management Institute recognises this is extremely important and fundamental in making the Armed Forces Covenant work.”

 

Posted on: 18th November, 2016

The days of lullabies, trips to the park and help with homework are over. You have gone from being a supervisor of your child’s life to a spectator as your young person takes their first steps of independence. This can be a challenging transition for any parent, but what if your young person has decided to join the Royal Navy or Royal Marines?

 

Back in the 1960s, recruits at HMS Raleigh were given a compulsory postcard to send home to their parents in their first week of training, and were told what to write! Nowadays parents are much more likely to hear the unvarnished reality of their children’s experiences.

 

We’ve been talking with parents about their experiences of their grown up children joining the Naval Service. They have told us about some of the things that have helped them during the early days of training and moving on to first assignments. A common thread in the feedback we received from parents was that they felt confident that their ‘children’ were being well looked after and supported by the Service. Families felt that their young people knew where to get help and support, and that they had access to people who would listen to any concerns. There was good awareness among young recruits of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines’ guidance on issues such as bullying or harassment. In particular, parents mentioned Royal Navy Chaplains as providing invaluable support, whether or not the young person has a faith.

 

HMS GLOUCESTER GETS ROYAL WELCOME HOME - 25th March 2011. HRH The Duchess of Gloucester will join Type-42 destroyer HMS Gloucester as she sails back into Portsmouth on March 25 from her seven-month deployment to the South Atlantic. Pictured: Mrs Marie Grinnell and son AB (SEA) Ashley Grinnell. Model release forms held at FFRPU(E) As the ship’s sponsor the Duchess launched the ship on November 2 1982 and has been closely involved ever since – seeing her through 15 Captains, two rededications and 25 years of commissioned service. HRH The Duchess of Gloucester will join the destroyer by helicopter before meeting the ship’s company and sailing with her into Portsmouth. This will be HMS Gloucester’s final homecoming as she will be decommissioned from the Fleet in June. *** Local Caption *** Pictured: Mrs Marie Grinnell and son AB (SEA) Ashley Grinnell.

 

One mum said that young people generally get caught up in what they are doing and life with their new ‘oppos’, and tend to think about mum and dad when something goes wrong. This can be misleading for parents who may only hear about the more challenging stuff. Despite how it may sometimes feel as a parent of young people, you are very influential, and your support and ability to listen can have a huge impact on their success.

 

Parents who have experienced Service in the Armed Forces themselves said that they felt this was a huge advantage to them in helping them to feel confident and happy about what their young people were doing. One father said that he felt confident that if he approached the Navy about any concerns that he would be taken seriously. He felt it was important that parents who had not served in the Armed Forces themselves realised that people will talk to you and help you. Several parents said it was helpful to ‘buddy up’ with someone who has more experience of Naval life, and that appropriate social media groups could be helpful in reducing anxiety for parents.

 

Here are some of the top tips you shared with us:

“Simple really; don’t worry about them; they are being better looked after than we could ever dream.”

“Get them a good iron and a good ironing board!”

“Expect phone calls with tears and asking to come home from basic training. It probably won’t happen but be prepared so that you can look after your own feelings and be supportive. Talk beforehand about the fact that it will be tough and about how they can get support if they need it. Try to foster determination to stay for the basic training at least. Agree that this can be the finishing point if they want it to be, but encourage them not to give up half way through.”

“At times supporting a serving person can feel like a bit of a one-way street (like many areas of being a parent!). Care packages and letters are appreciated, although letters are not always reciprocated.”

“If you don’t hear from your young person, assume the best and not the worst. If anything serious does happen, you will get to hear about it. No news is usually good news.”

“Do your best to boost them up and be positive.”

“Make contact with other parents in the same situation. There are lots of groups and support networks online. The Royal Navy website has a forum and there is a Royal Navy Family and Community Facebook page. There are also numerous unofficial groups and networks that you can access via social media. Please be careful to avoid posting information about operations or ships’ movements, use your privacy settings to limit access to your profile, and don’t identify yourself as a Service person’s family member on your public photos and details. Parents have told us that Facebook groups have been incredibly helpful. They are not always easy to find at most are ‘secret’, so you need to find someone in real life who can introduce you. Some of the parents we spoke to had become friends with other parents of serving people, and found this very helpful.”

“If your young person is in a relationship with a long-term partner, accept that they may make that relationship a priority when they have time off, and that their time with you may need to take a back seat. This can be tough for any parent, but training and deployment can result in time to invest in relationships being in short supply. As hard as it may be, your young person may have a new centre of gravity in their life. A wise parent will foster a good relationship with their adult child’s partner, and seek to support them through times of separation in an appropriate way.”

“Equip yourself with information. Find out about what is involved. You can download ‘A Parent and Guardian’s Guide to Careers in the Royal Navy and Royal Marines’ from the RN website that will answer many of your questions. Information packs are given out at new entry training establishments, but if these don’t reach you as a parent you can find all the information you need via the Royal Navy website or from us at the Naval Families Federation.”

Thank you to all the parents who took the time to speak with our team for this article. If you would like to give any feedback about your experiences of being the parent of a serving person, please do get in touch with us here.

 

Posted on: 17th November, 2016

Many thanks to all those who took part in our ‘Wearing of Unearned Medals’ survey.

 

We shared our findings with the House of Commons Defence Select Committee who will use this evidence when The Awards for Valour (Protection) Bill has its Second Reading in the House of Commons later this month.

 

The bill is intended to ‘prohibit the wearing or public display, by a person not entitled to do so, of medals or insignia awarded for valour, with the intent to deceive’.

 

If you would like to read the results of the survey in full, please click here

 

If you would like to read the comments in Annexes A and B which are referred to in the report, please email info@nff.org.uk.

 

Thank you once again for taking the time to share your views on this important matter.

 

Posted on: 11th November, 2016

The Welsh Government have now produced a refreshed Package of Support document – ‘Giving and Receiving – Supporting and Investing in our Armed Forces Community in Wales’ details what support is available to the Armed Forces community in Wales with devolved services.

 

It encapsulates the 2-way relationship that exists between the Armed Forces and the community in which they live.

 

They have also produced a ‘Welcome to Wales’ document for Serving Personnel and their families to make them aware of the support available on moving to Wales.

 

These 2 documents should be read in conjunction with the UK Government’s Armed Forces Covenant: Today and Tomorrow. Together they set out the UK Government’s overall intent for supporting the Armed Forces community.

 

The Government are committed to providing support for our Armed Forces community and the aim is to ensure effective and efficient provision of services which support their needs.

 

Since 2013 a number of new and developing commitments, both within Welsh Government policy areas and partner organisations have progressed.

 

Additional funding from the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) has also increased resources available to the third sector and local authorities to provide specific support in essential areas.

 

This relates to the decision by the Chancellor to transfer £35m from fines levied on banks for attempting to manipulate the LIBOR interest rates to the Ministry of Defence for use in supporting the Armed Forces Community managed under the Community Covenant Fund.

 

More information

For further information relating to the Armed Forces community, please contact ArmedForces@wales.gsi.gov.uk. 

 

Document Download

Welcome to Wales (updated in June 2020)

Giving and Receiving

Posted on: 26th October, 2018
Updated on: 29th June, 2020

Radio 4’s ‘Bringing up Britain’ series debates parenting with families, experts and policy-makers. Today’s show is called ‘Parenting at a Distance’ and our Director of Evidence and Strategy, Bridget Nicholson is on the panel, you can hear her discuss the demands of military deployments, long-distance parenting and the impact of separation on families here.

 

Posted on: 3rd August, 2016

British Airways has become the first airline to pledge support for the military community and their families by signing up to the UK Armed Forces Covenant.

 

British Airways recognises it has an important role to play in supporting the Armed Forces and their families.  It has also committed to giving Reservists and military spouses in its employment the flexibility they need to allow for deployment or training schedules, and also to support Service Leavers moving into civilian roles.

 

To demonstrate its commitment to the Armed Forces past and present, the airline is offering a 10 per cent discount on all fares across its global network of near 200 destinations. See more here.

 

The discount is available to all Serving Armed Forces, Reservists, Spouses of Serving Personnel, Forces Veterans, MoD Civil Servants, War widowers and Cadet Forces (over 16).

 

British Airways Chairman and CEO Alex Cruz, said:

“This discount recognises the great service given by the men and women of the Armed Forces; we hope that it will make their well-earned holiday time with their families easier and cheaper.  “We have strong links with the Armed Forces and our work-force includes many veterans and serving Reservists. By signing the Armed Forces Covenant we are demonstrating our respect for the hard work and dedication of our Servicemen and women, veterans and their families.

“We’re proud to show our support.”

 

Posted on: 20th June, 2016

On Friday 20 May 2016, we formally launched our new strategy and website at Navy Command Headquarters in Portsmouth.

 

More than 500 Royal Navy and Royal Marines personnel came to show their support for Royal Navy and Royal Marines’ families. The Minister of State for the Armed Forces, Penny Mordaunt MP, came along to add her good wishes.

 

The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Defence Personnel and Veterans, Mark Lancaster, sent his own message of support:

“Operating successfully both at home and at sea requires incredible teamwork – a key characteristic of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines; and whilst everybody must play their part, we are particularly conscious of the support provided by families. The Naval Families Federation helps ensure that families are fully part of that team; offering support and trusted advice, not only to sailors, marines and their families, but also to the chain of command and policy makers. They give a voice to the wider ‘Naval Service family’ and I am delighted that we have such an organisation, led by Anna Wright, that provides clear benefit to both the Naval community and Defence.”

 

The First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Philip Jones KCB ADC spoke on the day:

“My door is always open to the Naval Families Federation. They have a huge amount to contribute, and I want everyone here in NCHQ to make use of their insight too. Families must continue to have a voice as we move forward. We want them to believe in the Royal Navy’s future and to believe that their place in this future is equally bright. And with the help of the Naval Families Federation, we can ensure life in the Navy is as a good as it can be for everyone.”

 

NFF LAUNCH NEW BRANDING AND STRATEGY The Naval Families Federation (NFF) launched their new branding and strategy today, 20th May 2016, in the lower atrium of NCHQ. The First Sea Lord gave an opening address along with the Director of NFF, Anna Wright. The Armed Forces Minister, Penny Mordaunt MP, was also in attendance. Image: L(Phot) Paul Hall

NFF LAUNCH NEW BRANDING AND STRATEGY The Naval Families Federation (NFF) launched their new branding and strategy today, 20th May 2016, in the lower atrium of NCHQ. The First Sea Lord gave an opening address along with the Director of NFF, Anna Wright. The Armed Forces Minister, Penny Mordaunt MP, was also in attendance. Image: L(Phot) Paul Hall

NFF LAUNCH NEW BRANDING AND STRATEGY The Naval Families Federation (NFF) launched their new branding and strategy today, 20th May 2016, in the lower atrium of NCHQ. The First Sea Lord gave an opening address along with the Director of NFF, Anna Wright. The Armed Forces Minister, Penny Mordaunt MP, was also in attendance. Image: L(Phot) Paul Hall

 

NFF LAUNCH NEW BRANDING AND STRATEGY The Naval Families Federation (NFF) launched their new branding and strategy today, 20th May 2016, in the lower atrium of NCHQ. The First Sea Lord gave an opening address along with the Director of NFF, Anna Wright. The Armed Forces Minister, Penny Mordaunt MP, was also in attendance. Image: L(Phot) Paul Hall

NFF LAUNCH NEW BRANDING AND STRATEGY The Naval Families Federation (NFF) launched their new branding and strategy today, 20th May 2016, in the lower atrium of NCHQ. The First Sea Lord gave an opening address along with the Director of NFF, Anna Wright. The Armed Forces Minister, Penny Mordaunt MP, was also in attendance. Image: L(Phot) Paul Hall

NFF LAUNCH NEW BRANDING AND STRATEGY Pictured: Armed Forces Minister, Penny Mordaunt MP, visitng NCHQ The Naval Families Federation (NFF) launched their new branding and strategy today, 20th May 2016, in the lower atrium of NCHQ. The First Sea Lord gave an opening address along with the Director of NFF, Anna Wright. The Armed Forces Minister, Penny Mordaunt MP, was also in attendance. Image: L(Phot) Paul Hall

 

 

 

 

 

Posted on: 24th May, 2016

It was announced in 2016 that spouses and civil partners of Service personnel will be able to apply for a new type of National Insurance (NI) credit to protect their State Pension (if they have accompanied their partner overseas).

 

Former Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:

“We are making sure that military spouses and partners who spend time based overseas get the State Pension they deserve.  This is the latest step under the Armed Forces Covenant to ensure that service personnel and their families are treated fairly.”

 

How do you know if you’re eligible to apply for the new credits?

Service spouses and civil partners will be eligible to apply for the new Class 3 NI credits if they:

• Reach State Pension age on or after 6 April 2016, that means they were born on or after 6 April 1953 (if a woman) or 6 April 1951 (if a man); and

• Are or have been married to /in a civil partnership with a member of the Armed Forces; and

• Have accompanied their spouse or civil partner on a deployment outside the UK at any time since 6 April 1975; and

• At the time of the posting their spouse or civil partner must have paid, been treated as having paid or been credited with UK National Insurance.

You can still apply if you are now widowed, divorced or have had your civil partnership dissolved, provided you were married or in a civil partnership at the time you accompanied your partner abroad. Some Service spouses or civil partners who meet the above criteria will not have a gap in their NI records and so will not need to apply for the new credits. For example, you may not have a gap if you:

• were working in a job during the accompanied assignment where you paid UK NI contributions;

• were self-employed and paying self-employed Class 2 NI contributions throughout the accompanied assignment;

• received certain benefits such as Employment and Support Allowance (previously called Incapacity Benefit or Invalidity Benefit) or Child Benefit for the whole of the accompanied assignment(s)outside the UK.

 

How do I apply? 

You can apply for the new Class 3 NI credits anytime from 6 April 2016. There is no time limit in applying for the credits, although if you apply after you reach State Pension age any increased State Pension might not be paid for periods before the date of your application. For information about applying for the new Class 3 credit visit here.

 

The Class 1 NI Credit: A wider range of benefits for deployments since April 2010 

The new Class 3 credits do not replace the existing Class 1 NI credit for those who have accompanied a partner on a posting since April 2010, and which contribute not only towards entitlement to new State Pension, but also towards Employment and Support Allowance, Jobseeker’s Allowance and Bereavement Benefits (to be replaced for new claimants by Bereavement Support Payments in April 2017).

 

More information 

Further information about NI credits for Service spouses and civil partners is available online here.

 

Posted on: 12th May, 2016
Updated on: 4th January, 2019