Dear Families,


The festive season is often a time of reflection for the things we are most grateful for. For most, it’s a time to be thankful for your family and friends and an opportunity to spend time and make memories together. For the Service families separated at this time of year it is especially tough and the personal sacrifices you make can feel all the more acute. Now more than ever you should be proud of the crucial role that you play in ensuring that our Armed Forces continue to be among the best in the world at what they do.


This year I am especially thankful for the incredible work that was done during the short-notice deployment of Service personnel to Afghanistan over the summer: a difficult and at times harrowing deployment which saved so many lives.  This year our brave Service personnel have also continued to deliver critical support to communities up and down the UK as we continue to recover from the pandemic, from testing and vaccinations, to logistics and planning, there has been an incredible effort from all three Services.


I am keenly aware of what this has meant for you, and I know that without your support this vital contribution would not have been possible. At the Ministry of Defence, my Ministers and I are determined to ensure we keep modernising the Services so that a career in the Armed Forces doesn’t mean accepting sacrifices for your family.


This is why we are launching a new Armed Forces Family Strategy which will set ambitious changes for the next ten years. The strategy will drive improved policies, bringing practical benefits which will help strike a better balance between home life and the demands of Service life. It focusses on the elements you have told us matter most to you including access to healthcare, improved housing, better educational outcomes for your children, and the ability for serving and non-serving partners to have fulfilling and successful careers.


Last week we also passed the Armed Forces Act 2021 in Parliament which in it, created a new duty that means public bodies must consider the unique nature of Service life when running healthcare, housing and education services. This means you and your family should never be disadvantaged when accessing these because of your role in the Armed Forces.


There is still more change to deliver and we will continue to listen to you. Your Ministry of Defence Team and I speak regularly with the Families Federations to ensure we give due attention to the issues you raise. It is encouraging to see an increase in family engagement through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, plus the use of other platforms such as the Royal Navy Forum and Army HIVE Blog and I urge you to continue to use the Families Federations and social media to get your voice heard.


Naval Families Federation 

Army Families Federation

RAF Families Federation


Once again, I would like to thank you personally for all that you continue to do in support of your loved ones. Whether Regular or Reserve, your support helps them to deliver in the professional manner for which they are renowned worldwide.


I wish you all a safe and happy Christmas.


Yours sincerely,


We wish you a very Happy Christmas from all of us here at the Naval Families Federation.


Our Christmas hours are as below:

  • Closing: 5pm on Thursday 23rd December 2021
  • Reopening: 9am on Tuesday 4th January 2022


Should you require urgent assistance over this period, you can find emergency contact details here:


Combat Stress Mental Health Helpline

Combat Stress

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 Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre (JCCC)

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 01452 519951. This number is manned 24 hours a day, 7 days per week throughout the Christmas period.

The Royal British Legion

The Royal British Legion supports serving members of the Armed Forces, veterans and their families.


Their Contact Centre helpline will be open as usual:

  • 0808 802 8080 from 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week
Royal Navy Family & People Support (RN 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 RN FPS. They are available throughout the Christmas Period. Please visit this page for their hours and contact details.

The Samaritans

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


Please call:

  • UK – 116 123
  • Welsh Language Line – 0808 164 0123 (Not24-Hour, every day 1900 – 2300)
  • Republic of Ireland – 116 123
SSAFA Forces Line

SSAFA Forces Line

Strengthening Families - By Your Side

‘Strengthening Families – By Your Side’ offers Royal Navy and Royal Marines families the right support at the right time. This programme has been developed by the RNRMC and Naval Families Federation, with additional funding support from the Armed Forces Covenant.


Some services may be accessible during this Christmas period. Please visit the programme partners’ websites for further details.


A5 insert, talking about strengthening families.

As there are no Service provisions for dental care by Defence Primary Healthcare (DPHC) (Dental) in ISODET locations, personnel are authorised to seek dental treatment from local civilian dental practitioners. Dental treatment is accessed via One HMG Healthline (HEALIX) and provided by local Host Nation dental practitioners. Prior to attending any dental appointments, contact should be made with One HMG Healthline who will provide further clarification on their processes to follow and they will also provide the relevant forms and paperwork to take to your appointment.


Prior authorisation for all ‘non-routine’ dental treatment must be obtained from One HMG Healthline before the treatment can be carried out. Further details can be found in 2020DIN01-091. Patients are strongly recommended to acquaint themselves with this document prior to booking any dental appointments. All treatment requires authorisation from One HMG Healthline for funding before undertaking the treatment.


If One HMG Healthline is not available in your current location, prior approval is obtained from DPHC (Overseas) using 2021DIN01-113. Patients are strongly recommended to acquaint themselves with this document prior to booking any dental appointments. Guidance and prior approval can be sought from


Dental Fitness prior to Overseas Assignment. All Service, Entitled Personnel, and Civil Servants are to ensure they are dentally fit before taking an assignment abroad. With enough notice, DPHC(Dental) staff will prioritise treatment to SP who are assigned to isolated locations. All entitled personnel are to ensure they have a dental examination and all associated routine treatment completed prior to commencement of the overseas assignment. All family members are required to complete dental clearance through the One HMG Healthcare Hub up to 6 months prior to their posting. Dependants departing without dental clearance may not be entitled to full dental care while overseas.


You will also find location-specific dental care leaflets on ISODET dental page and NSE tabs on EJSU.Net.  For more patient-focused information you can also visit the ISODET Dental Care -Rest of World page on My Healthcare Hub on Defence Gateway.

Posted on: 25th October 2021




Female portrait photo.Chief Executive Officer (Outgoing as of 3rd January 2022)


Passing out from Britannia Royal Naval College in 1990, Anna served as a logistics officer for 8 years. She is married to Stuart, a naval logistics officer and barrister, and left the Service prior to the birth of their second child in 2000.  Anna re-trained as a Business and Economics teacher and has since taught and managed in three Further Education Colleges and become an Advanced Practitioner whilst ‘following the flag’. Taking advantage of the proximity of her service family accommodation to Brunel University, she completed a master’s degree in education in 2014.


As Chief Executive Officer of the Naval Families Federation for six years she has led ground-breaking research work into the unique dynamics of the Royal Navy’s lifestyle focusing on non-operational separation, conducted a full strategic review of the organisation and led multiple projects and work-strands in important areas such as childcare, family separation, health, and education.


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


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


You can download our resource free here.



Posted on: 30th April, 2020


Service children’s sporting activities – Kings Camp Portsmouth is back for an 8th year


Two weeks of sports and activity programmes have been organised by The Kings Foundation and discounted by Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity funding.


Kings Camp is the leading provider of holiday sports and activity day camps for children and works closely with the many Naval Service communities across the UK. As a charitable organisation, Kings Camp focuses on the experience of each child attending camp. With inspiring coaches, children experience a wide range of sports and activities whilst making new friends and developing a love for an active, healthy lifestyle.


With 25 years’ experience, more than half a million children already have happy Kings Camp memories; activities include a wide range of sports, socialising, interacting and learning new skills from their experiences. With full use of sports facilities including swimming pool, indoor and outdoor facilities, the inspiring Kings Camps coaches ensure all children are fully involved in the activities.


The camps are for children aged 5 -17 years old and will run from 0815 – 1645 each day (1600 on Friday) from:


Week 1    HMS Temeraire and HMS Collingwood              Monday 22 – Friday 26 July

Week 2    HMS Temeraire and HMS Collingwood              Monday 29 Jul – Friday 2 August


Drop off for all camps is between 0815 – 0845 and pick up is between 1615 – 1700 (1600 on Friday). Please do not drop off or collect after these times.


Each camp can take up to a maximum of 100 children so please book early to avoid disappointment. The normal cost for each week is £187, however each place has been heavily subsidised by both the Kings Foundation (£77) and the RNRMC (£60), so the cost per child is only £60 for the week. If you wish to book a place during the first week and your child(ren) do not break up until the Mon or Tue please speak directly to Kings who will provide a reduced price for week 1. This is a fantastic opportunity for children to mix and enjoy each other’s company whilst enjoying a week of fun and entertainment during the summer holidays.


Payment is required at the time of booking and can be made by credit or debit card. You can also pay by child care vouchers you will just pay £1 to secure your place and then send Kings the vouchers. You will also need to provide your Service Number, rank and place of work.


To book your child(ren) onto the camp, call Molly and the team on 0114 263 2160. If you require further information please do not hesitate to contact WO1 PT Tiny Nash on 9380 22828 / 02392 722828 or e mail 



An extended funding partnership between the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC) and Kings Camps is about to enable more children and young people from Naval Service families to access sports and activity camps right across the UK and at a significantly subsidised rate of £60 per week. In addition to operating Kings Camps for 1,800 children at 8 Royal Navy bases, Naval Service families can now access Kings Camps at 55 locations across the UK, from Aberdeen to Cornwall. Read more about this here.


Posted on: 23rd March 2018
Updated on: 17th June, 2019

X-Forces has set up a scheme to help Service Leavers, Reservists, and Spouses/ Partners to start their own business.


This scheme offers low interest start-up loans to individuals over 18 who have a viable business idea but no access to traditional finance.


Successful candidates will receive a 12-month free monitoring service, free training events and more.


Please see this page for more information and to apply for your Start Up Loan.


Posted on: 16th November, 2018

Update: Please note that the information on this page is for 2018 and has now expired. Please check back around November for 2019 posting dates. 


BFPO has announced the latest recommended posting deadlines for this Christmas. There is also a list of overseas locations and operations that are entitled to the Christmas Families Free Mail Service (CFFMS), which runs from 26th October 18 – 23rd November 18.


If you wish to send your loved ones a letter or parcel this Christmas, please kindly visit this link and follow the advised dates to ensure they arrive on time.


Posted on: 16th October, 2018
Updated on: 24th October, 2018

*Edit: This competition is now closed* 


The Trafalgar Way, which runs from Falmouth in Cornwall to the Admiralty in central London, was created in 2005 to commemorate the journey over land made by Lt John Richards Lapenotiere who carried the momentous news of victory at the Battle of Trafalgar and of the death of Admiral Lord Nelson.


They have now launched a short story competition, themed ‘An Urgent Message’, to help put the Trafalgar Way on the map and into the national consciousness. Entries should be an original story about an urgent message – a great event or something that matters to only one person, or animal. There is no restriction on the tone of the story, whether it is funny or serious, happy or sad.


This competition is only open to:

– Individuals (aged between 7 – 21) and schools from the counties along the Trafalgar Way (Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Wiltshire, Hampshire, Surrey, and South-West London); OR

– Sea Cadets and serving Royal Naval personnel under the age of 22 resident anywhere.


This competition is divided into three age categories with specific length requirements:

  • 7-11 (500 words maximum)
  • 12-16 (1000 words maximum)
  • 17-21 (2500 words maximum)


The closing date for this competition is at 1am on the 6th November, 2018, which falls on the same day and time as Vice-Admiral Collingwood’s dispatches from the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. Entries will be judged by a panel of writers and journalists.


You can read a specially commissioned story here for inspiration.


All winners will have their story published in print and have their prizes presented on Nelson’s Flagship in a special ceremony. First place prizes for each age group will include a trip to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard for a presentation with family and friends; second and third place prizes will include book tokens. There is also a cash prize for the first places in each age group.


Please visit this link for more information and to submit your entry.


Posted on: 16th October, 2018
Updated on: 8th November, 2018