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Wellbeing

Anne Longfield, the Children’s Commissioner for England, recently published a report looking at the lives and experiences of children who grow up in an Armed Forces family. The Naval Families Federation attended the launch of the report, and spoke with the Children’s Commissioner afterwards about particular challenges experienced by Naval Service families.

 

The report, ‘Kin and Country: Growing up as an Armed Forces Child’, explores how primary and secondary school children with parents in the Armed Forces feel about moving school or country, how their lives at home and school change with deployment and whether or not they feel they receive the support they need.

 

The Children’s Commissioner’s Office spoke to children up and down the country whose parents are currently serving in the Army, Navy or RAF, as well as speaking to teachers, parents and members of the Armed Forces to build a clear picture of where there are gaps in provision for children, and why these gaps exist.

 

The report shows that most children in Armed Forces families are growing up living happy lives, despite the unique challenges they face. It is clear though that the lifestyle can be tough, and that multiple school moves often leave children feeling unsettled and anxious. For children with additional needs or teenagers in the middle of exam courses, moving around adds another layer of complication.

 

Alongside the impact of mobility, service children describe a range of complex emotional responses to the deployment of their parents, sharing the impact that parental absence has at home, with changing family dynamics and increased responsibility for siblings and household tasks. For children who had both parents deployed at the same time, these issues are exacerbated by the need to move to stay with another family member for a significant period of time.

 

You can read the full report, and its recommendations, here.

 

Posted on: 17th July, 2018

What do you know about the Armed Forces Covenant?

Warwickshire County Council, on behalf of the Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire Armed Forces Covenant partnership has launched an innovative e-learning resource for Armed Forces personnel and their families.

 

This training programme has been designed to support those leaving or who have left the Armed Forces and helps in the process of adjusting to life outside of the Armed Forces.  It addresses issues that are commonly experienced within the transition and adjustment process such as acquiring accommodation, employment, health as well as personal and family adjustment.  It also raises awareness of the Armed Forces Covenant and highlight how it can support them in reducing disadvantages that can occur as a result of their service.

 

These modules were created by the Armed Forces Covenant Team within the Council, in collaboration with ex-serving personnel, the Naval Families Federation and the Army and RAF Families Federations.

 

Anna Wright, CEO of the Naval Families Federation said:

“I am delighted to lend my support to this fifth, and final, Armed Forces Covenant e-learning module, which has been developed by the Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire Covenant Partnership. We have worked with Phil Deakin and his colleagues on all of these modules and have been thrilled to see how successful they have been in not only raising awareness of the issues faced by serving personnel and their families, but also providing advice about how the Covenant can help to overcome them.

This final module really strikes a chord as it coincides with the research that we and the other Families Federations have recently published, in partnership with the Forces in Mind Trust, which puts the spotlight on how families transition out of the Armed Forces. I am sure that the module will help the individual and whole family make a successful move back to civilian life”

 

Minister for Defence People and Veterans Tobias Ellwood said:

“I am very pleased to welcome this new resource focused on Service Leavers and Veterans.  We know that the period of transition and adjustment to civilian life can be difficult for some individuals and families and this e-learning will aid them in settling back into civilian life.  One excellent feature is the ‘Three Top Tips’ being shared from veterans of all 3 services as well as spouses who have made the transition.”

 

You can access these e-learning resources here.

 

Posted on: 14th May, 2018
Updated on: 8th May, 2019

We are sometimes contacted by families who need to obtain a copy of their NHS medical records.

 

England

There are two types of medical record you can ask to see:

  • medical records held by a healthcare provider that has treated you;
  • a summary care record (SCR) created by your GP.

Click here to find out more.

 

Scotland

You should contact your GP practice manager or hospital health records manager if you would like more information about how your records are stored. Click here to find out more. 

 

Wales

NHS Wales in partnership with the Informatics Service is bringing in a number of ways to view records electronically while still ensuring information is safe and secure. You can also find out more how patient details are handled. Find out more here.

 

Northern Ireland

Health and medical records will be held about you at your GP surgery, or in a hospital if you have had any appointments or treatment there. You should be able to request to see your records, though there may be a cost. Find out more here.

 

Did you know that you can also register on-line with your GP surgery, in England, which will allow you to view a lot of your GP records, book appointments and request prescriptions? More details can be found here

 

Posted on: 26th April, 2018

Stalking is defined as repeated and unwanted behaviour that causes the victim alarm and distress. It is often thought of as a crime only against women, but 1 in 6 women and 1 in 12 men will be subject to stalking at some point in their lives.

Perhaps surprisingly though, 77% of stalking victims experience 100 incidents before they make a report to the police. It may take a while before a victim realises that the behaviour they are experiencing is stalking. It may seem just annoying at first and then gradually become creepier and more frightening. Some stalking may escalate fast.

Most stalking now includes a digital or technology-based aspect. In ‘cyberstalking’, the perpetrator will use technology, but not stalk the person in the offline world. In ‘digitally assisted stalking’, the perpetrator will use technology (such as mobile phones, geolocation tracking, social media and spyware) to find information and to assist them with ‘in person’ activities. All forms of stalking may cause psychological damage, as well as other harm.

We have no reason to believe that stalking of any kind is more common in the Armed Forces community than in the rest of the population. The purpose of this article is not to cause alarm or worry, but to raise awareness of ways we can protect ourselves and look out for friends and neighbours.

Here are some simple steps you can take to improve your digital safety:

• Use secure passwords and update them. Yes – we’ve heard that many times before. With all the websites that you probably have accounts for, there’s no way to easily remember lots of different passwords. This is where a password manager can help – as long as you create a strong master password that you can remember. These are available free online and as mobile apps – for example Dashlane and Keepass;

• Regularly Google yourself. Know what your ‘digital footprint’ looks like and what information about you is in the public domain;

• Review your social media privacy settings;

• Think before you ‘check in’ somewhere on social media;

• Check your mobile phone settings. Reduce the time before your screen locks and needs a PIN. Use a PIN that is not a birthday or other known number. Review and considering turning off location services, GPS or geotagging. Ensure that apps such as Google Maps are not sharing your location with anyone you don’t trust;

• Be careful about sharing personal information online. Think before updating: your relationship status; your place of work; where you are going, etc. Visit the Royal Navy website for advice on staying safe in social media here;

• Use caution when using dating apps like Tinder. Check out the dating safety section of the website before you meet. Don’t give out your e-mail address or mobile number – set up an e-mail for first contact or get an extra mobile number and keep your main number private. Meet in a public place and make sure you let a friend know where you are and timings so that they can check in with you.

If you have reason to think that you are being stalked:

• Report it and reach out to others – report to the police and make sure that other people know what you are experiencing (workplace, children’s school, trusted friends and family). Naval Service Family & People Support (NS FPS) (023 9272 8777) can provide support.

Remember you are not alone:

Get good practical advice – contact the National Stalking Helpline and/or Paladin National Stalking Advocacy Service (details below). These organisations can give you specific information about what to do next and steps you can take to stay safe.

Keep evidence – keep all e-mails, messages, gifts and contacts. If you are followed by car, go to an area with CCTV and call 999 if you are in immediate danger.

Keep a diary – log everything – dates, times and details.

• Trust your instincts and never make contact with the stalker. Anyone who is a victim of stalking, or is worried about someone’s behaviour towards them, can get free, confidential, expert advice and support from.

Useful contacts

• The National Stalking Helpline on 0808 802 0300

The Paladin National Stalking Advocacy Service on 0207 840ite: www.paladinservice.co.uk.

• The Armed Forces Domestic Abuse Aurora New Dawn Advocate – 023 9247 9254armedforces@aurorand.org.uk

Posted on: 23rd January, 2018
Updated on: 2nd December, 2019

With the unpredictable nature of Naval life, lots of pressure is put on families and a feeling of isolation can be common. There is a lot of research which says that singing in groups helps to alleviate stress and improve mental health, as well as bringing people together, and that’s why the Military Wives Choirs are so important.

With an aim to bring women in the military community closer together through singing, there are now over 70 Military Wives Choirs in British Military bases across the UK, and overseas, helping to combat this isolation.

Here, two ladies from different ends of the UK tell their stories and talk about what choir means to them:

Michelle, 33, West of Scotland Military Wives Choirs:

“I’ve lived on the patch for 18 months but only joined the West of Scotland Military Wives Choir five months ago. It took me a while to take the plunge and step into the rehearsal room as I wasn’t sure I aligned myself with the military wives identity. I also really didn’t want to spend my Monday evenings singing sad songs and crying into my handkerchief! A friend, who lives nearby, eventually convinced me to give it a go and now I realise that my perception was wrong. We perform such a range of songs– some emotional and some that are upbeat and fun – it makes it so enjoyable.

“Before joining the choir, I hadn’t sung since school but I now remember that feeling you get after singing. Even if I’m having a bad day and don’t really feel like going, I force myself to go along and always leave rehearsal feeling so much better than when I came in. It’s a real post singing buzz that’s incredibly uplifting.

“Not only does choir boost my mood, it’s a stable place I can depend on when my life feels chaotic. My husband is a submarine engineer and because of his job, he’s regularly back and forth, often unexpectedly. It means that we’re constantly living in uncertainty. When he’s away, it’s particularly hard as it’s difficult to communicate with him.

“The ladies in choir understand. Being in a room full of women going through similar things means I don’t need to be worried about being judged in any way or explaining myself if I’m feeling a bit down. They’re a supportive bunch who help with so many aspects of daily life; for example, one of the ladies recently brought her six-month-old to a rehearsal as her husband was away and her baby had never been in a crèche before. Nobody minded at all, in fact  everyone was taking turns to hold her to give mum a little break, so she got some time to be herself and let go.

“I’ve already encouraged one of my friends in the military community to come along to choir and I would do the same for anyone. Even if you don’t think it’s for you, like I originally did, give it a chance and you may be pleasantly surprised!”

Yvonne, 41, Yeovilton Military Wives Choirs:

I joined Yeovilton Military Wives Choir two weeks after they started back in 2012. A leaflet came with the military welcome pack we’d received shortly after moving in and I jumped on the opportunity. As a married woman without children, I felt like it was the only activity out there to help me meet new people, something I was desperate to do since I didn’t know anyone.

“I hadn’t sung since school so I was nervous to begin with, but my confidence has really grown and I can honestly say that being in the choir has given me lots of amazing opportunities which I never expected. We’ve performed with the likes of Lulu, Russell Watson and even appeared on Flog It! However the best thing for me is that I experience lots of fun, love and support. I know that choir is an integral part of all our ladies’ lives. After a long, stressful day, there is nothing better than joining a room full of fabulous women and singing your heart out.

“My husband is about to become a Naval Officer  and he is getting transferred to Scotland this summer. I’m not going with him due to my job/other commitments. If I was, I know that thanks to the Military Wives Choirs network, I could step right in and join another lovely bunch of ladies and feel instantly more comfortable in a new place. However, whilst it’s still going to be incredibly hard staying behind, I know that my Yeovilton choir ladies, who are all so understanding, will be there to help me out whilst he is away and I’m very grateful that I have that support network around me.

“I would definitely recommend joining a Military Wives Choir, particularly if you are new to the military. It’s a brilliant way to get to know ladies who understand the unpredictable nature of military life and can support you when your family member is worlds away. They can cheer you up, feed you cake or if you just need some time for yourself to sing, that’s ok too.”

For more information and to find a Military Wives Choirs near you, click here, or call 020 7463 9407.

 

 

 

Posted on: 18th January 2018

Children and young people should be protected from inappropriate and excessive caring responsibilities so they can enjoy their childhoods, thrive and reach their potential.

 

Young carers from Armed Forces Families have been highlighted as a particularly vulnerable group. The impacts of the caring roles for these young people are further compounded by other factors linked specifically with military life. We have worked in collaboration with the Children’s Society to help them to produce this report.

 

It evidences the need for support for these young people and proposes actions to improve identification and assistance. The report also contains recommendations for military and civilian services and suggestions for further actions and reading.

 

Posted on: 16th November, 2017

 

** 14/8/20 update: Please note that this article is currently under review to ensure all information are still correct**

 

The Naval Service Recovery Pathway (NSRP) delivers a conducive military environment for the management and support of Naval Service wounded, injured and sick (WIS) personnel in need of long term (greater than 3 months) support. The NSRP is designed to assist a WIS individual in their return to effective service employment, or to provide support through the transition process to civilian life, if it is deemed that they are unable to continue to serve within the Naval Service.

 

Key Points:

  • No matter where you are in the Naval Service, there is a specialised recovery facility to support your needs. Whether serving on operations, injured on or off duty, suffering a physical or mental health injury or diagnosed with a serious illness, the Naval Service Recovery Pathway will support you in your recovery. You can find your nearest recovery centre here.
  • You are automatically eligible for support from the Naval Service Recovery Pathway if you have been wounded, injured or sick (WIS) for more than 90 days. 
  • Crucial to the concept of recovery is the creation and implementation of an Individual Recovery Plan, which you can download here.

 

This leaflet provides a guide to recovery for all wounded, injured and sick Naval Service personnel and their families. It details each stage of the recovery progress, looks at temporary employability during the Recovery Pathway, and lists the contact details for numerous support organisations.

If you have any questions or enquires please email NAVYPERS-PFCSCRMMAILBOX@MOD.UK.

 

Adaptive Sport & Adventurous Training- Battle Back

  • Battle Back is an adaptive sport and adventurous training programme for wounded, injured and sick service personnel designed to accelerate recovery whilst building confidence and independence. It is a MOD led programme supported by Help for Heroes and The Royal British Legion.
  • It is available to all Naval Service personnel in the Naval Service Recovery Pathway (NSRP) as part of their Individual Recovery Plan (IRP).
  • The Centre conducts AS&AT Multi-Activity Courses (MAC) at the National Sports’ Centre, Lilleshall. In addition to sports and AT, coaching experts from Carnegie Great Outdoors, are available to work with individuals to increase self confidence, motivation, awareness, problem solving, communication and decision making skills; all aiding the development of strategies to cope with future situations.
  • Adapted residential accommodation is provided for personnel whilst they are taking part in activities which include indoor climbing and caving, watersports, wheelchair basketball, archery, mountain biking, sitting volleyball and clay pigeon shooting.
  • If you wish to attend the Battle Back Multi-Activity Course (MAC) at Lilleshall you need to apply through your Chain of Command; request to attend should not be made directly to the Battle Back as you will need to undergo a Medical Risk Assessment and have approval to travel.

 

Useful Links:

The Armed Forces Charities website offers a fully searchable database with details of over 2200 Armed Forces charities in the UK and may be a useful place to start if you’re looking for further information or assistance, however we have listed some key organisations below:

NS FPS

Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity

The Ripple Pond

Naval Children’s Charity

NHS England – Healthcare for the Armed Forces

Help for Heroes

The Royal British Legion

SSAFA

Combat Stress

Togetherall (formerly know as Big White Wall)

Career Transition Partnership

Regular Forces Employment Association

Greenwich Hospital

Veterans UK

Future for Forces

 

Posted on: 9th June, 2016
Last updated on: 14th August, 2020

It’s important to register an additional need and/ or disability with the Chain of Command, so that they are aware that your family may require extra support sometimes. There are a number of organisations that can assist you or offer you support such as the MOD, Government, your Local Authority (LA), NHS and specific charities.


Armed Forces Support

It is mandatory to register your family member’s additional need and/or disability with the chain of command to ensure that extra support required by your family is formally recognised.

 

SEND code of practice: 0 to 25 years

Guidance on the special educational needs and disability (SEND) system for children and young people aged 0 to 25, from 1 September 2014.

 

Additional needs Adaptions (ANA) to Service Family Accommodation (SFA)

If you or your family member has a disability which means that your SFA needs additional needs adaptions:

  • Contact Amey Occupancy Service Team at the Helpdesk on 0800 707 6000 or email occupancyservices@ameydefenceservices.co.uk.
  • You will need to submit medical evidence and/or an Occupational Therapy report depending on the adaptations required. Therefore you are advised to ask the Occupancy Services Team for a specific point of contact and email address to send your confidential medical information to.
  • If you require a larger SFA to allow for the required adaptations to be done you will need to complete an e1132 form, which you can find here.
  • Joint Service Publication (JSP) Vol 1, Part 1, Section 3 also contains information about the process for applying for SFA if you have additional needs. You can find the information here.

 

Government Support
Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) helps with some of the extra costs caused by long-term ill-health or a disability if you’re aged 16 to 64. Find our more here.

 

Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for children may help with the extra costs of looking after a child who:

  • is under 16;
  • has difficulties walking or needs more looking after than a child of the same age who doesn’t have a disability.

Please find out more here.

 

Claiming Benefits Overseas

If you are living overseas as part of a Service family, The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) have stated:

“When Personal Independence Payment (PIP) was introduced in April 2013 DWP also took the opportunity to amend residence and presence tests in Disability Living Allowance (DLA), Attendance Allowance (AA) and Carer’s Allowance (CA). For DLA and CA, like PIP, they made an exception for Serving members of Her Majesty’s Forces and members of their families, so that they should be classed as satisfying the habitual residence when stationed abroad.”

This means that you are able to continue claiming your benefit as if you were still living within the UK or apply for a new benefit as if you were living in the UK.

 

Carer’s Allowance

If you are 16 and over and care for someone for at least 35 hours a week you may be eligible to claim carer’s allowance. Please find out more here.

 

Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP)

The Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP) is an alternative to Personal Independence Payment (PIP). It is designed to provide financial support to Service personnel and Veterans who are seriously injured as a result of service to cover the extra costs they may have as a result of their injury. If you are eligible you will not be required to have an additional medical assessment and you will not be required to undergo regular re-assessments to maintain eligibility. AFIP applies to England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and is not taxable or means tested. Visit their website here.

 

SSAFA’s Guide for Service Families with Additional Needs and Disability

The challenges of military life are greater when you or a member of your family has a disability or an additional need. There are many questions to consider: When will we move? Will the housing be suitable? Will the local school be able to offer adequate support? How far are the local hospitals? What is transport like? Will the same treatment, medication or services be available?

This guide intends to offer families with challenging issues a step towards finding some answers to these questions. It is by no means comprehensive, but aims to signpost some of the services and resources available, to help find the appropriate support and make life easier. Please click here.

 

SSAFA Support Groups
Forces Additional Needs and Disability Forum (FANDF)

The Forces Additional Needs & Disability Forum (FANDF) support group was set up over 20 years ago for Service families who have a child or dependant who has additional needs or a disability, or if they are disabled themselves. It is a forum for families to raise issues of importance with the MOD and welfare providers about the factors unique to Service life and a way of ensuring that both children and adults with additional needs and/or disability have access to the best support available. FANDF is facilitated by SSAFA. To find out more, please click here.

 

Short Breaks

These adventures give children a break away from home, where they can gain independence, make friends and have fun. The breaks also give family left at home a rest, to spend time together and recharge their batteries. For full details click here.

 

Posted on: 18th May, 2016
Updated on: 11th February, 2021

Any sudden death is a devastating event for children. When the death is that of a member of the Armed Forces there are additional difficulties to come to terms with and it is essential to understand the context of military life to make sense of these.

 

 

 

Government guidance

This page provides guidance for those who have lost their serving person. Please visit this page for information on bereavement compensation.

 

SSAFA

If you lose someone who has previously served in our Armed Forces, or you are ex-Forces and you lose someone, then SSAFA is committed to giving support during your bereavement. Find out how here.

 

Families’ Activity Breaks (FAB)

FAB is a non-public funded, tri-Service charitable initiative in partnership with YHA (England & Wales) Ltd., providing fun and challenging activity camps around the UK for bereaved Military families. Please find out more here.

 

Cruse Bereavement Care

Death is always hard to cope with but different groups of people will have different needs. Military life is different from life in ‘civvy street’ and Cruse understands that that those who have lost a loved one whilst they were serving in the Armed Forces may have particular issues and experiences that can complicate the grieving process.

Cruse Bereavement Care can offer face-to-face and group support delivered by trained bereavement support volunteers across the UK. They also offer information, publication, and support for children. Find out more here.

 

Scotty’s Little Soldiers

Scotty’s Little Soldiers is a charity dedicated to supporting children and young people who have lost a parent whilst serving in the British Armed Forces. Find out what support is available here.

 

Penhaligon’s Friends

Penhaligon’s Friends is a Cornish charity supporting bereaved children, young people, parents and carers throughout the country. Handbooks for bereaved families, healthcare professionals and schools are available from their website.

 

Jeremiah’s Journey Childhood

Jeremiah’s Journey Childhood is a bereavement support service in Plymouth. Find out they could help your family here.

 

Winston’s Wish

A death in the Armed Forces can be difficult to understand and make sense of for children, it is also very much in the public eye, making it difficult to find ways to say goodbye, there is however support available to families, click here to find out more.

 

Armed Forces Bereavement Scholarship Scheme

The Ministry of Defence has a Bereavement Scholarship Scheme which is available to provide University and Further Education Scholarships for the children of Service Personnel whose death has been attributed to Service since 1990. For further information please click here.

 

Posted on: 18th May, 2016
Updated on: 20th February, 2020

Please find a list of other charities below that may be useful to you:

Aggie Weston’s

Key role: Supporting families

Aggie Weston’s is here to help serving members of the Royal Navy, Royal Marines and their families. They provide pastoral support around the country and enable families to stay connected through projects such as Storybook Waves. More information can be found here.

 

Help for Heroes

Key Role: Fundraising and grant making, advice and guidance, support to families

Help for Heroes are a vast network of professionals and partners. They help serving members of the Armed Forces and Veterans and support families through physical and emotional rehabilitation and recovery, identifying new career opportunities as well as offering financial and welfare support. They also run beneficiary support networks, to offer support, camaraderie and a listening ear.

During their first 10 years, they have directly helped more than 17,000 individuals and their families in this way. Offering this to thousands more who need it remains possible thanks to their supporters, and specialist charity partners. More information can be found here.

 

The Royal British Legion (RBL)

Key Role: Fundraising and grant-making, advice and guidance, support to families

The Royal British Legion provides lifelong support for the Armed Forces Community – Serving men and women (Regulars and Reservists), veterans, and their families. They provide information, advice and guidance to help the Armed Forces Community find and access the support they need.

The Legion provides families of serving and ex-Service personnel the chance to take a break and get away from the stresses and strains of everyday life through their Family Holiday Breaks scheme. They also run Adventure Breaks for young people, so that they can enjoy themselves, meet new people, have new experiences, improve their self-esteem and most of all have fun, while giving parents a well-earned break. More information can be found here.

 

The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Children’s Fund

Key Role: Providing financial support for children

The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Children’s Fund (RNRMCF) provides a range of support to children whose parents work, or have worked, for the Naval Service. This support includes childcare, special needs education, days out and in-home support in times of crisis. An area of particular growth has been the Charity’s focus on assisting children within its remit who have special needs. This work now accounts for nearly half of its awards to beneficiaries. In the last year alone, RNRMCF has supported over 1,500 children, but with over 40,000 servicemen currently in the Naval Service, it is keen to ensure that Naval families know where to find them. More information can be found here.

 

The Royal Naval Benevolent Trust (RNBT)

Key Role: Providing financial support

RNBT gives help, in cases of need, to serving and former Royal Naval ratings and Royal Marines other ranks, which includes Reservists. They also help their partners, children and some others connected with them. They make grants to assist in a very wide variety of circumstances, such as help towards living expenses, house repairs, disability aids, job training, all sorts of financial difficulties, care home top-up fees, domiciliary care and much more. Every year RNBT respond to just under three thousand applications with grants totaling about £1.3 million. More information can be found here.

 

SAIL

Key Role: Advice and guidance

Seafarers’ Advice and Information Line – this organisation gives free advice to seafarers and their families on issues such as benefits, debt, housing and is part of the UK’s Citizen’s Advice Network. More information can be found here.

 

SSAFA (Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association)

Key Role: Fundraising and grant-making, advice and guidance, support to families

SSAFA provides lifelong support to anyone who is currently serving or has ever served in the Royal Navy, the Royal Marines, the British Army or the Royal Air Force (Regulars and Reserves) and their families. They have a network of trained volunteers on Army, RAF and Naval bases in the UK and around the world who can give you local support. They provide a range of personalised services, including welfare advice, housing and healthcare, and signposting to organisations that offer more specialised support. More information can be found here.

SSAFA Forcesline is a free and confidential telephone helpline and email service that provides support for Serving (regulars and reserves) and ex-Service men and women from the Armed Forces and for their families. As an independent charity, SSAFA is not part of the military Chain of Command. The team are there to listen and not to judge. They can give you factual information and ‘signpost’ ways forward to assist you. They can also speak with you in confidence if you, or someone you know, are absent without leave (AWOL).

To contact Forcesline from the UK, please call the freephone number: 0800 731 4880.  The line is open from 0900 – 1700 (UK local time) Monday – Friday. To contact Forcesline from overseas please call –

Germany: 0800 731 4880

Cyprus: 800 91065
Falkland Islands: # 6111
Anywhere in the world (Call-back): + 44 (0)207 463 9292

To email Forcesline, click here.

COBSEO

Key Role: Information about Service charities

COBSEO, as the Confederation of Service Charities, provides a single point of contact for interaction with Government, including local government and the Devolved Administrations; with the Royal Household; with the Private Sector; and, of course, with other members of the Armed Forces Community. This allows COBSEO members to interact with all interested parties and especially to cooperate and collaborate with others in order to provide the best possible level of support to our beneficiaries.

The COBSEO website holds a Member Directory which details the type of support that the member charities can provide. This database can be searched using various criteria, such as ‘education’ or ‘disability support’. More information can be found here.

 

Military Wives Choir Foundation

With an aim to bring women in the military community closer together through singing, there are now over 70 Military Wives Choirs in British Military bases across the UK, and overseas, helping to combat this isolation. For more information and to find a Military Wives Choir near you, click here, or call 020 7463 9407.

 

 

The Royal Navy & Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC)

Key Role: Fundraising and grant-making

The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity is the principal charity of the Royal Navy. The charity exists to support sailors, marines and their families, for life. Since 2007, they have funded projects and facilities that boost morale for those who serve today. They also distribute millions of pounds annually to military charities which care for the children, families and veterans of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines.

In practical terms, the RNRMC is a fundraising and grant-making charity. This means it delivers its charitable outputs through dispensing grants to:

  • Other Naval charities;
  • Military charities;
  • Other charities with Naval beneficiaries;
  • Ships, units and personnel of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines and Auxiliaries;
  • Individual serving personnel and veterans through the RNOC and RMCTF.

More information can be found here.

 

The Royal Navy & Royal Marines Widows’ Association

Key Role: Providing advice and support

The Royal Navy & Royal Marines Widows’ Association was formed in 2008 when a small group of widows decided to set up an association to support other widows with the aim of bringing friendship, support, guidance and comfort to those who have experienced the trauma of bereavement.

Their members range in age from their 20’s through to their 80’s, each with a different story to tell, but bound by a common bond of support and friendship.

Unfortunately there is no easy answer to the grief bereavement brings, there is no time scale, each of us will take a different path on the journey. However, they have all been helped along by friendships they have made in the association and they would like to offer their support to other too. More information can be found here.

 

Royal Navy Officers’ Charity (RNOC)

Key Role: Financial support

RNOC provides benevolence to both serving and retired officers of the Naval Service (RN, RM and QARNNS), their spouses, former spouses and dependants who are in need of financial support. The Charity continues to make a real difference to the quality of life for beneficiaries through the breadth of their grant making. Support includes assistance to those on low incomes, care home fees, scholarships and re-training to gain employment. More information can be found here.

 

Seafarers UK

Key Role: Fundraising and grant-making

Seafarers UK is a charity that has been helping people in the maritime community for 100 years, by providing vital support to seafarers in need and their families.

They do this this by giving grants to organisations and projects that make a real difference to people’s lives, across the Merchant Navy, Fishing Fleets, Royal Navy and Royal Marines. They gave grants totaling £3.2 million to over 60 maritime welfare charities in 2017. More information can be found here.

 

Women’s Royal Naval Service Benevolent Trust (WRNS BT)

Key role: Providing financial support and advice

The primary object of this Trust is to provide relief in cases of necessity or distress among its members and their dependants. The Trust is also empowered, to make grants for the education of dependants. The Trust aims to give help in the most constructive way possible, whilst dealing with all requests speedily and effectively. The Trust maintains a close working relationship with all the other Service Charities to ensure the best possible assistance for its members.

Assistance need not only be financial; many members have found the advice available even more valuable than material aid. More information can be found here.

Posted on: 16th July, 2015
Updated on: 3rd January, 2019