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*IMPORTANT UPDATE*

Thank you for your interest in this initiative. Due to popular demand, it is now closed.

Please click here for a list of useful resources and projects. Follow us on our social media channels for all updates on our future projects.

Introduction

Separation and deployment are part and parcel of Royal Navy and Royal Marines Service life. For the past few years, the Naval Families Federation (NFF) has been providing RN/RM personnel and their loved ones with book resources to help them through the challenges Service life may bring.

 

With thanks to your fantastic feedback, we are delighted to receive further funding from the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC) to launch the ‘Books for All’ project.

 

Our book list includes a wide range of topics suitable for all ages. What’s more, in recognition that RN/RM children experience the most parental absence of all three Armed Forces, we have expanded the eligibility to schools with at least one RN/RM Service pupil enrolled. Carers/Service parents are encouraged to engage with your school(s) to encourage sign-ups.

 

Eligibility/Terms and Conditions
  • For Service families: A maximum of one book for each family member of currently serving Royal Navy and Royal Marines personnel. You will be asked to provide your (or your serving person’s) Service number for eligibility purposes.
  • For schools: Limited to 10 books per school, staff are welcome to put these in their library or use them in any particular work they do with Service children. To apply, you must have at least one RN/RM Service child enrolled in your setting.
  • While every effort will be made to process orders quickly, this project is not supported by any additional staffing resource, so please be patient with us.
  • The provision of resources is subject to funding and availability, we will contact you if there is an issue with the book that you requested.
  • By applying to this project, you consent to be contacted by the NFF to collect feedback.
FAQ
I have previously benefited from the family resource project, am I eligible?

Q: I have previously benefited from the family resource project, am I eligible?

A: For families – Yes, you may still apply for ‘Books for All’, using our published eligibility/terms and conditions above. Please note: If you have previously received a book from the family resource project, we ask that you do not request the same book title(s) from ‘Books for All’.

 

For schools – If your school has benefitted from our previous resource project, unfortunately, you will not be eligible for this project. However, please share our project with your Service families for them to apply directly.

Can overseas families apply to this project?

Q: Can overseas families apply to this project?

A: Yes, certainly! This project aims to support all currently serving Royal Navy and Royal Marines families regardless of where they live. We recognise that it has been a challenge over the past years for overseas families to visit their families and friends back in the U.K. and we hope that this project can help. However do allow extra time for your parcel to arrive.

I haven’t received my parcel/ not heard from you, what do I do?

Q: I haven’t received my parcel/ not heard from you, what do I do?

A: This project is not managed by additional staff, please be patient with us.

Due to popular demand, we are unable to send out any confirmation email however the thank you landing page on Survey Monkey acknowledges the receipt of your application.

Despite best effort, Royal Mail are currently experiencing some delays due to the pandemic. Please check their website for the latest service updates in your area.

Please only get in touch with us via project@nff.org.uk or 02392654374 if you have not received your parcel 3 weeks from initial contact.

For overseas families, do allow an extra week due to customs.

I have a great book in mind, are you happy to include this in your list?

Q: I have a great book in mind, are you happy to include this in your list?

A: Yes. There are many new books published daily and we’d love to include anything that can best support our beneficiaries. Please let us know at project@nff.org.uk

I am a Reservist, am I eligible?

Q: I am part of the RN/RM Reserves, am I eligible?

A: If you have been impacted by the pandemic, for instance, you have been mobilised, we welcome your application and hope our project can help you and/or your loved ones.

How will my data be stored?

Q: How will my data be stored?

A: Survey Monkey is a fully secured system. Only staff members who are involved in the logistics of this project have access to the system. Your data, unless otherwise stated (e.g. you have opted in to receive our Homeport magazine), will be deleted as soon as possible after the dispatch of your package. Please click here to view our privacy policy.

Posted on: 1st February 2022
Updated on: 27th May 2022

Being a parent and raising children is exciting and rewarding, but it can be tough at times for any family. The amount, patterns and types of parental absence faced by Royal Navy and Royal Marines families present additional challenges that are not routinely experienced by most civilian families.

 

In response to feedback from families, the Naval Families Federation has produced a new resource about the experience of parental absence. The purpose of the resource is to draw together some useful information about parental absence and separation, and provide some strategies to help families thrive. If you are a parent, it may also be helpful to give a copy to your child’s school, or to other people in your network, to help them to understand your circumstances.

 

You can download a free copy here. Alternatively, Royal Navy and Royal Marines families, and those supporting them, please email us at contactus@nff.org.uk to request a hard copy. Regrettably, we are only able to send hard copies to our beneficiaries due to resource constraints.

 

Posted on: 6th February, 2019

Reading Force is a shared reading initiative for Service families. The charity provides free books and scrapbooks to Service children of all ages, in order to support and encourage Armed Forces families with shared reading both at home or when separated.

 

Through this programme, participating families experience the following benefits:
• Maintaining good contact with a parent when they are away from home;
• Increased contact with extended family, especially grandparents;
• Improved communication within the whole family;
• More fathers get involved with their children’s reading;
• A sense of community and affirmed identity.

 

Please see this brochure to find out more about their causes, and use this link to sign up for your copy.

 

Posted on: 6th September, 2018
Updated on: 21st June, 2019

 

If your sole/main residence in England is left empty, due to Service-related reasons, then you should be eligible for a council tax discount of 50% on that home for the duration it remains unoccupied. However, in order to qualify for that discount, you must demonstrate that your current home is job-related, by meeting at least one of the criteria set out within the regulations approved by Parliament.

 

These regulations state that a dwelling is job-related for a person if it is provided for you by reason of your employment or for your spouse or civil partner by reason of the spouse’s/civil partner’s employment, in any of the following cases:

  1. Where it is necessary for the proper performance of the individual’s duties that they should reside in the dwelling;
  2. Where the dwelling is provided for the better performance of the individual’s duties and their employment is one of the kinds in which it is customary for the employer to provide dwellings to their employees;
  3. Where there is a special threat to the individual’s security which means that special security arrangements are in force and the individual resides in the dwelling as part of these arrangements.

 

It is for the local authority to consider Service personnel’s particular circumstances and evidence, and decide whether the provisions apply or not. If the local authority is satisfied that the provisions have been met, a 50% discount will apply. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (formerly the Department for Communities and Local Government) has written to local authorities to remind them of their duties under the Armed Forces Covenant.

 

What does this mean for Service personnel?

If their home is unoccupied because the Service person has been provided with Service accommodation (by reason of employment), then Service personnel should be eligible for this discount. However, it is ultimately for them to demonstrate to their local authority their eligibility by providing evidence to satisfy at least one of the three criteria above. They may also be eligible for the discount if the dwelling has been provided to the spouse or civil partner by reason of that person’s employment.

 

What to do next?

Service Personnel should approach their local authority to find out if they are eligible for the discount. In doing so, they may be asked to provide any confirmation they might have from their Service employer regarding the applicability of any of the three categories set out above. This could include a copy of their Assignment Order and/or the MOD Licence to Occupy. When a Service person believes that they should be eligible but their local authority refuses to provide the full discount, you should contact us here at the Naval Families Federation and we can engage directly with the MOD Armed Forces Covenant team.

 

Further information

This letter reminds local authorities about the position of service personnel when applying for a job-related Council Tax discount.

 

Posted on: 17th November, 2016
Last updated on: 7th June, 2018

Families often talk to us about their experiences of parental absence, whether through deployment, weekending, or other causes. In response to their feedback, and in consultation with YoungMinds, we have produced a resource to help to support parents, carers and schools. You can download a copy here.

 

Other sources of support for parents and children during deployment:

Aggie’s Storybook Waves

Helps members of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines maintain the link with their children by recording a bedtime story for them to listen to when a parent is serving away from home. Click here to find out more.

 

Gingerbread

Expert advice, practical support and campaigning for single parents.

Helpline: 0808 802 0925

For their website, please click here.

 

Little Troopers

A registered charity supporting all children with parents serving in the British Armed Forces, regular or reserve. Resources, initiatives and events to ease and aid repeated separation periods aiming to keep parent and child connected and bonded even when miles apart. Click here to find out more.

 

Naval Children’s Charity

The Naval Children’s Charity is the only charity dedicated to supporting the children, up to the age of 25, of serving and veteran personnel from all branches of the Royal Navy including the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, QARNNS, WRNS, Reserves and RFA.  Any need is considered and their dedicated caseworkers are always available to discuss any issues your family and children are facing. They provide grants directly to the families where there is need and have free books to support younger children understand and cope with separation. They work closely with other Charities and RN FPS to ensure you get the help you need.

 

Royal Navy Family & People Support (RN FPS)

Support and information for serving people, their families and friends.

Tel: +44(0)2392 728777

 

YoungMinds

UK’s leading charity committed to improving the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people. Helpline and information for parents concerned about a child or young person.

Parents’ helpline 0808 802 5544 or email parents@youngminds.org.uk.

Find out more here.

Family Lives (formerly Parentline Plus)

Advice and support for parents.

24 hour helpline: 0808 800 2222

Please click here to find out more.

 

 

Huggable Heroes

Personalised Huggable Heroes, perfect for cuddles when loved ones are not at home. Click here to find out more.

 

Military Kids’ Club Heroes (formerly HMS Heroes)

A national support group for the children of Service men and women and their relatives. A tri-Service network of after-school clubs, MKC Heroes brings together members of Service families aged between 3 and 18 years old from all over the country. Click here to find out more.

 

Reading Force

Reading Force provides free books and scrapbooks to Service children of all ages, to support and encourage Service families with shared reading both at home or when separated by assignment orders. To read more about this programme, click here. You can apply to receive free resources here.

 

NSPCC

Charity championing child protection. Useful resources and guidance for keeping children safe, to give the primary caregiver during deployment confidence in their choices. Their ‘Home Alone’ guide gives sound advice and useful tips to help parents decide in which situations they may leave their children home alone, and what they need to do to ensure their safety and wellbeing. Their ‘Out Alone’ guide provides advice and practical tips to parents on judging if a child is ready to be out on their own and how to prepare them for different situations such as walking to and from school by themselves, attending sports or holiday clubs, or going out to play with friends.

Click here and search ‘home alone’ or ‘out alone’ to download free copies.

Posted on: 21st October, 2016
Updated on: 24th March, 2021