RAF Covenant Team News …fromthe Families Federation

Spring is atime for new beginnings and so the RAF Families Federation Covenant team has anew look. The Covenant team has been around for some time but reorganisation and new team members have refreshed our focus. The purpose of the team has always been to engage with RAF units, local authorities and other organisations to promote awareness of the AF Covenant in order to support and improve it’s delivery and ensure our people understand what it can do for them. In keeping with the review of the Armed Forces Covenant itself1 our new ambitious vision is to get afair deal for RAF Service personnel and their families in accessing all government and commercial services and products.

So how are we going to do this? Lisa Thipthorp has joined the team and brings with her experience of working with families and the RAF from her role at RAFAStorybook Wings and Jo Wilkinson provides the continuity from leading on the

Covenant for the RAF Families Federation since 2013. We will be joined by two new staff members later in the year.Asanew team we have reorganised to give us better geographical reach across the whole of the UK. Together we will build on our existing network and forge new relationships with people and organisations inside and outside the RAF.Our review of 2016 told us that we had been out and about working with even more organisations and partners and achieved anumber of notable successes on behalf of RAF personnel and families such as working with NHS England to improve issues that arise with transfer of care on postings and working with theMODand Defence Relationship Management on mobile phone contracts.

10 million reasons to care One of our most frequently asked questions is “what can the covenant do for me?” The answer is not straight forward. It can do many things for many people but not everything for everyone and that is where sometimes expectations are not met. However,there are many

CovenantFund Priorities2017/18 The Covenant Fund will focus on three priorities which continue from 2016/17 although some details of eligibility and criteria may change.

Families in Stress This priority seeks to fund projects that support families of serving personnel who are experiencing asignificant stressful life- event and would benefit from an intervention from aprovider who can offer specialised, localised and immediate support. These life events could include: life-changing injury,bereavement, domestic abuse, relationship break-up, those subject to the civil or service justice system or mental health issues.

Strengthening Local Government Delivery of the Covenant This priority is for local authorities and seeks to fund projects which build upon delivery of the covenant at alocal level. Local delivery of the covenant is expected to encourage local communities to support the armed forces community in their area and promote understanding and awareness among the public of issues affecting the armed forces community; and

great initiatives that have been developed over the last year,on many occasions with input from the RAF Families Federation Covenant team. The £10 million per year Covenant Fund is continuing into 2017-18 and that alone has benefited many RAF personnel and families by the funding of numerous projects. In the last three years we have supported several RAF units and their local partners such as Children’s Centres, schools, football clubs to obtain over £200,000 in Covenant funding. One of our key objectives for 2017 is to increase awareness of the fund and encourage more organisations to apply for funding to support RAF families. The details of the fund for 2017/18 are due to be released about now2.Ifyou want more information on the Fund, how to apply and eligibility or some information and advice on your application then please get in touch with us and we will do our best to help.

Lisa Thipthorp.

work to uphold the promise set out in the Covenant to give them afair deal.

Community Integration and/or Delivery of Local Services This priority will fund projects that respond to the local needs of the Armed Forces Community and improve recognition of the Armed Forces Covenant.

Community Integration Projects must create strong local links between the Armed Forces community and civilian communities; and be able to clearly demonstrate how they will have impact in overcoming barriers to better integration; and improving perceptions, attitudes and understanding. It is important too that the project is not just the Armed Forces delivering something for the civilian community or vice-versa. For the project to be truly effective in achieving community integration there should be shared development, delivery and benefits for both communities.

Delivery of local services will local projects which offer financial, housing, mental and physical health, employability or social support for serving armed forces personnel, veterans, and their families.

If you aren’t sure where to start in terms of letting the Armed Forces Covenant support you, please contact the covenant co-ordinators’ via

1“Our Community,Our Covenant” 2Details of how to apply can be found at: Spring 2017 Envoy 27


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