NAVY NEWS, SEPTEMBER 2010 News and information for serving personnel
NFF takes your views to the top
Naval Families Federation. I began by congratulating him on securing the most sought after post in Defence – the one that engages most regularly with the special group of people who when feeling valued and content contribute to and enhance operational capability; the family. I explained that our meetings
were an opportunity for the Minister to gain an undiluted ‘as it is’ view of where our families are finding Service life more than a little challenging. And most importantly it provides an independent perspective that he would not find inside the Service. I then painted a picture of ‘the
Naval Service family’ who are, in my view, extraordinary. I explained that the Naval
Service is at sea, whether at peace or war!
Our separated service is much higher than the other two Services. Having a serving person away from home is a reality for our families.
I THINK it’s fair to repeat the famous lyrics, “The times they are a changin’,” so to assist in keeping Navy News readers in step with the flow of business from the NFF it seems appropriate to start this month’s contribution by including a slightly shortened version of the brief that was given to the Minister for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans, Andrew Robathan MP, by me a few weeks ago, writes Kim Richardson, Chair of the
I have intimate understanding and knowledge of the impact war can have on a family.
I recently visited Selly Oak, not to talk to the patients, but the staff.
This professional group of people works alongside Naval Personal Family Service and Royal Marines Welfare in going the extra mile to care for our injured and support their families. I gave the Minister some observations on where I believe we could and should be doing better when caring for the carers.
have met the Minister without touching on housing. Our Naval estates
■ Council tax Council Tax can be a confusing subject but with an added dimension for Serving personnel and their families.
There are circumstances in which the standard rules do not apply to the Armed Forces community. The Serving person can be
launch was a historic event in the sense it formalised the dream that some of us have in ensuring that Fijian Servicemen and their families are fully aware of what is made available to them and what is currently being planned for the future.”
exempt from paying, or have to pay Contributions in Lieu of Council Tax (CILOCT). For a clear guide explaining when personnel can and cannot claim various council tax discounts such as the 50 per cent second home discount,
have in the past been recognized as being in pretty good condition. Things have changed. The Naval
Service patch is looking tired and run down and the kerb appeal that led to pride in where we lived is not evident in many areas. I asked the Minister to take the time to visit the patch when out and about on his travels and suggested he adopt the practice of the AFPRB and look at the best and worst accommodation on each site, perhaps starting with Faslane which has particular significance to the RN. The modern definition of a
uk and follow the prompts through the Money Section; please note a portion of the page relates to council tax discounts in Wales.
single occupancy discount if the Service person is serving away from home, please go to nff.org
■ Forces Discount Whenever you are out and about don’t forget to ask about discounts... To keep up to date with offers check the website: http://www. forcesdiscount.com/
■ Relocating to HMNB Clyde? Royal Navy and Royal Marines
family and how we support those who balance childcare and Service life is an area I could talk about for hours, but I didn’t. I simply registered my concern
eligible for Service Families Accommodation, only 30 per cent take it up. The majority of eligible families put their roots down and integrate into local communities’ miles away from traditional Naval areas. For example the number of
Simply put, we are used to it! Of those families who are
They have often been serving for some time and have waited to start a family. These personnel, men and
a weekender, which brings its own challenges (or light relief depending on how you look at it). Service Families Accommodation in the RN tends to be taken up by those for whom house ownership is unaffordable or for those who are determined to live together as a family whenever an opportunity presents itself. I asked the Minister where we are with a JPA compliant method of communicating directly with families.
I explained that what we were seeking is a replacement for what the RN already had pre JPA. We gained permission from
Royal Navy personnel domiciled in Wales is 1,468, and this figure does not include personnel stationed there. Naval Service families are fiercely independent and tend to ask for little. Our serving person may be
families who are relocating to HMNB Clyde can claim a free two-night stay at Braeholm in Helensburgh, Scotland. Braeholm is an accommodation
that we have people doing an exceptional job in the Armed Forces who also happen to be parents.
women, may at some point in their later career require some flexibility in their work practice outside of the norm, often because childcare that dovetails with Service life has become a challenge.
how we can help families maintain a balance that allows them to continue doing the job they love and are well trained for, without feeling they are an inadequate parent.
I finished with a question for the Minister – “Where can we help you?” The Strategic Defence and
ultimately impact on families will have to be made. We know that. Please engage with us and use us where you think we will add value and perhaps provide you with an independent perspective that you may find useful. We have been given an
families to contact them directly that satisfied data protection and did not rely on the serving person. JPA swept that ability aside and it has never been recovered. We need to ensure that we are
capturing the views of parents and partners and the wider family in order to gain feedback that is modern and inclusive and real. We can’t hope to make progress
with families unless we establish a way of communicating with them that works.
on my nursing experience and being the wife of a husband who served in the Falklands War, was bombed and lost his ship. He was lucky, 19 of his colleagues and friends on board died.
My next item has me drawing
indication that our families’ views will be sought. We will keep you posted on
■ Rowner plans
The site ear-marked for demolition and rebuild is still firmly on the radar. The Strategic Defence and
Security Review announcements due in October will shape the next step, but a public meeting is planned for the autumn to confirm both timescales and plans, so please look out for meeting date flyers and posters.
security issues Hampshire Police ask that these are reported directly to them using telephone number: 101
In the meantime if there are any
Security Review is under way. Difficult decisions that will
I asked the Minister to look at
and families centre for Royal Navy and Royal Marines personnel, and their families, serving at HMNB Clyde.
Navy charity Royal Sailors Rest (RSR). It is a beautiful old building, set in gardens overlooking the River Clyde. RSR have made this gesture to
assist families relocating. The offer includes free bed and breakfast for two nights, to Naval Service personnel and their immediate family, and includes free use of the property’s fitness room and sauna.
at preferential rates. The offer is open to all families relocating to HMNB Clyde and is subject to availability. For further information please contact Braeholm,
671880, e-mail: braeholm@rsr. org, or visit: www.braeholm.org
■ Tri Service Fiji Support Network Launched The Tri Service Fiji Support
Network (FSN) was launched in July 2010. The Network acts as a channel for communication between the MOD and serving Fijians.
developments on our website: NFF.org.uk
Guests can extend their stay The house is run by the Royal or
The points of contact are: Maj Maikali (Mike) Nawaqaliva RLC – Tel: 05241 732773 /
; Flt Lt Toga Loco RAF – Tel: 01902 704636 – e-mail: 30008287@ cosford.raf.mod.uk
■ Continuity of Education Allowance (CEA) If you are planning to make
any changes to boarding school arrangements where you claim CEA, contact Children’s Education Advisory Service (CEAS) first. Tel: 01980 618244 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
■ Dentists The latest Families Continuous Attitude Survey indicated that some Royal Navy and Royal Marines families are experiencing difficulties with finding a dentist, if you are one of those families please get in touch with NFF. Please contact the NFF on 02392 654374, e-mail Admin@nff. org.uk
or write to us at Castaway House, 311 Twyford Avenue, Portsmouth, PO2 8RN.
Trumpet the Senior Service for the Millies
THE time has come for nominations for the third year of The Sun Military Award – or Millies as they are affectionately known.
At the end of last year, MA
Kate Nesbitt (pictured right with her MC) won the title of ‘most outstanding sailor or marine’. Other Senior Service honours
went to: Mne Ben McBean who was singled out for the ‘overcoming adversity’
title; CPO Dave Rigg
of 771 NAS who won the ‘true grit’ award for a daring rescue; and ‘best reservist’ AB Edmond Grandison. You have until September 30 to put forward your nominations for exceptional people. The period covers September 1 2009 to August 31 2010, and categories are: overcoming adversity; most outstanding sailor or marine;
soldier; most outstanding airman; best reservist;
most outstanding support to the
Armed Forces (open to civilians
NEED to get your message across to the rest of the RN? The 2-6 TV DVD has been aligned with the Personnel Support Brief providing an enhanced package for use in sharing information. Feedback received regarding the new-look 2-6 TV DVD is encouraging. Your thoughts and opinions are invaluable. Please forward any
only); life saver award; true grit – home; true grit – overseas; best unit; and a final category which isn’t open to public nomination – the Judges’ award for special recognition. Nominations can be done online through The Sun’s website at http://www.thesun.co.uk/
It’s your 2-6, on page and TV
constructive ideas about what should be covered to WO1 Baz Cooke or Pauline Aquilina. To feature in the Navy News 2-6 pages contact Lt Cdr Heather Lane or WO1 Cooke. ■ Lt Cdr Heather Lane, 93832
8821, FLEET-DCS-INFO-IC WO ■ Pauline Aquilina, 9621
8809, FLEET-DCS-INFO-IC SO2 ■ WO1 Baz Cooke, 93832
It is the signpost for the Fijian community on policies, information and regulations that affect them as Foreign and Commonwealth (F&C) Servicemen. It is a social network for Fijian Servicemen and their families,
for communication within the community and offering advice on the way forward.
providing a platform
The FSN will not replicate the functions of the existing Welfare Organisations and the Chain of Command, but will work hand in hand, offing advice on Fijian cultural and protocol issues. A website will be established in due course to act as the main medium of communication, spreading the word to the Fijian Community.
President of the FSN, Maj Mike Nawaqaliva RLC said: “The
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