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Monday, 17 December 2018

Thursday, 6 December 2018

Forces Help to Buy Scheme - extended

The Secretary of State for Defence has agreed that the Forces Help to Buy scheme will be extended for new applications until 31 December 2019.
Forces Help to Buy enables regular Armed Forces personnel to borrow up to 50% of their salary, interest free, to buy their first home or move to another property on assignment or as their family's needs change.
To date more than £242 million been provided to over 16,000 applicants. The extension of the pilot will allow Defence to explore how the policy fits within the wider housing strategy and understand any opportunities for private sector provision of the scheme.
The Secretary of State said:
"Everyone dreams of owning their own home and this hugely popular scheme has already helped thousands of Service personnel realise that dream. By extending the scheme by a further year I really hope we can help many more first-time buyers, families and married couples get a foot on the property ladder."
Help to Buy website: https://www.helptobuy.gov.uk/​ 

Friday, 30 November 2018

NEW swimming lessons at Wattisham swimming pool


Army and You magazine

The latest edition of A&Y is out now – available at your local HIVE or at the following link: https://issuu.com/armyandyoumag/docs/army_you_winter_2018?e=9218182/65625125


Armed Forces Covenant Annual Report 2018

The Armed Forces Covenant Annual Report 2018  was published on 21 Nov.
The report and summary document can be found here: 
​The report this year focuses on the tangible progress made in delivering the Covenant. In particular, it acknowledges the Nation's improved understanding of the needs of the Armed Forces community as well as recognising the values and skills the Armed Forces community can offer to society in return.

Service Pupil Premium

Service parents with children in State maintained schools, Free schools and Academies in England are encouraged to ensure that the Head Teacher of their child(ren)’s school is made aware of their Service status ahead of the Spring school census deadline of 17 January 2019. 
Please see poster for further details.


Thursday, 29 November 2018

Friday, 16 November 2018

Forces for Warmth


Study into Armed Forces families’ experience of leaving military life

£30 vouchers for those who take part!


Care Leaver Survey and the Care Leaver Covenant

The MOD has recently signed the Care Leavers Covenant

DCYP are conducting a survey and are asking care leavers to share their views on how to improve the support offered to Service personnel who have spent time in local authority care. An announcement was made recently on DefNet asking for feedback by completing an anonymous 3 question survey or by speaking to someone in person by contacting the Directorate of Children and Young People at DCYP-CareLeavers@mod.gov.uk

If you are a care leaver in the Armed Forces, DCYP want to hear from you.​

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Monday, 12 November 2018

Recommended Reads for children by Little Troopers

What books are good for military children? by 'Little Troopers'






Thursday, 8 November 2018

The Ripple Pond



Adoption and fostering

There are many Service personnel and families who are both willing and well suited to the adoption and fostering of children, and at the same time there is a great demand for loving, secure homes for Looked After Children.  The MOD have published a new DIN that sets out the policy provisions to support Service personnel who would like to adopt or foster in accordance with the relevant guidance and legislation, particularly the Children and Families Act 2014.
If you are interested please contact your HIVE for a copy of the DIN, or speak to your unit welfare staff for further detail.

Friday, 2 November 2018

All Saints Church Sunday Worship Service - Wattisham

EVERYONE IS WELCOME TO THE WORSHIP SERVICE

Sunday 4th November at 4 pm
All Saints Station Church
Wattisham Flying Station


Monday, 15 October 2018

AFF Media

New to Army life? We want to hear from you! 

Army&You’s spring edition will focus on the challenges that young partners and spouses face.
What were your first impressions? What’s good/bad about the Forces community? Where do you go for support and information? 
To take part, email deped@aff.org.uk or PM us on our social media channels @ArmyandYou

FAM Update

Future Accommodation Model Update:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1m0XSFjHcRzlvpratAwBjAzlvnmaC0e43/view?usp=sharing

MoD schools across Europe celebrate exam success

MOD Schools across Europe celebrate exam success



Congratulations to the students and staff of the MOD’s secondary schools across Europe on another year of excellent examination results.

Forces Help To Buy Announcement

As announced by the former Secretary of State for Defence in October 2016,  the Forces Help To Buy scheme is due to close at the end of December 2018.  Applications can be submitted up to this date. Those contemplating applying under the current FHTB scheme should ensure that they adhere to these timelines.

Friday, 12 October 2018

Thursday, 4 October 2018

Armed Forces Covenant - What You Need To Know

To find out more about the Armed Forces Covenant, view the new video which provides an insight into what you need to know about the Armed Forces Covenant​:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUrE8t22ba4&feature=youtu.be​

HALO Survey



https://kings.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/halo_survey

Monday, 1 October 2018

Give Us Time respite breaks


Supporting Service children moving between schools in England

Supporting Service children moving between schools in England


In collaboration between the Department for Education and the MoD's Directorate for Children and Young People there will be changes to the Common Transfer File (CTF) from this month, September 2018.

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Forces Help To Buy Announcement

As announced by the former Secretary of State for Defence in October 2016,  the Forces Help To Buy scheme is due to close at the end of December 2018.  Applications can be submitted up to this date. Those contemplating applying under the current FHTB scheme should ensure that they adhere to these timelines.

British Forces Germany Legacy Project


Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Swimming lessons - Swimming Solutions

''Swimming Solutions with Bob Donnelly have been running at Wattisham for some years now providing quality lessons for all ages from 16 weeks up to advanced and Triathlete levels right on your doorstep. Discounted pricing for military personnel and their families. Monday nights for advanced swimmers, Fridays and Sundays for all other Stages. Interested? Find me on Facebook.''





Thursday, 6 September 2018

MOD and Samaritans launch pocket support book for Armed Forces

MOD and Samaritans launch pocket support book for Armed Forces


Click here for Samaritans Forces Guide 

A new pocket guide has been launched to help the Armed Forces spot and support those who may be struggling with their mental health and considering suicide.

Monday, 3 September 2018

Great War Huts - 'Stars of the Khaki Screen' Exhibition & Tour

Great War Huts will be 'on parade' again, offering tours of the site, and hosting a special exhibition; ‘Stars of the Khaki Screen’, a collection of the actual uniforms worn by well known stars in many film, television and theatre productions.


Pre-booking required. FREE access. Brook Farm, Bells Lane, Hawstead, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, IP29 5NW
For details, please visit http://www.greatwarhuts.org/events.html

Thursday, 23 August 2018

Are you looking to boost your skills, improve your employability and strengthen your local community?


To our Serving Personnel and their Families at Wattisham Flying Station




Please find attached a survey from Community Action Suffolk. Part of their role is to engage and support our local community. Completion of this survey would be much appreciated to gage the interest within our local community to offer training and activities, such as volunteering.

All information will be treated confidentially.

Please click the link below for the Survey Monkey: 

Alternatively please see Clare or Magda (HIVE) at Welfare for paper copies of the survey.


Tuesday, 21 August 2018

MoD Childcare Voucher Scheme open till 31st August

Please note - The MOD Childcare voucher scheme is open to new entrants until the 31st August 2018.

There is still time to join, but parents must apply soon as childcare vouchers are closed to new entrants from the 5 October 2018, so a deduction has to be made by the September pay period.
​Please visit http://www.modchildcare.co.uk/armed-forces/how-do-i-join/ for further information.

RBL Centenary Field of Thanks

RBL Centenary Field of Thanks - Add Your Personal Message



100 years after the guns fell silent on WW1, join us in saying Thank You. Dedicate your very own Thank You message to a relative or the whole generation, to be planted in the fields of the NMA. On 11 November 1918, the guns fell silent across Europe as the Armistice was signed and the First World War was over. Over 1.1 million British and Commonwealth soldiers had made the ultimate sacrifice.














One hundred years later, we join together to say thank you to those who fought in battle, worked in the factories, planted the crops, nursed the injured and cared for the children.


Today is your opportunity to write a message and to have it included in the Centenary Field of Thanks at The National Memorial Arboretum, our nation's centre of Remembrance situated in Staffordshire on the edge of the National Forest.












Whether you are remembering a loved one or want to honour the First World War generation, you can join us in making history. RBL will place a weatherproof poppy with your message of thanks alongside thousands of others in the Centenary Field of Thanks from 8 August. Any messages submitted after 1st October will not be placed in the field for Remembrance Sunday. To add your personal message to a poppy CLICK HERE Hyperlink to: https://www.britishlegion.org.uk/remembrance/ww1-centenary/thank-you/how-to-get-involved/nma-centenary-field-of-thanks

Monday, 20 August 2018

Services Cotswold Centre, Corsham










































The Services Cotswold Centre at Corsham provides a secure, affordable place to stay in temporary housing for Service families who may find themselves in short-term need of accommodation.

The secure 25 acre site has a community centre with internet connection, bar, games hall (with large screen TV), launderette and children's playground.

The 3 bedroom chalets and converted flatlets are all self catering. They are fully furnished and include colour TV with freesat, cooking utensils, fridge, freezer, cutlery, crockery, bedding and towels.

For those families who need to stay longer at the site, there is an excellent early years centre for children from 3-4 and the Local Authority Run Lypiatt Primary School for 5-11 year olds. Older children can attend Corsham Secondary School, which is nearby.

For further information please call the centre at the numbers below:
Civilian: 01225 810 358
Military: 94382 4524
Or email them at scc-receptionist@mod.uk

Click here for the leaflet.

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Results of FamCAS 2018

Results of FamCAS 2018: Forces families have their say


2018 Families Continuous Attitude Survey (FAMCAS): The aim of FAMCAS is to assess and monitor the views of the married and civil partners of Service Personnel (SP) on key welfare areas including childcare, deployment, education, employment, healthcare and housing. FAMCAS has been running as a tri-service survey since 2010 and helps Defence to review its policies to ensure Service families are not disadvantaged when compared to the rest of the population.

This year over 5,000 spouses or civil partners of Regular Personnel completed FamCAS, equating to a response rate of 20% (from the sample of 27,062 invited to take part).

Key points from this year’s survey includes:
* Of Service families living in Service accommodation, 57% are satisfied with the overall standard, consistent with 2017. Satisfaction with responses to requests and the quality of repairs remain at 35% and 30% respectively.
* The number of Service families moving due to Service reasons remains consistent with 2017 at 22%. This proportion has fallen since 2016 largely driven by changes for Army and RAF families.
* Families are generally more satisfied with early years childcare than childcare for school age children when it comes to quality, accessibility/availability and opening hours.
* Service spouses feel that Service family life has a negative impact on their children (48% of those with children) and their career (57%). 35% of Service spouses reported they would feel happier if their partner chose to leave the Service.

FamCAS data has previously influenced, and will continue to influence, policy in areas including:
* The Armed Forces Covenant
* The Armed Forces People Programme
* Community Support policies
* Welfare policies
* Future Accommodation Model (FAM)
* Flexible Service (FS)
The FAMCAS 2018 Report can be accessed here: FAMCAS 2018: Headline Report

Friday, 10 August 2018

Education Support Fund (ESF) bidding dates

MOD Education Support Fund (ESF) – 2019 Bidding Round Dates


Following the recent announcement by the Secretary of State for Defence that the ESF would be extended for an additional two years, the bidding round for 2019 is due to open on Fri 14 Sep 18, closing at 1800 on Fri 19 Oct 18.

The ESF is open to publicly-funded schools, Academies and Free Schools in the UK attended by Service children whose parents are subject to exceptional mobility and/or deployment. Applications from Local Authorities in support of these schools can also be accepted.
Directorate Children and Young People (DCYP), which is the MOD’s professional focal point for all matters relating to children and young people associated with the armed forces, are the lead organisation administering and supporting the fund.
Service parents are encouraged to raise awareness of the ESF at their child’s school – further information is available in the attached poster and at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/mod-support-fund-for-schools-with-service-children-grant-application-pack
Any queries should be addressed to DCYP: DCYP-MOD-ESF-Mailbox@mod.gov.uk.

Officers' Association - Linked-in workshops

Officers’ Association: Linked-In workshops


There are two workshops coming up, in Catterick and in London, both in September. The formats are identical, the only difference being that the London event has a small charge to cover the location hire costs.


London event – 13th September: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/13th-september-2018-linkedin-workshop-london-tickets-45101556971?aff=HiveNetwork

Catterick Event – 18th September: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/18th-september-2018-linkedin-workshop-catterick-tickets-46220551915?aff=HiveNetwork

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Cheddar Gorge and caves - Armed Forces discount

The Cheddar Gorge & Caves Armed Forces Discount – over 25% off main season Day Tickets


Available for serving members of the Army, Navy, RAF and veterans, and their families. Simply visit the Cheddar Gorge & Caves website through the below link to take advantage of this special offer and present a valid Military/ Veterans/ Family ID card on arrival to redeem.
Explore one of Britain's most spectacular natural landmarks. From its awe-inspiring cliffs to its extraordinary subterranean stalactite show caves. Cheddar Gorge & Caves holds many fascinating secrets about our prehistoric ancestors, and is an international centre for caving and rock climbing.
Cheddar Gorge is a significant site of ecological importance and is classed as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), as well as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) with an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
Atop Britain’s biggest Gorge is the setting for the most dramatic and exhilarating views, along with a three mile walk, feeling on top of the world. Make your way to the very highest point of Cheddar Gorge, to really absorb the natural splendour of the landscape and get close up views of the diverse natural wildlife.
So what are you waiting for? Nature, wildlife, history, adventure - experience the wonder of it all on a perfect day out. Offer valid for Day Tickets purchased online only. https://www.cheddargorge.co.uk/tickets/armed-forces

Longleat Armed Forces discount

The Longleat Armed Forces Discount – over 30% off main season Day Tickets

Available for serving members of the Army, Navy, RAF and veterans, and their families. Simply visit the Longleat website through the below link to take advantage of this special offer and present a valid Military/ Veterans/ Family ID card on arrival to redeem.
Longleat House, Safari & Adventure Park is bigger and better than ever before, making it certain you will have an experience to remember.
Go wild in the UK's No.1 Safari Park, where you’ll have the opportunity to get unbelievably close to animals you have only ever dreamed about. Look out for Longleat’s magnificent lions, see how you measure up to a giraffe, walk on the wild side with lemurs, and beware of the meddling monkeys.
Continue your adventure aboard the Jungle Cruise for a sea lion escorted voyage, find yourself going round in circles in the Longleat Hedge Maze and don’t forget to hop on the Longleat Railway.
At the heart of the park is Longleat House - one of the best examples of an Elizabethan Stately home, containing over 450 years of turbulent English history. This beautiful house, which is still lived in by the 7th Marquess of Bath, is open to the public which is packed to the rafters with priceless antiques. Offer valid for Day Tickets purchased online only. www.longleat.co.uk/tickets/armed-forces-one-day-ticket



Reintroduction of the MOD Education Support Fund (ESF)

Reintroduction of the MOD Education Support Fund (ESF)


In light of the ongoing drawdown from Germany and to provide time for the educational authorities across the UK to bring in longer-term provision for Service children as necessary, the Secretary of State for Defence on 24 July 2018 announced the extension of the ESF, on a limited basis, for an additional two years.

Mental Health Awareness Wallet Cards

Handy wallet cards promoting mental health awareness have been produced. The cards feature a set of Five Signs associated with mental health and is a simple self-check to help identify potential early signs of stress or poor mental health. The Combat Stress 24-hour mental health helpline for Serving personnel and their families is provided on the reverse side. ​
Please contact your Welfare Team for cards.