RAF Families Federation
The primary role of the RAF Families Federation, as an independent organisation working outside the RAF chain of command, is to gather evidence from serving RAF personnel and their family members on issues of concern and to represent that evidence to senior RAF and MoD staffs, and to government ministers, in order to help influence change.
2013 was one of the busiest years on record for the Federation. We visited 24 units to gather evidence and meet RAF personnel and their families, attended numerous unit families’ days, ran two major surveys and several online “quick surveys”. We provided evidence to all kinds of official committees and groups and numerous conferences, briefed senior RAF staffs and worked collaboratively with many local government authorities and other central government departments on the introduction, funding and implementation of many Armed Forces Community Covenant initiatives. In addition, we provided a confidential signposting service to nearly 400 individuals seeking information and assistance.
As we reported last year, it is very evident that many of our people remain deeply concerned at the cumulative effect of the impact of the pay freeze, reductions in allowances and changes to pensions.
We have been struck by the number of RAF personnel who have told us that this combination of factors is causing them to consider their future perhaps earlier and in more detail than in the past. That said, we also have evidence to indicate that some of the pain caused by significant events such as the redundancy rounds and base closures is at last beginning to recede and that some personnel recognise that the impact of the really tough period the RAF has endured is beginning to fade.
The RAF Families Federation has come a long way since its inception and now seeks to grow both its role and influence, working collaboratively with the RAF to reach everyone in our community and representing their views and concerns to the RAF Senior Leadership Team and the MoD. Of note, the RAF has asked the Federation to broaden its remit to include single personnel, reservists and to provide further support for the Armed Forces Covenant.
The Royal Air Forces Association is delighted to have retained the contract to parent the RAF Families Federation for a further seven years and that the RAF has recognised the critical importance of an independent Families Federation that is parented from within the RAF community
Over the period of this new contract there will be much change, brought about by key events such as the withdrawal from Afghanistan and the return to contingency, the change in emphasis in the use of reserve forces, by the wider application of the Armed Forces Covenant, including the Community and Corporate Covenants, and by the progressive introduction of the New Employment Model. These events will bring issues and challenges that may have a profound effect on our people and their families. A robust, credible and independent Families Federation will be needed more than ever before.
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