Tuesday 4th September 2018
Earlier this year, one of the RAF FF Covenant Managers provided guidance to RAF Northolt and national charity, Family Lives in order for them to jointly gain just over £85k in Covenant funding, to enable delivery of emotional support and advice to service families.
The covenant fund grant of £85,673 will support armed forces families based at and around the Unit. Family Lives is a national charity who work to transform the lives of vulnerable and isolated families by delivering emotional support and advice on the phone, online, in the home, in schools and in the community. Project research recognised that whilst many service families negotiate times of stress using their own resources, and others access sufficient support from existing welfare agencies, there is a need to engage struggling families who are ‘off the radar’ and have not engaged with their local SSAFA team, the HIVE or the Unit padre.
Less than six months later the project is up and running. Velma Simeon (pictured above) is the new RAF Northolt Families Support Coordinator and has already recruited and begun the training programme for six volunteers to help deliver the project. The Family Lives model fosters independence and enables parents to take control of their lives. The project offers a highly responsive befriending service, provides support to the whole family when needed at times such as deployment or separation by helping the family to work through issues and minimise the impact on children and provides emotional support to complement the practical advice and support of the HIVE and Community Development Officer.
The strengths of the Northolt covenant bid rested on the excellent track record of Family Lives in delivering support to families, the strong relationship between RAF Northolt and Family Lives, and the clear explanation within the bid of how the project would engage and support families and meet the covenant fund priorities.
One of the many ways the Regional Armed Forces Covenant Managers at the Families Federation can help the RAF Community is through Covenant funding advice when completing applications such as this project and you can find out more by browsing our Armed Forces Covenant Section.