In January 2019, Andrew Selous MP was asked by the then Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson to produce an independent report to capture the diverse needs of Service families. The focus of this review was on current Serving personnel, including those preparing to leave the Armed Forces, and their families
The review team gathered evidence to inform the study in a number of ways, including email consultations, visits to military bases, visits to schools with large numbers of Service children, and meetings with key military personnel and stakeholders.
As part of the research, the RNRMC's CEO Adrian Bell, and Director of Relationships and Funding Mandy Lindley were interviewed. The RNRMC also facilitated meetings with naval partner charities, the Royal Navy, and families alongside Naval Families Federation (NFF).
The report, ‘Living in our Shoes,' is available now. There are a number of key themes of issues raised in it, which are consistent with the charity's own findings in the RNRMC Need Report 2019. The report also highlights the support offered by charities, and the need for partnership working, featuring some of the RNRMC's partner organisations, including Home-Start, Relate, Kings Active Foundation, The Ripple Pond, as well as the renovation of the Drumfork Community Centre.
Key themes emerged during the review about the challenges experienced by Armed Forces families today which are regarded as detrimental to modern family life and relationships. These refer to: Service Family Accommodation (SFA); mobility; deployment; the impact of Service life on military children and young people; the employment and careers of spouses/partners; the health and well-being of Serving personnel and family members; and the impact of Service life on personal relationships.
Members of the Armed Forces have a great sense of pride in the work they do and the sacrifices they and their families make.
The report outlined over 100 recommendations in different areas to support Service personnel and their families. The recommendations are targeted primarily at actions for the MOD and the three single Services, but some have implications for other government departments and local authorities in England, the Devolved Governments of the UK, and a range of organisations in the statutory, private and charitable sectors.