Army couple Si and Kelly tell us about their life in Gibraltar with children Saskia and Miley…
How long have you been an Army family?
Time in Gibraltar:
What’s your quarter like?
They are okay but not heated well, which can cause issues in winter. Quarters come furnished – you can bring around 12 cubic metres of furniture with you. There’s also only a small garden but the estate has plenty of outside space and play areas for the children.
Can spouses and partners work?
Yes, as long as they register with the government. There are a few vacancies within the NAAFI, the local SCE school and there are MOD vacancies which tend to be mainly admin-based.
What about schools?
There’s St Christopher’s School which has a nursery attached to it. On completion of FS2, children go to the local Gibraltarian schools where transport is provided. As Gibraltar is British territory, there’s no language issue and the children learn Spanish as part of the curriculum.
Where do Army families get together?
There is a families’ entertainment committee which hosts Easter, summer and Christmas parties for the children at the Lion Bar on Europa Estate. Throughout the year they also provide bingo and racing nights. In the summer the Europa pool opens for Service personnel and families. There’s a large pool, children’s pool, playpark and a kiosk/bar for all to enjoy.
Who supports families?
A small community team provides family support alongside SSAFA, which has trained social workers. On our residents’ Facebook page, people can get info on where to go.
What’s the best thing about living in Gibraltar?
The sunshine throughout the year is wonderful and there are two fantastic beaches to enjoy. Sunrises/sunsets are spectacular and you are guaranteed to find a pod of dolphins swimming in the Straits. Having Spain on the doorstep for family weekends away is just amazing. In our time we have travelled widely and last year we went to Morocco which was a fantastic experience for the children. There are plenty of hidden gems to be found; the Roman Baths in Manilva, the rock pools at Benahavis and the wild animal sanctuary in Casteller to mention a few.