It’s been confirmed that unit moves from British Forces Germany (BFG) will be put back to 2019. With this in mind, AFF’s Germany team has been speaking to families for their views on life during the drawdown…
You told us that you enjoy the slower pace of life. Germany has many attractions such as ski resorts, fantastic countryside to explore with dedicated cycle routes, and easy access to travel around the rest of Europe.
However, many of you say that separation from extended family and the time your soldier spends away are significant downsides. One spouse told us: “When my husband is away, it can be tough as you lack the family support you would get at home.”
Some of you reported that you can feel isolated, so getting out, making friends and being part of the Army community is seen as a must. Polly Doyle, an Army spouse, said: “The Army family rallies round you and is here when you need them.”
There’s still a strong sense of community here. Coffee mornings and toddler groups are in abundance and there are lots of events organised by individual units and their families clubs as well as thriving Military Wives Choirs in both Paderborn and Gütersloh.
To find out more about what’s on in your area, contact your local HIVE.
Labour Support Units (LSUs)still offer employment opportunities. Most suitable posts are of a clerical nature or for teaching assistant roles.
If you’re looking for work, register with your local LSU and keep an eye on the BFGNet website for vacancies.
One Army spouse said: “It can be challenging to get a job with the LSU as the hours either don’t fit around your family life or you don’t have the correct qualifications.”
AFF has been assured by the LSUs and Westfalen Garrison that they are aware of the need for flexibility in some roles, so don’t be put off if you’re moving here.
Some Service Children’s Education schools run extended daycare, but this varies from school to school. Nursery provision for children up to three can be expensive when the wages on offer are taken into account.
AFF will continue to monitor all services throughout drawdown. Commander WFG, Col John Connelly, said: “The family sits at the heart of our military community. AFF and the community link are vital to me; they hold me to account and always promote the family and education agendas.”
Headquarters BFG told us: “We will continue to provide the best service and support to all units and family members in Germany until final closure in 2019.”
Continue to contact AFF so we can represent your views. We attend all SCE school governance committees and a range of meetings on the key areas of health, education and welfare support.
If you are due to be posted here and want to know more, get in touch. Our details are available on page three or can be found on the AFF website at www.aff.org.uk
Contact your local HIVE for a copy of its “on the move” guide and read your local HIVE’s Blog at www.army.mod.uk/HIVE