RESULTS of AFF’s recent quick poll suggest that the majority of Army families believe patch life is important.

More than three quarters of in excess of 1,000 respondents agreed that living on a patch helped with the impact of frequent moves and 83 per cent felt it was beneficial when the soldier deploys on exercise or operations.

Support for when the soldier works long hours, being part of a community and assistance with the wellbeing of children were also cited as important factors.

“Patch life allows us to form and maintain a community within a lifestyle that often rips us away from traditional support networks. It’s priceless,” commented one respondent, with another saying: “A life-long career in the Army without patch life is unthinkable.”

In the survey, AFF also asked: “What does stability mean for your Army family?” with more than half of you stating that you would like the flexibility to choose how you live on each posting. “We must not be fixed into a stability or mobility package – things change; age of children, spousal employment opportunities, the nature of particular postings – all these need to be considered each time,” said one family.

40 per cent of you said that not living apart was the key consideration for family stability, rejecting the idea of commutes for the soldier. AFF received comments such as: “Stability is not about geography, it is about us being together as a family,” and “If I didn’t move with my husband, I would see my dentist more than I see him.”

If you would like to find out more about the poll, contact researcher@aff.org.uk

Look out for AFF’s Big Survey in the autumn. Don’t miss the chance to have your say at www.aff.org.uk

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