FAMILIES have faced unprecedented change through redundancy, restructuring and the rebasing of troops from Germany back to the UK.

Servicemen and women have faced long working hours and the impact on families has been immense.

Our June Big Survey, which many of you answered online and through our Co-ordinators, gives us a good idea of your main areas of concern. Housing, schools and healthcare are the top issues over rebasing, with childcare and spousal employment not far behind.

  • 35% of those who answered have been an Army family for more than 10 years
  • 47% told us that they are worse off financially than two years ago and the majority agree that the pay freeze, cuts to allowances and non-serving partner’s inability to work are factors
  • 76% say that the soldier’s unpredictable working hours affect them getting a job 
  • 47% are considering a house purchase in the next three years
  • 71% of those living in their own home do not feel part of the Armed Forces family
  • 65% know nothing about the New Employment Model
  • 40% do not know what the Armed Forces Covenant is
  • 43% say that the number of schools or childcare settings their child has attended has had a negative effect 
  • 31% of families have moved three times in the last five years
  • 72% have had to buy a second car.

There’s clearly work to be done to improve communications with families and help more people understand the changes happening to the Army and the measures which have been put in place to aid partner employment, house purchase and money management.

AFF will report all the survey’s findings to the chain of command and policy makers. Keep an eye on the AFF website for the full report.

ANOTHER CHANCE TO HAVE YOUR SAY

AFF’s Big Debate on 21 October in London gives you a unique opportunity to put your burning questions directly to people that can make a difference.

Traditionally, your top concerns have been housing, education, deployment and childcare but these are joined by new emerging issues due to defence cuts.

The list is in no way exhaustive – you can feed in your questions at conference@aff.org.uk

As well as the debate, we’ll also give you a free lunch and a chance to enjoy a wide range of exhibitors, including many with training and job opportunities across the UK.

We look forward to seeing you there!

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