Salisbury Plain was bustling with removal lorries over the summer with the arrival of families who’ve been part of the huge rebasing programme. Hopefully by now all your boxes have gone, the family has visited, and you had time to enjoy a barbecue or two before the autumn weather set in. So, what’s next? Amy Pearson, former AFF rebasing co-ordinator, has been finding out…
FOR some of you, rebasing was the easy bit as you now have your soldier away on deployment. Whilst saying goodbye is always tough, deployment can bring service communities together and give you time to get to know the families going through the same as you.
Our advice is to get to know your welfare teams. They’ll be putting on family days, trips away and lots to entertain the whole family. It’s a great way to meet people and get that extra support whilst ‘doing it alone’.
One spouse agreed: “Join the welfare Facebook page and set an alert so you know when a new event is being planned. Then you know you can fill up your weekends, which makes counting down so much easier.”
Another spouse said: “My friend from Germany dragged me to parents and tots, I really didn’t want to go but now I go along as much as I can.
“The kids love it and I have caught up with some old faces from Germany plus made new friends. It has really helped.”
If you’re looking for work, Forces Families Jobs (forcesfamiliesjobs.co.uk), the tri-service employment and training platform run by AFF, is a good place to start (see page 39). There are also lots of careers fairs in the area that can help you get to know what’s available.
If you’ve been busy settling before finding work, don’t forget about using an online benefits calculator to check what you are entitled to, even if you have come from overseas, there might be some help that you didn’t know about. Try entitledto.co.uk
Across Salisbury Plain schools have been planning for rebasing for some time and understand the extra pressure that you might face, so if your child is struggling after starting at a new school, talk to their teacher.
Don’t forget AFF is here to support too and our education & childcare specialist, Jilly Carrell can help – email her at email@example.com
If you haven’t already, find your medical centre and register as soon as you can. The shortage of NHS dental spaces is an ongoing issue and something our health & additional needs specialist Karen Ross is aware of. To find availability, contact NHS England on 0300 311 2233 or visit nhs.uk
Here to help
If you need any rebasing advice, contact AFF’s new rebasing co-ordinator, Carole Rudd at firstname.lastname@example.org – some of you may remember Carole from her time working as the regional manager at AFF Germany.
There’s also lots of information at aff.org.uk or try your local HIVE (salisburyplainhive.blogspot.com).