Family Fund joins the Armed Forces Covenant
We’re pleased to share that Family Fund recently signed up to the Armed Forces Covenant and has received their Employer Recognition Scheme Bronze award. Showing our ongoing commitment to supporting the armed forces community, as well as recognising the contributions of service personnel and their families, is important to making Family Fund a welcoming workplace.
We recently caught up with one of Family Fund’s Eligibility Decision Making Officers, Helen, to hear more about her experiences growing up in a military family.
My Dad was in the Armed Forces until I was 19 years old. It meant my childhood was spent moving around a fair bit which did affect my education. But what I lost in my education, I gained in knowledge in other areas. For instance I do know how to activate a hand grenade and shine a pair of combat boots!
** Disclaimer…..I have never actually thrown a real hand grenade! But I did teach my son how to shine his shoes!
For the first part of the 1980’s we were living in Germany for around 4 years. I attended a Forces school, so at the age of nine I did not just learn the usual academic subjects. We also learned the significance of respecting the people we were living amongst and understanding the local laws (we couldn’t mow the lawn or wash the car on a Sunday for example). I was taught to speak German, and at 10 years old I was nipping to the local shops to buy bread and milk for Mum, usually when Dad was away on exercise.
We were very much part of the German community and attended many local events. The Forces also provided opportunities for us as children to try new activities, like skiing in the Harz mountains. Dad’s regiment regularly held family events too. One memorable one was a treasure hunt following clues through the German countryside.
Dad always says that being in the Army wasn’t just a job, it was a way of life. When I reflect on my childhood I can see now, how what I experienced is relevant to the work I do today and how that also fits to the Family Fund values too.
Why am I telling you all of this?
Because here at Family Fund, like in the British Forces, we understand the importance of time spent together as a family which is reflected in our grants. I would also say that the British Forces way of life is in keeping with the Family Fund values too.
- Supportive: The British Forces support those in time of need, provide protection, support families of service men and women.
- Connected: Respecting and understanding diversity, and the needs of the countries and communities that they are serving in.
- Passionate:. Dedicated to their jobs and the way of life that they have adapted to, in the UK and abroad.
- Determined: Getting the job done and making a difference to people’s lives.
Dad left the Forces aged 40 and began his life on ‘Civvy Street’. He went on to study History with the Open University whilst he worked in local government. He transferred his skills and knowledge from 25 years in the Armed Forces into his role in local government. For example, when he was 23, he had significant role in the planning and arranging his Regiment’s move from the UK to Hong Kong, including families. 40 years later, he used those skills to co-ordinate the councils move into a purpose built building before he retired.
I really think that what Family Fund is offering to the Forces and ex-forces personnel is great. It’s an opportunity to transfer their skills to work with us and more importantly help to fulfil the needs of the families who reach out to us for support.