Remember that RAF welfare support, in one form or another, can extend to everyone; spouse, civil partner, partner, mother, father, son or daughter, you all have someone to turn to and can be accessed by contacting your local HIVE on your station in the first instance (or contact us first and we can direct you).
This section focuses on spouses and civil partners. However parents of single RAF personnel and single partners may also find it useful both as a reminder to put things in order before deployment and as a guide of where to turn to for help.
Start by writing down the details on of the serving person going away as you will need them nearly every time you make a phone call about them to someone in the RAF.
Before the serving person leaves you should also be provided with your nominated Unit Point of Contact who should be a first point of contact for most matters. Again, your serving partner will need to provide you with these details.
No one wants you to feel isolated whilst your loved one is away. Your friends and family will probably be your strongest support network. However, if you have any issues you feel unable to handle, or you just need to talk, please remember that there is always someone in the RAF or its support services you can turn to for advice and support. Or contact us here at the FF and we'll direct you to the right team/person.
Focus on Children and Young People
Supporting children and young people during periods of deployment can be especially challenging. There is now a booklet with children and young people as a focus and it is hoped that this work will assist in helping you to help them cope with deployment.
The Following books may also be of help:
- My Mummy is a Soldier by Gerry Walters
- My Daddy's going away - but thats okay as well as Mummy's Home! by Christopher MacGregor
Before deployment, the serving parent can record their own story book, bringing their voice to bedtime for your child(ren) and is free to do. Simply go online to the RAF Association's Storbybook Wings page for more information.
If you have a mobile phone or tablet with access to app stores, the iCloud pet is a really magical way of keeping your child(ren) in touch with their deployed parent through an interactive cuddly toy (providing he or she has access to the internet on detachment). Enjoy hearing and sending recorded messages to and from your family members through the wonders of technology. There's a clip online which explains how it all works. If you are lucky enough to be based at RAF Halton, your HIVE team offer them as part of their deployment support package to families.
Are you a single parent being deployed?
There are rules and regulations which cover your child(rens) care while you are away.
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