Dispersed Families

The RAF Families’ Federation has been awarded a grant by the government to investigate the additional challenges faced by families living ‘outside the wire’.  Recently the Federation has seen an increase in the number of issues raised by these families, both Regulars and Reserves, and as a result we have recognised a need to fully understand what the issues are and what help can be put in place.

This will be a 2 year project, during which we will gather evidence and views, meet with policymakers, and work to ensure that families living away from their parent unit are offered support that meets their needs.  In particular we are keen to understand what is good and bad about living outside the wire, and to identify examples of good practice that can be rolled out to other units.

Tor Johnson is our Dispersed Families Project Manager and can be contacted by email on tor.johnson@raf-ff.org.uk, or telephone her on 07376 083352.  Tor is an RAF wife herself; she is currently living in SFA, but spent nearly 9 years living in private accommodation away from her husband’s postings prior to their current tour.  This, combined with her time previously serving in the RAF, gives her personal experience of the issues faced by Dispersed Families, and she is keen to help other families in this position.

We will be updating this section of our website throughout the project to ensure that families have access to all of the latest information and guidance.  To keep ahead of future developments on our Dispersed Families work, you can also sign up to our free weekly eBULLETINor join the conversation on Twitter with the #notonthepatch hashtag.

New online Facebook group for RAF Dispersed Families

The RAF Families’ Federation have launched a new Facebook group for families who live away from their parent station. This is as a result of research carried out through the Dispersed Families project, with a number of families commenting that it would be great to be able to get in touch with others in a similar position. This is a closed group, but any current serving RAF personnel and their families are welcome to join. Request to join

What is a Dispersed Family?

We understand that there are many different ‘types’ of family who might fall into the category, but for the purposes of this project we are specifically looking at the following groups who live 10 or more miles from their parent unit:

  • Families of Regular RAF personnel
  • Families of RAF Reserves (especially FTRS and RAuxAF)
  • Unmarried cohabiting couples: those in long-term relationships who share a single permanent address   
  • Families on remote location overseas postings who are not living within a military community

If you or your family fit into one of these groups then we would love to hear from you.  We value the views of both Serving Personnel and their families, as long as the participant is confident answering questions about the family as a whole.


© MOD Crown Copyright 2017 (Cpl P Robertshaw)

Getting involved

The study will gather evidence through a survey and a series of meetings.  

The survey has now closed - many thanks to all who have taken time to complete it:

The findings will be combined with our interview results in order to complete the initial project report, due in June 2018.  If you would like to be kept updated or wish to pass on your experiences then you can contact Tor Johnson, Project Manager using the contact details above. 

The iPad draw will be completed shortly, and we will inform the lucky winner as soon as this has taken place.


We are now looking for people who would like to take part in our meetings.  If you would be willing to take part in a short, informal and confidential interview at a location near to your home (or via Skype), then please get in touch to register your interest.  You can do this by sending an email to tor.johnson@raf-ff.org.uk, or calling Tor on 07376 083352.  

As with all the information and data gathered by the RAF Families Federation any personal details will be strictly confidential and any information used in the study will be anonymised in line with our confidentiality policy.

If you’re experiencing an issue at the moment

You are still welcome to take part in our study, but if you would like some help with a specific problem then we would also encourage you to use the Report an Issue form on the RAF Families’ Federation website, or to call the main office on 01780 781650.

*It's easy to unsubscribe and we do not share your details with any other organisation.

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