Maria Lyle

I joined the RAF Families Federation in late 2018 after a varied career – including serving in the RAF, working in leadership roles in local and central government, and most recently as a Director for a large IT Operations specialist.

I am passionate about voicing the concerns of Serving Personnel and families to policy makers and senior leaders, and trying to ensure that the Federation team represents you all.  Whether you are single, in a relationship, have children – or have other caring responsibilities – the Federation is here for you and wants to understand your experiences and challenges.  Please get in touch and raise issues with us via the ‘Report an issue’ form on the website.  It really does make a difference.

As Office Manager I am often the first point of contact and am responsible for all aspects of the office including health and safety, travel requirements and resources.

Having been married to a ‘Heavy’ for over 30 years I followed my husband around and have encountered the ups and downs of changes in my career path. Working any job around family life with flexibility to accommodate the RAF requirements of my husband. I worked in a bank (cleaning lol) and various shops, pubs and offices. I spent nearly 15 years in prisons, working in various departments and have successfully pulled all this experience together and utilise these skills in this position.

I have been at the Families Federation now for eight years having previously worked in various comms and marketing roles in the third sector.

I absolutely love promoting the work of the Families Federation through our many channels, building and maintaining relationships with our key stakeholders. This includes sharing what news and services are out there in the wider armed forces community which personnel and families can tap into (did you know there are just over 1,800 military charities?).  I am also the Co-Chair of the Celebrating Forces Families Awards event team working collaboratively with many other military organisations working together to make our second (2023) event even better than our first.

As editor of Envoy – our free quarterly magazine I am always on the look-out for new article ideas so please do contact me if you have any suggestions. I’d love to have a chat.

I started my career as an apprentice draughtsman and my working life has been in a variety of industries and roles from working on gas pipelines to the Ministry of Defence (MOD) for the RAF. Latterly, for almost 20 years, I earnt my living in the publishing and marketing sectors, which stood me in good stead for my current position.

My daily jobs here include graphic design, gathering and posting news onto our website (I have to admit I’m a bit OCD on Google Analytics) along with the day-to-day work on our social media channels and weekly eBulletin.

RAFFF Reported Issues Q2 2022

I joined the team in April 2020 from a technology marketing background. I bring with me a wealth of digital marketing knowledge which will complement the great work being done.

In my role, I’ll be looking to grow and enhance the RAFFF website ensuring we have the latest and best information available for RAF personnel and their families in a format that is easy to understand and digest. A key area for me will the the overseas section of the website ensuring our families can make informed decisions about overseas postings and reduce any unwanted surprises. (Comments are welcome!)

RAFFF Team Image of Richie Morgan

I joined the Team in October 2019 having served in the Royal Air Force for over 37 years in Human Resources. Throughout my career I have been responsible for supporting Service personnel and their families in need of welfare support.  I am an advocate for ensuring all members of the Royal Air Force Family are appropriately represented when highlighting concerns.

Gathering evidence is fundamental in presenting evidence to affect change and I encourage all to utilise the ‘Report an Issue‘ button on the Families Federation website.

RAFFF Team Member, Ian Todd

I am delighted to be joining the RAF Families Federation as a Support and Outreach Team Member. My most recent background has been as an OD Consultant (Talent and Leadership), with NHS Blood and Transplant. I was responsible for working with all levels of teams on organisational and culture change and was the lead deliverer on their Leadership and Management programmes, as well as Team Building facilitator and coach/ mentor. I also have a military background, having served 22 years as a Personnel Administrator in The Royal Air Force. I left in December of 2003, after serving at a range of units and in a host of roles, most notably as an Instructor on GST1 / JMLC course at ACS RAF Halton.

The RAF gave me almost everything and it’s now my turn to give a bit back, and I look forward to doing that in my new role here. More often than not it will be me who is your first point of contact here at the RAFFF.

RAFFF Team Image of Stan Brathwaite

With 38 years as a communications electronic engineer in the RAF and a further three years in the same roles as a contractor in the MOD, at all of the very interesting isolated detachments has sculpted a highly polished cynic of all things establishment-related.  However as a young thrusting Corporal, the moves between five stations, eight married quarters and the associated family disruption in a nine-year period was the last straw that saw me and my wife scrambling into the private housing market. That was the precursor for the mortgage rates to rise exponentially, 15% or more, oops! We stoically dug in and survived. Does this qualify me to represent families? You might think not, however in my defence, I find it a privilege to assist RAF families and serving personnel, especially as a number of organisations seem to need more than a gentle reminder of the very important role that you all play in the defence of the realm.

RAFFF Team Member, Gregory Timlin

I joined the RAF Families Federation in July 2019 and act as one of the main points of contacts to enquiries coming in to us. I am married to a serving RAF Officer and so have personal experience of a lot of the issues that are commonly raised to the Families Federation and have made use of their support myself.

My role is split into two here at the RAFFF – one half is helping with Accommodation issues, alongside Stan Brathwaite. The other half of my role is as the Policy Advisor for Partner Employment. This is a new role to the RAFFF and I am also on the Ops Team of the tri-Service website: Forces Families Jobs – a service run by all three Families Federations.

I have worked in a variety of HR and Project Management roles in the Public Sector (FCO and MOD) and various private sector companies/industries. The common theme in the roles I have enjoyed is helping people and resolving their issues and I hope to continue this in my current role.

Right Care Right Place A4 Poster

I joined the Team in May 2021 following a 22-year career in the Royal Air Force during which I fulfilled a broad range of personnel-related roles, including Policy, Infrastructure Management, Human Resources, Recruitment, Accounts Management and Media Operations, at both UK and Overseas locations. With a serving husband and two growing daughters, achieving work / life integration during my time in the RAF required difficult decisions to be made with many compromises along the way. With first-hand experience of both single and family life in the RAF, a desire to make a difference and the professional knowledge gained during my RAF career, I will passionately advocate the fair representation of the RAF Family.

The Policy Manager role directly links with my final RAF role in the MOD’s Armed Forces People Support Team where I witnessed first-hand the valuable work that the RAF Families Federation undertook. There is a lot going on to improve the lives of all our Service Personnel but if there is something that needs to change please contact the RAF Families Federation, together we can make a difference.

Alexandra Stokes, Policy Advisor for Education and Childcare

I joined the RAF Families Federation team in August 2021 and will be working closely with Vanessa in the Policy Team.  

I am a qualified primary school teacher with extensive experience in education working with children, families and external organisations. As an RAF spouse, I have a good understanding of military life and am keen to combine my knowledge and experience to support Service personnel and their families. I am committed to understanding policy and initiatives and representing the RAF Family in this key area that impacts so many.  

Here at the RAF Families Federation, we are keen to understand your experiences and challenges, so please utilise the ‘Report an Issue’ function on our website to help us support you and make a difference. 

RAFFF Team Image of Caroline Evans

I joined the RAF Families Federation in May 22 as part of the Policy Team. I focus on issues relating to health care and additional needs for serving personnel, reservists and their families. I served in the RAF as an Air Traffic Controller for 10 years and as an RAF spouse spent the next 20 years moving around the UK and overseas with my husband and two daughters.  More recently I have worked in the welfare and advice charity sector and have wide experience of supporting people across a range of issues.

At the RAFFF we strive to provide informed support, advice and signposting to families who need it; we advocate for our RAF families using their lived experience to provide evidence for change. We want to shape policy to make the lives of RAF families better.

We understand that deployments, service requirements and the transitory nature of service life can present a unique set of circumstances for families. We are here for you, and will do our utmost to support you to find a solution so that you and your family are not disadvantaged by service commitments.