Thursday 28th November 2019
RAF Marham’s Home Alone group welcomed Mrs Katie Wigston and the RAF Families Federation to one of their coffee mornings in November to promote the new tri-Service website, Forces Families Jobs (FFJs). A free website which has been developed for all military families to use for seeking forces friendly employment, training and volunteering opportunities.
FFJs, which went live in September ’19 was launched by all three Families Federations having been developed as a result of recommendations from a LIBOR funded research report, produced by the Warwick Institute for Employment Research. The key outcome being to produce an online platform for all employment and training related opportunities for military families – and to be made available, in one place.
On searching for job vacancies within a 50 mile (1 hour drive) from RAF Marham, FFJs showed up 153 job vacancies* and with a great mix of variety in roles.
Katie Wigston is the wife of current Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Mike Wigston and keen to help promote this initiative:
“I talk to you as a wife who has also lived at RAF Marham on two different postings; the second being as a mother myself. I remember standing in this same room with my two children running in different directions and I appreciate what a lifeline these mornings are for bringing everyone together. It’s great to be back here talking with you all.
“We want to add another piece of support to the jigsaw and that’s through sharing with you about Forces Families Jobs. It is a website that puts you potentially a few clicks away from finding a new job or training course. Its pure existence is there to offer job opportunities by employers who particularly welcome Forces families. Currently there are some 130 job vacancies in the RAF Marham area alone, as well as access to many training courses available; many of which are completely free of charge.”
Some at the event were searching and signing up for courses during the morning itself and also sharing the website wider across the station’s community through their social media posts.
Home Alone coffee mornings are led by RAF spouses, Jo Francis and Rebecca Bartholomewwho have been running the Friday morning group between them for over 15 years as volunteers. They have hardly ever missed a week between them at the Chaplaincy Centre. All partners are welcome between 9.30 – 11.30 am.
“Some weeks we have four or five partners come along – other times we’ll see 25! We see partners from all three Services here at the Station. We’re told that many see it as a place they can come to for company, support and just getting out of the house; particularly if they have young babies or children. It’s a relaxed environment where everyone can catch up, have a bite to eat and a cuppa.”
FFJs is open to all military partners and children who are aged between 18-25 years of age. It is also available for Service personnel who are transitioning out of the Armed Forces within their first year.
*At time of search (28/11/2019)
Imagery: ©Crown Copyright 2019