RAF Families Federation – still here to help!
Our very own Ken Wood shares about his team members and how they are reflecting on supporting the RAF in these changing times.
The Evidence Team are still working hard to support service families and serving personnel in the RAF. The team consists of manager Richie Morgan, recently retired from the RAF as a Personnel Support Warrant Officer with 37 years’ experience. Also in the team is Ken (me!) – I started on 1st April last year …..not the best day to start a new position. Gregory, who joined the team as a housing specialist earlier this year. We also have Stan, known to many as he has worked in the Families Federation for numerous years as a housing specialist. Unfortunately he isn’t working at present but will hopefully be back with us in the near future.
We normally work at our office based at RAF Wittering – so how have the recent events affected me personally and the rest of the team?
I was due to attend Recruit Training Squadron and Airman’s Command Squadron at RAF Halton this week, to brief new recruits and newly promoted personnel on the work the Families Federation does, and how we can support both the serving population and their families. I was also due to attend the Station Community Support Officers’ conference up in the North West (Speke). As part of our efforts to reach out to smaller Units we were also going to join the Air Member for Personnel’s (AMP) Briefing Team at RAF Boulmer and Fylingdales. Sadly all these opportunities were all cancelled due to the current situation.
I normally live in a school boarding house where my wife is a residential matron. As the school has closed, and my wife has been furloughed, we have taken the decision to move back into our own home. It’s very quiet, because as you can imagine the boarding house does produce a lot of noise and activity.
Since my grandchildren were born three years ago they have stayed overnight every Friday which has had to stop. This has been very hard, but we all keep in touch via Face Time. Both of my own grown up children are still working – one as an IT manager for RAFA and the other in a children’s residential care home.
Ken having a break in the garden with Lilly the dog
How quickly things change – whilst serving in RAF working from home was a rare occurrence, and now I find myself at home for the foreseeable future. I consider myself very lucky to be able to do this working for Families Federation. My admiration and best wishes go out to those NHS frontline workers, and not forgetting those who continue to provide a service to the general public; including supermarket workers and those delivery drivers who continue to re-supply the shelves. Let’s also not forget post men/women and all refuse collectors. I am sure there are lots of others out there working extremely long hours in trying circumstances.
We continue to support RAF personnel and their families and have had a number of COVID-19 related issues raised over the past few weeks – I encourage everyone to visit our RAF FF website as there is lots of information there to hopefully answer your questions. If not, please contact the Evidence Team by reporting an issue on our website.
Personally I am now at home 24/7 with my wife who is also working from home – which has been fine…… so far! The lock-down beard is coming along, and my running times are improving as I manage to get out most evenings to exercise. I was due to help one of my sons move over the past weekend, and obviously that has been put on hold. My youngest son works in the travel industry and has had his hours reduced. On the positive side he managed to get out of New York before the city locked down – 24 hours after arriving for a holiday!!
Remember – Stay Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives
Richie on some down time after working from home (notice the RAF FF polo shirt!)
Thankfully the current measures in place to protect all our health have not had a significant impact on our ability to work as before. Our databases and systems received a recent overhaul that has allowed us all to carry on with our work with as little interruption as possible.
On the “Home Front” things have changed significantly. As for many others my daughter’s first year at university has been cut short, we have been through a period of isolation as a family, and my wife has been working from home on alternate days as she seeks to keep to social distancing principals but still maintain the output of a busy office.
With several members of our extended family falling into the vulnerable category at this time, I would very much like to echo Richie’s comments with regard to the NHS and all the key workers and applaud their tremendous efforts.
However, it is certainly not all doom and gloom! With the weather improving comes the opportunity to enjoy the change of the season and most importantly the first BBQ of the year. We have also collectively decided to keep up our fitness programs (this may or may not be related to the potential for BBQs) and we are fortunate to have outdoor space available to us that allows this whilst keeping to the Government’s guidelines.
Gregory reading some useful material – the Ladybird book of The Meeting!!
Business as usual
The Evidence team are still operating remotely and continuing to take cases – working with the RAF and local authorities to help service families and serving personnel in cases regarding COVID-19 the host of other issues that we would normally take on. We will continue to operate remotely and provide this service to support the RAF family wherever they are until we can return to our office location.
Contact the team by reporting an issue online in the first instance and the team will get in touch with you.
Take care, be safe – and remember to keep clapping at 2000 hrs every Thursday evening to show your support for all the key workers in the UK.
You can also make use of our interactive infographic below (click to activate)
Ken Wood, Evidence Assistant, RAF Families Federation