AFF Study on support to TA/reservist families

Discussion in 'Army Reserve' started by hackle, Mar 18, 2005.

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  1. (tel and email details in latest edition of Army Families Journal, page 4 of pdf copy at )

    An excellent move in my opinion, please consider contributing your family's thoughts to Ms Thornber. In this forum, too.

  2. msr

    msr LE


    Many thanks for bringing this to our attention. I will make it sticky in the hope that we can get some interesting and useful feedback. I will be keeping a eye on the postings to ensure this thread stays relevant.

    Here is the excerpt from the pdf:

    AFF have commissioned Tina Thornber to carry out a six month study looking into ways that AFF might be able to help and support the families of TA soldiers in the future. If you would like to talk to Tina on any issues regarding the TA and Reservists, please call her on 01743 353403 or email

  3. Thanks, msr. Hope it generates something useful.
  4. On a related note has any TA soldier's family actually received any support from the military system while they were deployed ? There was the square root of SFA for mine while I was deployed for Veritas but I'd hope things have improved since then.

    I'm not knocking the AFF (quite the opposite in fact) but I'd hate to see them rushed off their feet because the system thinks they don't need to bother as a result.
  5. I got a Christmas card from the unit while PapaSmurf was on Telic3. Does this count? I'll be interested to know if this study bears any fruit. Do keep us posted.
  6. Anything for the families will be good. The only thing mine got was a monthly newsletter on all things IRAQ put together by my reg.
    Always thought it would be a good idea for someone in theatre to talk to the TA units to let them know what's going on
  7. OldSnowy

    OldSnowy LE Moderator Book Reviewer

    We had/have good support, in that one of our PSAOs was made full-time Welfare Officer, with a good team, car, etc. Mind you, we had to pay for it out of Bn budget. There was f-all financial support from the Heirarchy until after the event. There was simply no plan in place for dealing with the welfare aspects of mobilised TA peronnel.

    I do hope this Study helps to change this but, given that it will cost £££££, I very much doubt it :cry:
  8. The lovely Mrs chickenpunk heard sod-all from my unit whilst I was on Telic, a fact which didn't actually surprise me at all.
  9. Hope something good comes of this. This is one of biggest concerns when I get the call, I'd be fine but Mrs Polar a rough thou she is, isn't that strong.

    Not sure if a regular army group is the best to start this off but that they are trying is great. Maybe a AFF(V) is needed?

    Anyone know how you get a proper copy of the AF Journal, Mrs Polar may be interested

  10. Something has just occurred to me as I thought back to going through Chilwell and conversations with those of my colleagues who've been through since.

    The system allows those whose departure would cause an admin nightmare to apply for an exemption. Therefore ( and I use the logic of the system not what anyone else would necessarily use) if the reservist does not apply for an exemption then their absence will not cause an admin nightmare. Hence no funding to cope with same is required.

    Or am I paranoid ?
  11. Thanks, moderator, for making this a sticky.
    Thanks, polar.

    Re an "AFF(V)", v interesting thought. My own approach has always been to treat people the same (Reg/TA/reservist) unless there are good reasons to the contrary. In other words, encourage AFF to be more inclusive, which seems to be the direction they want to take. Not suggesting that mobilisation is the only issue which concerns TA families, however their interest in AFF issues is likely to be greater while husband/wife is mobilised. Difficult, perhaps, to maintain continuity in a separate organisation.

    I don't know the exact remit of AFF, which is a registered charity. Tina Thornber who is doing the current study is one of five AFF specialists who deal with particular areas of concern (Education and Childcare; Employment; Housing; TA and Reserve Forces; Special Needs).

    Re getting hold of a proper copy of the magazine, there are contact details in the pdf copy and I imagine they would be only too pleased to send out a one-off copy. As to how TA & reservist families can get copies on a more organised basis, that is perhaps one of the questions we should think about and let Tina Thornber know what we think.

    Might I suggest some copies to TA units, ie not just for PSIs' families, and a copy of the latest issue enclosed with mailings from Chilwell to spouses of mobilised personnel.

    The AF Journal is an excellent read in my opinion, much better/more relevant than what I remembered from years gone by - either the Journal has improved, or I am a sadder barstard then before! :wink:

    To take just one example, the Chairman's article in the latest edition very neatly encapsulates the dilemma which has often challenged us on ARRSE between wanting more coverage of the Army, and being concerned about sometimes intrusive reporting.

  12. msr

    msr LE

    I have been in touch with Tina Thornber. She is ex-TA herself, so is ideally placed to conduct this study. She has been on arrse before and is aware that there is a thread relating to her study in this forum.

  13. I think I was thinking about along the lines of TA partners supporting themselves and being a full part of AFF.

    Some problems at the moment centre around support coming from units, where say in Leeds it'd be better if my wife was in touch with other wives in Leeds (from all units). The current HIVE locations are not going to be suitable for a few TA partners, I'm not knocking AFF just stating fact - plus I'd have thought HIVE centres in cities should really be run by TA wives as it would be mainly helping them.

    Tried looking at what AFF do but still a little unsure

    Army Families Federation Website
  14. One issue here is that the average TA partner is unlikely to need the AFF when their SO is not deployed and hence will not go out and contact them. If the AFF do actively go out and recruit then unless the meetings are fairly close by and during the evenings - as most people work these days - they won't be able to go in any case.

    The difference in attitudes between civvy street and the Regs also needs attention. I suspect it applies more to stuff organised through the chain of command rather then the AFF but all it takes is one stupid "I'm Major Smith's wife so I'm in charge" busybody and the average civvy spouse will:
    a. Laugh;
    b. Tell them to get bent;
    c. Walk out and never return.

    If your spouse's pension does not depend on the Army then people don't put up with that nonsense any more.