Support Networks 1 - Creating support networks for naval families living away from base port areas

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Neil IngramNeil Ingram

Neil joined the Royal Navy in 1985 as a Writer and is currently a Petty Officer Logistics (Personnel).  He has served in a number of ships and establishments including all three of the Aircraft Carriers, HMS Ark Royal, Illustrious and Invincible.  He currently works with Naval Personnel and Family Services as a moderator on the Royal Navy Community website (RNCOM).  RNCOM provides information on many aspects of family life such as information on moving to foreign postings and a forum on which families can provide support for each other and share their problems wherever they may be located.

Neil describes the importance initiatives such as RNCOM have for naval families living away from base port areas. 

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Extract Text (Duration 1.33)

Where families are more dispersed now and owning their own properties out of the base port areas, that a lot of the... previously the families could rely on each other to ask questions, of their neighbours for example.  And they would do that if the husband, or the wife now, was deployed away from home and they had a problem with... I don't know the housing, be it Defence Housing Executive, that there was always someone who knew who to get in touch with and the best way of doing these sort of things. 

But what we've found is, the people who were displaced, and not in those areas, had no-one to turn to, for practical reasons like I've just said, but also for... on an emotional level, that although their friends and family were fully supportive of them, they didn't really understand being the other half of a service relationship.  So it was very much speaking to people who know what they're talking about, they've been there, they've seen it, and they've done it.  So they're getting advice from people that they know that they can trust, and there's a lot of experienced naval families out there that have been in these situations and it was just... it's a massively untapped area really.  Some people are wary of going through official channels, whereas they take on that, if you can get it from a friend, but they take on the advice more readily than going through the official channels.

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