The RAF Benevolent Fund has launched a free, easy-to-access, online course to help RAF couples deal with the challenges of family life.
The Building Stronger Families course is tailored to the needs of RAF families to give couples the skills and knowledge they need to deal with common relationship issues, covering topics like communication, resolving conflict and family life.
The course is designed to be the first port of call for couples in need of extra support and has been created with the help of national charity Relate. The RAF Benevolent Fund has worked with Relate for several years, providing free counselling sessions for those who feel professional help would be a benefit. Since its introduction, more than 3,000 RAF individuals have used the service.
Alison Wyman, Head of General Welfare at the RAF Benevolent Fund, said: "No-one knows the RAF family like the RAF Benevolent Fund. We have been supporting RAF personnel and their loved ones for almost 100 years. As the RAF’s leading welfare charity, the RAF Benevolent Fund knows that RAF families face unique pressures as separation and deployment take their toll on family life.
"This is why we are launching a new free online support course to help couples who are facing difficult times before the problem develops into something more serious. Building Stronger Families is just one example of new ways the RAF Benevolent Fund is developing to support serving personnel with tailored, bespoke services designed with the RAF in mind."
Chris, 33, from Birmingham, is currently serving with the RAF. He said: "It really was make or break for us. The Relate sessions that we had kept us together ultimately. We had one-on-one sessions and sessions together as a couple. I do not think we would have our little girl and the life that we do now if it wasn’t for the RAF Benevolent Fund. And for that I will be forever grateful.
"I know it's not easy to talk about, I'm the kind of person who keeps things bottled up, but I would encourage any couple who are struggling with the pressures of military life to take the online course and take up the offer of counselling if they need it."
The service is funded by a £75,000 grant awarded to the RAF Benevolent Fund from The Armed Forces Covenant (Libor) Fund.
If you would like more information or are interested in doing the course, visit the dedicated website.