Like many spouses and partners of those serving in HM Armed Forces, Lee Johnston found herself unemployed, in an isolated location, hundreds of miles from her family and support network.
When she saw the role advertised for a families employment co-ordinator she promptly applied and got the job. She took on the role at the unique programme, which is now celebrating its three year anniversary and has gone from strength to strength, helping almost 700 people change their lives thanks to Lee and the families’ team’s support.
RFEA will now be able to offer even more employment support to military spouses and partners, including those who are separated, divorced, widowed and overseas, looking to take the next step in their career, thanks to a new expansion of its services.
Delivered by a team of specialist families employment advisors, the service currently offers career diagnostics, help with job searches, CV reviews, interview preparation and much more. From March, the programme will be extending its services to provide help to those interested in pursuing careers in tech and cyber through RFEA’s TechVets programme, as well as offering new coaching sessions that will be available to book for free.
The announcement comes as the charity’s unique Families Programme celebrates its three-year anniversary and will be marked with a one-off families special of its regular Careers Sit Rep event.
The free event will be live streamed on LinkedIn, YouTube and Facebook on Friday, February 4, from 2.30pm to 3.30pm. It will focus on the unique challenges that military spouses and partners face, as well as a discussion around where those looking for employment can go for tailored support.
Lee said: “The families programme advisors are all partners of serving personnel, so we each have first-hand understanding of the issues our clients face.
"For instance, frequent moves to isolated locations, as well as a lack of social support and existing employments networks available, can be challenges that hit military spouses and partners particularly hard.
"The pandemic has added an additional level of complexity, as many of the roles that offered the flexibility that is important to our clients, such as those in hospitality or retail, have all been hugely disrupted.
“The good news is there is help and options available, and RFEA is there to support people in finding an opportunity that is right for them.”
Anyone seeking support or further information about RFEA’s Families Programme can find out more by visiting the organisation’s website at www.rfea.org.uk/families.