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Service Families

Volume 487: debated on Monday 2 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what support his Department provides to service families remaining in the UK while service personnel are on overseas operations. (252616)

In addition to the existing, extensive welfare support provided by the Services, units receive a Families Welfare Grant to support the families of those who have deployed. Units can exercise considerable discretion in how this money is spent but typically it might be used to; pay for families briefings, to provide additional communications facilities such as internet access or to subsidise the cost of families outings. In acknowledgement of the demands placed upon our families we doubled this Grant in November last year so that each unit now receives £2.20 per week for each person deployed; for a typical battalion this amounts to about £35,000 over a six month deployment. Families also benefit from the email and telephone access, and free blueys and e-blueys provided to deployed personnel to help them keep in touch with their loved ones.