How you can help the Armed Forces

16 June 2020

Local people will be lining the streets of Bedford to show support for our Armed Forces on ‘Armed Forces Day’ on Sunday June 25.

The local Armed Forces Day parade (between 10.30am and 11am) is an opportunity for us to salute Forces’ personnel, their partners and their families, especially at a time of heightened security pressures.

But you can do more…

Here at Relate Bedfordshire and Luton we have special funding to offer Armed Forces personnel free and confidential counselling. So, if you know Forces’ personnel, their families or friends, you can help by passing on our link to services available.

They can find details from the ‘Services’ drop-down on our home page at:

www.relatebedsandluton.org.uk

Funding to support counselling for Royal Air Force personnel is from the RAF Benevolent Fund. Funding to support Royal Navy and Royal Marines personnel is from The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity.

The RAF will pay for confidential, one-to-one relationship support for anyone in the RAF, their families and partners, whether they are married, living together, separated, divorced, in a same sex relationship, civil partnership, or coping with the end of a relationship.

Everything they say to a Relate counsellor is confidential. No-one in the RAF or Royal Navy and Royal Marines is told that they have accessed these services. Personnel need to give their service number, or their partner’s service number, but this is so the benevolent fund alone can check that it is paying for only those who are eligible.

The fund pays for up to six sessions of adult relationship or family counselling, or up to 20 sessions of sex therapy, for all personnel regardless of income. Counselling is offered in several venues across the county during the day, in the evening and on Saturday mornings. If this is not convenient, they can talk to one of our counsellors over the telephone or via Skype without needing to leave home.

For more information call our friendly appointments team on 01234 356350 or email us.

Royal Navy and Royal Marines personnel, both serving and former, and their families are offered:

  • An initial seven sessions of adult relationship counselling, either face-to-face, by telephone or webcam, even if they are deployed overseas. Or:
  • An initial seven sessions of family or children and young people’s counselling. Or:
  • An initial 21 sessions of sex therapy.

They should call the dedicated Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity phone line 01302 380279 to book sessions.

Whether personnel are married, living together, in a same-sex relationship, separated, divorced or single, free help is available.

Again, everything they say to their counsellor remains confidential. No one in the Royal Navy and Royal Marines is told that they have accessed these services unless there are safeguarding issues. Personnel need to provide their service number or their partner’s to receive the service but, again, this is only to confirm eligibility.

If people you know would like further information before booking sessions they are also welcome to call our friendly local team on 01234 356350 or email us.

So… do please pass on our web link if you know personnel or their families who may need help now or in the future. “That’s a practicable way we can all do our bit and say thank you to the Armed Forces for helping to protect us,” says Relate Bedfordshire and Luton CEO Angela Foll.

The Armed Forces Day Parade starts in Bedford at the top of the High Street and makes its way down past the Market Place to Harpur Square. The parade usually sets off at around 10.45am.

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