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Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust awards £9.6k to support Thrive programme

The Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust has awarded £9,600 to the RAF Benevolent Fund to support its wellbeing workshops for partners of serving RAF personnel. The Thrive programme provides a range of online courses aimed at helping spouses at RAF stations across the country overcome life challenges, including barriers to employment.

The free-to-attend workshops have focused on themes such as ‘developing courage’, ‘goal setting’, and ‘understanding yourself’. You can learn more about Thrive at rafbf.org/thrive.

RAF Lossiemouth spouse Laura Baker (29) has benefitted from the Fund’s Thrive programme. Laura felt she needed wellbeing support and career direction upon returning to the UK from an overseas posting, so she signed up to Thrive in August 2020. Since then, the mum-of-two has set up a successful new business selling eco-friendly greetings cards.

Laura said:

“The sessions were really accessible as they took place online via Zoom, which meant I could juggle other family commitments. It always felt like a safe, welcoming environment where we were encouraged to talk about our own experiences and challenges.

“Thrive has honestly changed my life and I’d encourage any other RAF partners to consider signing up. It’s a fantastic service and I’m so grateful to the RAF Benevolent Fund for giving me this opportunity.”

Research carried out by the Fund found the main employment challenges for partners of serving RAF personnel are not a lack of job experience or qualifications, CV writing skills or interview practice. Instead, the difficulties they face are identifying what they want to achieve and the appropriate routes to do this. The Thrive programme aims to help RAF partners overcome these barriers by increasing their confidence, boosting their skillset and employability, exploring alternatives to paid employment, improving wellbeing and emotional resilience, and reducing social isolation.

Lauren Cooper, Welfare Programmes Coordinator at the RAF Benevolent Fund, said:

“We are incredibly grateful that the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust has chosen to support our Thrive workshops. These sessions provide RAF spouses and partners with an opportunity to come together with people facing similar challenges and tackle those obstacles head-on. We have had some great feedback from previous participants, who reported feeling better prepared for the future and feeling less lonely and isolated following the workshops.”

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