New Chair of FANDF appointed

Stephanie Quintrell has been made the new Chair of the Forces Additional Needs and Disability Forum (FANDF), the tri-service group for serving personnel – Regular or Reserves – and their families who have a child or adult dependent with an additional need or disability.

Stephanie (32) is a soldier’s wife and mum to their six-year-old son who lives with challenging additional needs. She had a successful career in the care sector spanning more than 10 years until she became unwell in 2019, and after a dramatic career change caused by her health deterioration, Stephanie now works as operations manager for the not-for-profit organisation Forces Wives Challenge, which has recently chosen SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity as its charity partner.

A keen horse rider since childhood, Stephanie has competed in various disciplines, and though disabled and dependent on a wheelchair full time, she continues to ride as a para equestrian.

Stephanie, a FANDF committee member since 2020, says:

I have a true passion and determination in wanting to make a difference to other military families, and having faced a range of challenges with our son over the last few years – such as navigating our way through the EHCP [Education and Health Care Plan] process, pushing through the NHS paediatric diagnosis journey, an unsuitable school placement and of course all the while being a serving military family – I feel I have the lived experience needed to see military life through the eyes of many of FANDF’s members.

She adds that combining this with the struggles that she has had as a disabled person living – as she phrases it – “behind the wire’, puts her in a perfect position to take on the role of Chair of the Committee.

I’m excited to see where the next few years takes us, and I will enjoy throwing myself into my new role with the commitment and enthusiasm I’ve given to the FANDF committee over the last three years.

My hope is that by the time we arrive at our next FANDF biennial conference in 2025, we’ll be able to look back to this time and see real progress for our armed forces families living and managing with disability and additional needs.”

Fran Robinson, SSAFA’s Service Manager Additional Needs and Disability, welcomed Stephanie saying:

I’m really looking forward to working with Steph in her capacity as FANDF Chair. She’s such a dedicated member of the FANDF committee and has so much experience and knowledge within the additional needs and disability space.”

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