The Positive Impact of Respite Breaks on Military Families

Give Us Time hosted a conference on 16th May 2018 engaging organisations with an interest in respite breaks. The objective was to assess the positive impact of respite breaks on the recovery and rehabilitation process of military families in need. Speakers included Professor Scott McCabe from Nottingham University Business School, Major Andy Wareham from the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre and long-time supporter and host, Chris Grech, owner of the Balkan Jewel in Bulgaria. The Conference was attended by representatives from all 3 Services, The Not Forgotten Association, ABF The soldiers’ charity, Victory Services Club, Combat Stress, Help for Heroes, RAF Association, RAF Benevolent Fund, RN&RM Charity, RN&RM Children’s Fund, Little Troopers, Kings College London and the King’s Centre for Military Health Research.

The Conference showed the positive impact of respite breaks on the mental health and stress factors of the service person/veteran as well as their family members. It also shows an improvement in relations and re-connecting within the family: spouses and children. The conference also stressed the lack of research in this field and the need to fund studies to provide more examples and feedback on the subject.

It is vital to explore different, non-medical ways to support the armed forces’ wellbeing and the use of respite breaks does offer an efficient, effective and low-cost alternative which supports the conventional rehabilitation and reconnection paths. Give Us Time’s findings, using clinical feedback indicate that respite breaks are very beneficial and provide a different way to ease and support in the recovery and rehabilitation process.

At the conference the discussion that emerged with other service charities was extremely valuable. We wish to deepen the cooperation with these partners and to start a profitable dialogue to improve the services we provide and create synergy in the sector for the benefit of appropriate beneficiaries.

We firmly believe in the positive impact a respite break can have on a struggling family and we look forward to discussions and new collaborations aimed at bettering the services available to support the Defence Community.

Give Us Time would like to thank all those involved for their support.

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