History of AFF
The Army Families Federation (AFF) is the unique two-way communications link between the British Army and its families. It was founded in the UK in 1982 as the Federation of Army Wives Clubs, which later became the Federation of Army Wives (FAW), and evolved Branches in Northern Ireland, Germany and Cyprus. In May 1996 it was renamed the Army Families Federation, and became a worldwide organisation run from Central Office in Andover.
AFF is a registered charity and operates under a charter approved by the Charities Commission. It is funded by a combination of public and non-public funding as well as outside sponsorship raised for one-off events and projects. AFF represents all members of a soldier’s family.
- The AFF exists to voice the views of Army families to policy makers and also to aid the communication of information from policy makers to families
- AFF has a remit to lobby for changes in policy where families’ views suggest that improvements are appropriate
- AFF monitors implementation of policy and highlights areas where systems might need adjustment as well as aiming to advertise and spread best practice
- AFF acts as a sign-posting organisation for families who need advice and particularly those who prefer to seek help from a body independent of the chain of command, as well as providing useful information for Army families through its website and magazine, Army&You
AFF has Branches in Great Britain, Northern Ireland (founded in 1984), Germany (1989) and Cyprus (1994). Each Branch has its own Director as well as administrative staff working in the Branch Office. Great Britain, Northern Ireland, Germany and Cyprus have a network of part-time staff (Co-ordinators) managed by the Deputy Director, Team Leader or Regional Manager. Co-ordinators are a direct link to Army families in the main garrison areas, representing the AFF at local level as well as directing issues, concerns and views to the rest of AFF.
AFF employs five Specialists who cover key issues of concern to Army families:
- Education and Childcare
- Employment and Training
- Foreign and Commonwealth
- Health and Additional Needs