World Wide Support

Armed forces families who are stationed overseas will have access to welfare providers who are specifically there to support the armed forces community. Relevant information specific to a number of overseas stations is outlined later in this section, and includes the following locations:

  • British Forces Cyprus (BFC)
  • British Forces Germany (BFG)
  • British Forces South Atlantic Islands (Ascension Island)
  • British Forces South Atlantic Islands (Falkland Islands)
  • British Forces Gibraltar (BF Gibraltar)

Anyone posted to a location that is not detailed in this section can make local enquiries regarding welfare provision for armed forces families. A number of additional sources of support are outlined below and may be of help to those individuals, regardless of location, who are seeking welfare support.

Local Military Support Providers.   In most overseas locations armed forces families will be able to access support from local military welfare providers or the Chaplain.

Local Civilian Support Providers. Depending on location, it may be possible to access civilian support services within the host country. Enquiries should be made to local support providers.

Medical Staff.   Anyone can speak in confidence to any health professional including their GP, midwife or health visitor. They are trained to provide support to victims of domestic abuse and can also signpost to other services for ongoing practical support.

Local Service Police. Local service police are trained to manage cases of domestic abuse and will actively signpost to local support services.

UK Based Contacts. There are a number of UK Based charities that support people affected by domestic abuse, including victims, perpetrators and children within the household. Information and guidance from these groups can be accessed from overseas, with the main websites detailed below. SSAFA also have a number of area teams, who can be contacted from overseas, and can also be linked into on return to the UK during visits to relatives or holidays for example. The contact details of the area teams are also outlined below:

  • Female Victims.   Women’s Aid
  • Male Victims:
  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Relationships.   Broken Rainbow
  • Children and Young People:
  • SSAFA Area Teams:
    • Scotland: +44(0)1334 857444
    • North: +44(0)1677 457083
    • East: +44(0)1760 337261 (Extension – 6578)
    • Central & London: +44(0)1480 52451 (Extension – 8731)
    • South: +44(0)1993 846801
    • Wales & West: +44(0)1902 377332
    • For further information see SSAFA.

Royal Navy Royal Marines Welfare.   Royal Navy Royal Marines Welfare (RNRMW) offer confidential advice and welfare support for all Royal Naval and Royal Marine personnel and their families. They work to a single point of contact called the RNRMW Portal, which allows easy access to all welfare services for families, service personnel and unit staff and can be accessed from overseas. More information on the service provided by RNRMW can be found here.

Army Welfare Service (AWS).   AWS provides specialist welfare support to serving soldiers and their families. Staff can be contacted from 8:30am – 4:30pm UK local time during the working day. Tel:  94 777 3053 or +44 (0)1904 882053. E-Mail: AWS-HQ-IAT@mod.uk

Personal Support & Social Work Service (RAF).   RAF personnel and their families stationed overseas are able to contact the SSAFA out of hours telephone service in the UK on +44 (0)207 463 9358 for advice and support.

Joint Response Team.   The Joint Response Team offers a 24 Hour service through a central referral team – (0049) 05241 84 3039/3040. They are trained predominately in child protection and come from either social services or the military police. They can also be contacted to provide advice and further signposting for issues involving domestic abuse.

HIVE Information Centres – Overseas and Europe.   The HIVE is an information network available to all members of the Service community. HIVE Information Centres provide up to date, relevant information and can be contacted in person or by either telephone or e-mail.  Go to HIVE Overseas and Europe.

Forcesline. Forcesline is a free, confidential telephone helpline and e-mail service run by SSAFA. It is independent of the military chain of command. Experienced staff provide a supportive listening and signposting service for current and former members of the armed forces and their families. A number of telephone numbers, specific to location, are detailed below. From any other international location call +44(0)207 463 929. Additional information can be found at Forcesline, including the opening times.

British Forces Cyprus (BFC)

SSAFA are contracted to provide the services and strategies required to deal with domestic abuse within BFC and include support for victims, perpetrator programmes as well as safe houses. The key difference between BFC and the UK is the fact that SSAFA Social Work provide the statutory services normally provided by the local authority. SSAFA initiate and manage intervention programmes, training events and general awareness raising activities. More information is available from SSAFA Personal and Family Support Worker or on the websites detailed below. SSAFA Cyprus website – SSAFA Cyprus

Forcesline.   Forcesline is a free, confidential telephone helpline and e-mail service run by SSAFA. It is independent of the military chain of command. Experienced staff provide a supportive listening and signposting service for current and former members of the armed forces and their families. From Cyprus call 800 91065

Service Police.   The service police contact .   Forcesline is a free, confidential telephone helpline and e-mail service run by SSAFA. It is independent of the military details are given below:

  • Police Station Episkopi – (00357) 2596 3300 / 3873
  • Police Station Dhekelia – (00357) 2474 4721 / 4767
  • Police Station Nicosia (UN) – (00357) 2261 ext 4666 / 4669

British Forces Germany (BFG)

Core Assets is the contracted provider for British Forces Social Work Service (BFSWS) in BFG. BFSWS is the lead agency for safeguarding children in BFG and have the statutory duty to provide services for children and families in need. This is in addition to their responsibility for investigating child protection referrals. BFSWS also provides services for adults with ill health and disabilities and provides services for vulnerable adults as part of a multi agency response. More information on the welfare support available to those affected by domestic abuse in BFG is detailed below:

British Forces Social Work Service (BFSWS).   BFSWS run a Domestic Abuse Perpetrator Programme to support perpetrators who acknowledge their abusive behaviour and wish to take action to rectify it. This Programme is run parallel to a Victim’s Programme where support for the victim is provided by a Victim Safety Worker. This programme can be accessed via self-referral to BFSWS or, in the cases of prosecution by the Court Martial Service, via Court Mandate. BFSWS run a 24 hour Central Referral Team who can be contacted on the following numbers – Mil: 73 3039/3040, Civ: 05241 843039/3040.

Army Welfare Service (AWS).   AWS Personal Support teams are staffed by trained military Army Welfare Workers. AWS aim to help married or single personnel, and their families, with any personal or family difficulty by providing a confidential, professional and specialised welfare service. Army Welfare Workers are trained to support, advise and encourage personnel to manage their problems more effectively. They deal with a variety of issues ranging from relationship problems, including domestic abuse, substance abuse and mental health concerns to problems arising from deployment and disability. AWS can be contacted on the following numbers –   Mil: 79 4340 Civ: 05254 982 4340

Home-Start BFG.   Home-Start’s simple approach is to offer the support and friendship of a trained volunteer to a parent who is facing difficulties and usually has one child under the age of five; the service is free and confidential. The practical and emotional support provided by the volunteer in the family’s own home enables parents to cope with the pressures they are facing and reduces the potential for family crisis and breakdown. Home-Start helps a wide variety of families who are looking for support for many reasons including isolation, loneliness, postnatal illness, relationship problems, disability and coping with multiple birth or several children. Families are visited by a Home-Start volunteer during the period they feel they need help. Families choose whether or not to accept Home-Start support and a volunteer will only visit on the invitation of the family. Home-Start can be contacted on the following numbers – Mil: 79 3866, Civ: 05251 101 866, Email: homestartbfg@gmail.co

Relate BFG.   Relate BFG offers free and confidential relationship counselling to those attached to the British military in Western Europe. Relate BFG have counselling rooms in many locations in Germany, Holland and Belgium. Relate will work with couples where an allegation of domestic abuse is disclosed and will manage the situation sensitively. Relationship counselling is available for individuals and couples, including same sex couples. Counselling is available either face to face, by Email or by Skype. Relate BFG can be contacted on the following numbers – Mil: 81 2709, Civ: 05219 2542709, Email: office.relatebfg@googlemail.com

Victim Support.   Victim Support’s trained volunteers work with anyone in BFG who has been affected by crime; from victims of burglary and theft to victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence. Victim Support volunteers offer free and confidential information, emotional support and practical help. They can listen to victims talk about the effect that a crime has had on them or assist them with insurance or compensation claim forms. Furthermore, the service can be accessed whether or not the crime has been reported to the police and regardless of when and where it happened. Trained volunteers are also available to support anyone who is called as a Witness to Court Proceedings. Victim Support can be accessed via the Central Referral Team – Mil: 73 3039/3040, Civ: 05241 843039/3040, Email: Crt.bfsws@coreassets.com

German Support.   In addition to the ‘usual’ German services (police, health professionals, refuge accommodation) German nationals are able to access Weisse Ring (White Ring) which is the German equivalent of Victim Support and provides support to victims of crime; they also support the victims’ families. This service is run by volunteers and is there to support and advise victims, both legally and psychologically, on how best to deal with their situation. When a German national, for example a wife or girlfriend of a serving member of the armed forces, is a victim of domestic abuse they will be signposted to both Weisse Ring and Victim Support.

Forcesline. Forcesline is a free, confidential telephone helpline and e-mail service run by SSAFA. It is independent of the military chain of command. Experienced staff provide a supportive listening and signposting service for current and former members of the armed forces and their families. From Germany call 0800 1827 395.

Royal Military Police (RMP).   RMP are the policing agency for serving personnel, their family members and the civilian component within BFG. Anyone who is a victim or witness to a crime within the BFG community should inform the RMP. They run a 24 hour emergency contact number – 05254 9822222. The RMP can also be accessed at local Service Police Stations across BFG.

German Emergency Services. The Germany emergency services numbers are detailed below (24 hours):

  • Police – 110
  • Ambulance – 112
  • Fire Brigade – 112

British Forces South Atlantic Islands (Ascension Island)

At Ascension Island the main support for domestic abuse comes from the Ascension Island Government (AIG) social worker based at Two Boats Village with further signposting to the Mount Pleasant Complex. The social worker may signpost to wider SSAFA resources with referral to Stanley as the final option. Standby support is available, as required, and the welfare support team are also available for unaccompanied personnel should there be problems at home. Whilst the AIG social worker does not run open clinics, she is available on an ‘as required’ basis, as is the Padre; both will offer focussed support.

British Forces South Atlantic Islands (Falkland Islands)

SSAFA provide social work support to the armed forces community in the Falkland Islands, and work with the Falkland Islands Government Social Services Department. Their contact details are given below:

Falkland Islands Social Services.   Falkland Islands Social Services Team Manager – 27296

Falkland Islands Police.   Falkland Islands Police – 28100

Falkland Islands Community Psychiatric Nurse.   Falkland Islands Community Psychiatric Nurse – 28082

Falkland Islands Health Visitor.   Falkland Islands Health Visitor – 28080

Mount Pleasant Complex.   Additional contacts for Mount Pleasant Complex are given below (7 before extension if non-military):

  • Padre – 3209 (Duty mobile 53920)
  • Officer Commanding Personnel Management Squadron – 6426.
  • Officer Commanding Personnel Services Flight – 6641.
  • Falkland Island Support Unit – 6609.
  • Chief Clerk – 6790.
  • School (Headteacher and Deputy) – 3328.
  • Families Officer – 3318.
  • Senior Medical Officer – 6334.

Forcesline.   Forcesline is a free, confidential telephone helpline and e-mail service run by SSAFA. It is independent of the military chain of command. Experienced staff provide a supportive listening and signposting service for current and former members of the armed forces and their families. From the Falkland Islands call # 6111.

Service Police. Service police can be contacted at Mount Pleasant Police Station on (00500) 7 6484.

British Forces Gibraltar (BF Gibraltar)

Headquarters British Forces Gibraltar run an active Domestic Abuse Forum that encourages joint working and information sharing. The forum includes all key practitioners and actively raises awareness of domestic abuse within the armed forces community. Key contacts are detailed below:

Joint Social Work Service (JSWS).   The JSWS Team is comprised of a SSAFA Senior Social Work Practitioner and a Senior Social Work Practitioner from Royal Navy Royal Marines Welfare. Their office number is 00350 2005 5481.

Women in Need Gibraltar.   Women in Need Gibraltar can be contacted on 00350 2005 8018.

Service Police.   The service police can be contacted at the Joint Police Station on 00350 2005 5760. In an emergency call the Gibraltar Defence Police on 00350 2005 5026.