News article

British Armed forces host family meetings in the Eastern Caribbean

This world location news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Francoise Reid is the Tri-Service Community Casework and Support Officer for the Eastern Caribbean and is based in the British High Commission in Barbados.

Francoise is attached to the Royal Navy Royal Marines Welfare (RNRMW) in Portsmouth and provides welfare service to all the serving persons enlisted to the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force.

In January 2015, Francoise, accompanied by Corporal Hanson Simon of the Royal Marine Commandos from the Naval Service Recovery Centre (formerly Hasler Company) hosted family meetings in Grenada, St Lucia and St Vincent. The main aims of these meetings were to ensure the family members were aware of vital information important for their loved ones whilst they are serving in the Armed Forces. The topics covered included: compassionate criteria, visa requirements, communication, Visiting Officer/Casualty Notification Officer roles, provision of important contact details, the importance of having updated contact details on Joint Personnel Administration for emergency contact and Next of Kin, deployments and homecoming.

Corporal Hanson Simon of the Royal Marine Commandos from the Naval Service Recovery Centre (formerly Hasler Company)
Corporal Hanson Simon of the Royal Marine Commandos from the Naval Service Recovery Centre (formerly Hasler Company)

Cpl Simon said: “The visit to each island went well. The idea of giving a presentation in the Caribbean to the families of serving member of the British Armed Forces was an excellent idea and allowed me to make a contribution to the Caribbean Community. Under Francoise’s direction, I was part of an experience which I otherwise would not have had.

Attendance at the meetings was exceptional and; family members were keen to gather as much information as possible on the various topics. On completion of each presentation, there was a lively Q&A session. This highlighted the fact that these presentations are needed to give detailed information to families outside the British Forces information circle.

It is hoped there will be follow up meetings in the future, details of which will be made available as soon as they are known.

Should you require any additional information please contact Francoise at Francoise.Reid@fco.gov.uk , or alternatively call on 001 246 430-7827. She would be more than happy to assist.