Help at hand during deployment 

Members of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines deploy more frequently than personnel in other services. These deployments can be a difficult time not only for serving personnel, but for the families they leave behind. 

That's why the Royal Navy has made a special commitment to helping service personnel's parents, spouses, partners and children maintain their physical and emotional wellbeing during times of separation. 


Family and People Support

Deployment cycle

The Emotional Cycle of Deployment

The Emotional Cycle of Deployment was developed by US author Kathleen Vestal Logan in the 1980s. It continues to be a valued resource for navigating the unique pressures that face military families during deployment. 

The cycle is split in to five stages, each with its own practical and emotional challenges. By understanding the emotions that personnel and their families experience, we’re better able to help them through the hard times.

Find out more


Supporting children through deployment

Storybook waves

Storybook waves

With Storybook Waves from Aggie Weston’s, deployed Royal Navy and Royal Marines personnel can maintain the link with their children by recording a bedtime story for the child to listen to in their absence.

Once the story has been recorded, Aggie Weston’s volunteers add a soundtrack and create a personalised CD for each child so that he or she can listen to the parent’s voice whenever they want.

Recording a story is easy, and there are recording centres in convenient locations throughout the UK. There are also transportable kits so that stories can be recorded even while on deployment.


Children's workbook

Children's workbook

The Royal Navy has produced a special workbook to help the children of Service people make sense of the circumstances around deployment.

The workbook contains fun exercises and messages of support, but also encourages children to consider how they feel about the absence of their parent.

The workbook, titled ‘When a Special Person Goes Away’, is available to download for free at the link below.


Huggable heroes

Huggable heroes

Huggable Heroes are lovingly handmade in Norfolk by Jo Lomax, a mother of two and wife to a Royal Marines Commando. 

Send in a photo of the child's loved one, and Jo will print it onto special fabric before turning it into a perfectly sized huggable toy. 

Huggable Heroes are designed to reduce the separation anxiety that children can experience when a Service parent is away on deployment. The dolls fit perfectly under little arms and are small enough for older children to tuck into school bags. 

Little Troopers

Little troopers

Little Troopers is a charity supporting all children with one or both parents serving in the regular or reserve British Armed Forces.
The charity creates lots of resources and initiatives to support the unique challenges often faced while living military life; deployment resources, a story recording app, separation journals, Crafty Little Troopers activity sheets, Birthday Card scheme and much more can be accessed free from the website.
Little Troopers at School is a project from the charity helping schools and empowering parents with regards to military children in education settings, lots of free resources available such as information sheets and resources for children with additional needs.

Naval Families Federation

Naval Families Federation (NFF)

Royal Navy and Royal Marines families know that separation is an unavoidable part of our lifestyle. Whether it is saying hello and goodbye for a deployment or as part of a regular pattern of ‘weekending’, it is an ever present element of family life.

In order to inform policy development and decision makers about the effect of non-operational separations (weekending) on family functioning and well-being among Royal Navy and Royal Marines families, the NFF commissioned ground-breaking academic research to understand more.  The report is already informing policy and can be found:

In support of the report the NFF has developed a resource specifically for parents and care-givers, the purpose of which draws together some useful information about parental absence and separation, and provides some strategies to help families thrive: - 


Reading Force

Reading Force

Whether your family is at home together or apart because of deployment, training, or distance, doing Reading Force gets everyone involved and keeps you close. 

Have fun sharing a book with your family and friends. Read it, talk about it, and fill this scrapbook with your thoughts about the book. 

RNRM Children's Fund

RNRM Children's Fund

Royal Navy & Royal Marines Children’s Fund is here to support children from our Naval family when they are in need, hardship or distress.  

Zoe and the Time Rabbit is a book produced by the Fund.  The story follows Zoe and her emotions when her father has to go away and the help she gets from a magical time rabbit. The book is intended to help any family where a parental figure might be away for an extended period and is particularly aimed at those families with small children. 

Visit the link below to visit the website where you can download a copy of the book along with an animated version for children to watch. 

What to do in an emergency

Family members

If circumstances should arise, such as a death in the family or a serious illness, that make it necessary for your serving person to return from overseas you should contact:

The Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre (JCCC) on 01452 519 951 if the Service person is based overseas. This service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Contact an Officer of the Watch

Please call the Naval Service Family and People Support (NS FPS) Portal on 02392 728 777 if the Service person is based in the UK. Lines are open 8:00am-4:00pm Monday to Thursday and 8:00am-3:30pm Friday. Outside of these hours, the NS FPS Duty Worker can be contacted via the Officer of the Watch, contact details are below.