Armed Forces Relationship Counselling – pilot project launched

Mothers’ Union in the Diocese of Winchester is pleased to be piloting a new project to support the families of armed forces personnel.

We are now able to offer funding for relationship counselling to a small number of couples where at least one of the couple are currently serving in the Armed Forces.

Using a group of qualified therapists we can offer up to 6 sessions free of charge to those who are unable to pay for themselves. If the couple could contribute something towards the cost, this would enable us to help more couples.

At present, we are only able to make the offer to couples with some connection with the Winchester Diocesan area (covering parts of Dorset, Wiltshire and Hampshire). The “connection” can be that of birth, residence, posting or family residing within the Diocese.

If you wish to apply for this service, we ask that you contact the Armed Forces’ Christian Union (email office@afcu.org.uk, tel 01252 311221). Your application will be treated in the strictest confidence, although please note that AFCU will have to carry out a simple, basic check (NOT with your unit) that you and/or your spouse is serving. Applications can be taken from the spouses of serving folk even if they wish to attend sessions alone.

The project came about through the awareness of members in this Diocese of the number of military bases in our region, and contact with some forces families through other Mothers’ Union projects. One member, supported by the Mothers’ Union Trustees of this diocese, has worked closely with the Armed Forces Christian Union and senior chaplaincy staff, supported throughout the by Lord and Lady Dannett.

General Lord Dannatt and Lady Dannatt have expressed their “absolute delight at the launch of this pilot scheme” to provide funding for relationship counselling to armed forces personnel, and “wish it every success”.

Lady Dannatt’s own experiences as a counsellor and wife of the past head of the Armed Forces, have encouraged her to draw attention to the difficulties facing the families of our country’s Armed Forces and the lack of support currently available. She is convinced that making available professional relationship counselling is one of the ways in which we can help, and is particularly pleased that Mothers’ Union in the Diocese of Winchester has linked up with the Armed Forces Christian Union to try and make this possible.

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