Service Families

Coronavirus: Chief of Defence People Thanks Service Families For Their Support In Emotive Letter

Lieutenant General James Swift offers reassurance and guidance

Service Families

The Chief of Defence People (CDP) has written to service families to thank them for the sacrifices they are making as they support personnel throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Lieutenant General James Swift, who is responsible for defence people including 200,000 service personnel and 60,000 civil servants, sent the message to offer reassurance and guidance.

He said the defence community would continue to be asked to adapt behaviours and lifestyles to protect the most vulnerable people in our society and urged families to keep in touch and support each other through these challenging times.

Lt Gen Swift, in the letter, said: “I’d like to thank you for the sacrifices you and your family make in supporting our Service Personnel at home and overseas and emphasise that your role is invaluable and essential to Defence outputs; this has never been truer in these challenging, uncertain times.

“Those of you with children, like me, will be considering the potential impact to their education and the additional burden this places on the home environment. For families with additional needs I am keenly aware that the disruption to routine and specialist provision will add a layer of complexity.”

Major General James Swift 300120 CREDIT British Army.jpg
Lieutenant General James Swift

Lt Gen Swift stressed the importance of service families in the country’s efforts to beat the pandemic, adding:

‘Key workers, including many in the Armed Forces will continue to go to work to protect the nation. 

“They will not be able to do this without your support, which makes it all the more important that you are adequately supported by us and that the impact on your home life and your own careers is recognised.”

He added that he, and his team in Defence People, are prioritising working through the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for service families, and working with the single Services and Families Federations to help allay any concerns families in the defence community may have.

The letter includes information guides offering advice for families in response to coronavirus.

Topics include Managing your Financial Resilience, Continuity of Education Allowance (CEA), Allowance and Expense arrangements, and School Children’s Visits (SCVs) interim arrangements.

The information also signposts families to contact details for key charities and support organisations.

Download the letter and advice in full here.