Help and advice is available for sacked sailors

Kim Richardson
Kim Richardson
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HELP is at hand for sailors facing life on ‘civvy street’, the Naval Families Federation (NFF) said yesterday.

The independent organisation, which is based in Portsmouth, is set to be busier than ever with 5,000 sailors set to leave the Royal Navy in the next four years.

NFF chair Kim Richardson said: ‘It’s been a long period of time waiting to hear what redundancies were actually going to be delivered. For some families there’s going to be a sense of relief that they now know where they are.

‘For families hearing they have got to face redundancy when they did not want it, it’s going to be a very busy year taking up everything the navy has got to offer until they leave the service.

‘I’m very keen to hear from families if they are not getting the answers they need to questions they are asking of the navy, or any questions they may have which we can help with.’

Mrs Richardson said she also wants to hear from parents of young sailors who are being made redundant.

She said: ‘A lot of people selected for redundancy this time round are youngsters rather than older sailors with families. For that reason, we are keen to hear from mums and dads who are concerned about their children heading home so soon after them joining the navy was the big success story.’

Mike Hancock, MP for Portsmouth South, called the job losses a ‘disaster’.

He said: ‘‘For each individual it’s a personal tragedy but for the nation, it is a disaster. But I don’t think there is any going back now.

‘I think we’ll come to regret it because it is so expensive to train these people.’