Jane Williams has devoted 12 years of her life to supporting military families as part of the Naval Families Federation.
The 54-year-old mum of two is the director of operations and families engagement at the Portsmouth-based organisation.
During her time with the charity, the ‘powerhouse’ has revoluntionised the support the federation provides, which has led to policy changes, improvements in naval accommodation, health, education and finance.
Her appointment as an MBE was announced after Jane completed her final day with the Whale Island-based charity yesterday.
Reacting to the announcement, Jane, of Stubbington, said: ‘I was in tears. I was just so overwhelmed and flabbergasted. I was absolutely blown away and felt incredibly humbled.’
During her dozen years at the federation Jane has played her part in establishing the charity as a vital component in the research and policy-making process.
She was a key contributor to the 2016 fundamental strategic review that led to the NFF launch as an independent charity.
Jane played a pivotal role in the development of the Forces Families jobs platform and its post-launch information roadshow throughout the UK.
And she was a key player in developing the NFF’s ‘Super Panel’, a group of naval spouses that provide advice and offer evidence for NFF research and has led a recent project to have a staff member qualify to offer immigration advice to serving foreign and Commonwealth personnel, a service that the navy now leans on very firmly.
More recently, she has been a key part of the NFF’s response to the Covid-19 emergency and has managed the ‘Brighten Your Day’ project which delivered gifts to more than 1,000 families suffering aggravated separation from their service spouse due to their absence on operation.
Further funding was secured for the winter version, ‘Winter Glow’, where 1,200 further gifts were delivered.
Anna Wright, chief executive of the NFF, said: ‘Jane is a powerhouse of energy who has devoted 12 years on the staff of the NFF, striving to improve the lot for families of serving Royal Navy personnel.
‘She is absolutely at her best when dealing with families directly. She has the ability to take the most intractable problems, roll up her sleeves and get to work for the family.’
Jane’s MBE comes just weeks before she begins her new adventure with her husband, Commander Mark Williams – who is deploying on a Nato assignment in Norway for two years.
‘My journey with the federation has been fabulous,’ she said. ‘We have the most amazing families. I get to speak to the most inspiring families. I have loved every minute of my time here.
‘Now I’m looking forward to my next adventure.’