Families Employment Service

The Families Employment Service offers one-to-one employment support to adult family members who support or care for members of the Armed Forces community with health conditions.

Specialist, adaptable support is delivered over the phone, email and video call through a partnership between The Poppy Factory and The Ripple Pond.

Professionals who would like to refer someone to the Families Employment Service can fill out a simple form using the button below.

Make a referral
Sarah Groves with Becks Thorn
Overcoming barriers, finding new opportunities

Caring for a partner or family member who is unwell or significantly limited in their activity affects the entire family. For partners of those who have served, this can be an extra challenge to the regular relocations that are part of military life.

Our Families Employment Specialists empower people to overcome obstacles and find work that suits their individual circumstances and personal aspirations. Objectives are agreed at the outset and may change over time. We will be there for as long as it takes.

Actions and achievements are reviewed regularly, and we will end our support once the family member has gained or retained employment, or feels they have made enough progress towards their goals.

Who do we support?

The Families Employment Service is available to any adult family member supporting or caring for a member of the Armed Forces community who has, or has recovered from, a health condition. This includes ‘chosen family’, separated partners and parents of veterans.

The service is suitable for anyone who is unemployed and looking to move into employment, or who has difficulties in their current role as a result of their circumstances and needs help to keep their job or move to a new one.

Who can make a referral?

Referrals on behalf of family members are currently accepted from clinicians working as part of Op COURAGE, or professionals working for The Ripple Pond or the Poppy Factory. Referrals do not need to include evidence of a family member’s eligibility for support.

Types of support

The Families Employment Specialists will work directly with the family member, with wraparound support provided by The Ripple Pond. After an initial assessment and information-gathering meeting, goals are agreed, and a tailored action plan might include:

  • Skills assessments and identifying transferrable skills
  • Confidence building and raising aspirations
  • Helping participants recognise their value in employment
  • Advice on volunteering or training
  • Introductions to other services offering benefits and financial advice, if required
  • Support to access healthcare and health advice
  • Introductions to other services and support networks, such as parents or carers networks
  • Job application skills and preparing for interviews
  • In-work support for those who are in employment
  • Advocacy with employers and support with flexible working requests
  • Encouragement and reassurance
  • Help seeking funding for relevant training
  • Partnership working to support in other areas, where appropriate and with consent


“Caring for a partner or loved one who is unwell affects the entire family. It’s clear that many adult family members now caring for veterans with health conditions would benefit greatly from focused employment support. Working closely with The Ripple Pond, we’ll help family members overcome barriers and unlock their potential.”

Debbie Boughtflower
Director of Operations,
The Poppy Factory

“Life seems to be getting ever more challenging. This initiative is designed to empower family members who are supporting physically, emotionally, or psychologically injured veterans, by offering them the opportunity and support to find employment – or to improve their current situation.”

Rodger Cartwright
Director, The Ripple Pond