Counselling with Relate for naval and marine personnel

The town's naval and marine families can now access a free range of counselling services from Relate, the UK's leading relationship charity.

Tuesday, 12th April 2016, 7:00 am
Relate to provide free counselling for members of the armed forces SUS-160704-143939001
Relate to provide free counselling for members of the armed forces SUS-160704-143939001

The scheme has been made possible with a new partnership between Relate and the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity. The service will be available across Sussex, including the Relate office in Eastbourne’s Hyde Gardens.

As well as the pressures and stresses that can be experienced by non-service couples and families, separation, deployment and time apart can take their toll on family life for marine and naval families and couples.

A recent study by Kings College London, found that military spouses who coped well with separation and deployment might be at increased risk of relationship difficulties when their partner returns home.

As the UK’s leading relationships charity, Relate provides impartial and non-judgmental support for people of all ages, at all stages of couple, family and social relationships. As well as relationship counselling, Relate offers children and young people’s counselling, family counselling, and sex therapy.

Both serving and former Royal Navy and Royal Marines personnel and their families will have free access to an initial seven sessions of Relate relationship counselling provided.

This can either be face-to-face at any of Relate’s centres, by telephone or by webcam. It will also be available to those deployed overseas. Anyone who would prefer to talk to a trained counsellor about a specific issue via instant messaging can access Relate’s Live Chat facility.

Sue Quinn from Relate said, “We are very pleased to be working with The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity.

“Any relationship, no matter how strong, is likely to face difficulties from time to time.

“Armed forces families face additional pressures that at times can place added stress on relationships.

“We know that sailors and marines face great danger on our behalf, and that they and their families and friends also make great sacrifices - during deployments, losing time with each other, missing births, birthdays, and Christmases.

“Partners and families also face the stress of worrying about their loved ones’ safety.

“In addition, sailors and marines can experience trauma, injury and illness both physical and psychological, all of which can have a huge impact on relationships.”

Relate can help to talk through any tensions and find ways to stay connected as a couple or family during periods of separation. Relate’s counsellors also support couples and families to cope with life changing events such as retirement, injury, illness and bereavement.

The service is open to all couples and families whether married, living together, in a same-sex relationship, separated, divorced or single.

Sue added, “We hope that Royal Navy and Royal Marines personnel and their families will make use of this service and seek support at the earliest possible stage.”

Mandy Lindley, director of funding and relationships at RNRMC, added, “It’s easy to forget that while our Navy protects us as sea, family members are often left behind – sometimes for months at a time. Inevitably this can cause strain in relationships.

“I am delighted that through our grants programme we have been able to support this essential service from Relate to better help families overcome the challenges associated with service life.”

Any serving or former personnel or their families wishing to book a counselling or sex therapy session should ring the dedicated RNRMC phone line on 01302 380279 or visit for more information.

Everything said to the counsellor will remain completely confidential.

No one in the Royal Navy and Royal Marines will be told that a former or serving member of personnel, partner or family member has accessed these services unless there are safeguarding issues. They will need to provide their own or their partner’s service number to receive the service, but this is simply to confirm eligibility.

Relate also works with the RAF Benevolent Fund and the Army Welfare Service providing relationship counselling.

The Eastbourne Relate office is based at 11-12 Hyde Gardens. Wheelchair access can be arranged.

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