The portal has been designed and built not only to deliver the much needed support, but also to provide a platform for those that have gone through the transition process before to support those that are following on.
“Mutual Support” is a tenet of the Armed Forces and it is intended that this site is going to provide it for the community and support those who need it.
ExForcesNet has only three specific aims:
- To support those leaving the Armed Forces as they go through the transition and resettlement process thereby giving them a soft landing provided by those who have “gone before” through trusted and networked support and experience based advice.
- To provide a “through-life” support network for those looking for advice in the areas of career path, career change, jobs, opportunities, technology, housing, education, location and emigration irrespective of how long they served or have been in civilian life.
- To perpetuate the camaraderie and “banter” enjoyed by all who have served.
While these aims are simple, there are many ways in which they can be achieved. Please browse the site and look how you can support or be supported.
A Brief History:
ExForcesNet is formed out of a face to face networking Group called Jimmy in Business.
Jimmy in Business was set up in 1998 by Ian Foxley and Tim Jones. The purpose of the organisation was to bring together those serving and ex-serving members of the Royal Corps of Signals at informal, face to face networking events. The Group soon expanded beyond the bounds of the Corps, and included members from across the Services at the events.
In 1999 the organisation had a volunteer webmaster develop a site that had on it some links for support and advice, some good information, and mostly jobs and opportunities. It was a great site to bring people into the group, but the original purpose of networking face-to-face was being lost.
Over the next couple of years, membership grew to over 1500 from across all the Services and the networking events and dinners were always well attended.
In 2002, owing to personal circumstances, increased workload, the volunteers running the Group were not able to sustain the effort, and so the meetings stopped, and the Group went into a bit of a hiatus.
Over the following 9 or 10 years, there were frequent questions asked of the founders about reforming the organisation.
On 22 November 2012, the Jimmy in Business LinkedIn Group was set up and over the following months grew to a membership of over 1500. However, as the Group grew out on LinkedIn and Facebook, it became apparent that a wider functionality was required with more of a threaded forum.
Over the following 18 months, this portal was conceived of, and initial funding put together to pay for the design and build.
Working together with the Royal Corps of Signals and the board of the RSTL, an initial funding stream was approved to enable the build of the site with the founding functionality. The Corps is at the forefront of technology in the Armed Services and it is seen as fitting that they have been so forward thinking and innovative in supporting the initiative. They have a rightful claim to this being a “home-grown” facility as much of the founders’ experience in communications was based in the service in the Corps.
Nevertheless, this portal is open to all people who have served in the British, Allied, and Commonwealth services. Why? Because we are all “of the same mould”. We all have something to bring to the table, and can all take something from the portal, if only making new friends.
Now that the platform has been developed, it is the membership that will dictate where it goes. The more you engage, support, and comment, the more of an idea we will have as to what developments we can plan, design and implement.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you: Thank you for your service, and thank you for joining. The journey begins!
CEO and Founder of ExForcesNet
JiB has an aim of supporting ex- and serving members of the Armed Forces and as such has identified and selected three Charities to support through collections at events and donations from fund raising activities. Where ExForcesNet is able, there will also be the promoting of the work of these two charities to support them in raising funds and building awareness of their causes.
The Royal Signals Benevolent Fund.
Soldiers Off The Street is a registered charity 1137594 which was formed in September 2009 for the sole purpose of helping homeless ex service personnel. Since we started and looked more deeply into the problems a lot of the ex service personnel it has become apparent that it will take a lot more than just helping anyone that we find living on the street, so we have rearranged our aims to include the obtaining of a Rehabilitation Centre to help get them get back into civilian life.