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Army HIVES

The HIVE is an information network available to all members of the Service community. It serves both married and single personnel, together with their families, dependants and civilians employed by the Services.
HIVE information centres support the chain of command and service communities through the provision of up-to-date and relevant information.

The HIVE is an information network available to all members of the Service community. It serves both married and single personnel, together with their families, dependants and civilians employed by the Services.

Worldwide, the HIVE information centres offer an extensive range of information on relocation, local unit and civilian facilities, places of interest, schools and further education, housing, healthcare facilities, employment and training opportunities.

We network worldwide, sourcing national and local information as needed. Information on relocations is one of our key areas of information support and is available either in advance or on arrival at the receiving unit. Information on the ways to communicate with those serving away on operational deployments is also available through our HIVE information centres.

HIVE information support officers are not trained in welfare counselling. We are however able to advise referral to those professional agencies best suited to the individual’s circumstances. All HIVE staff are bound to a code of confidentiality.

We are proud that our service is recognised and valued across the armed forces for its professional approach, initiative and commitment to you, the Service community.

Find HIVE centres by region in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

To find out about relocation, local unit and civilian facilities, places of interest, schools and further education, housing, healthcare facilities, employment and training opportunities in your location use the links below to find your nearest HIVE

Find HIVE centres on mainland Europe and Brunei

To find out about facilities, places of interest, schools and further education, housing, healthcare facilities, employment and training opportunities in your location use the links below to find your nearest HIVE

HIVE support during deployment

HIVE provides support to deployed personnel and their families through the provision of information about available support, services and communication. Ask your nearest HIVE for the HIVE operational deployment leaflets which give full details of all the support it can give you during deployments. There are also deployment guides available for families of deployed personnel.

Keeping in touch during deployments

What can your HIVE do for you?

  • Assist in setting up an ArmyNET or E-bluey account
  • Find your nearest fax-bluey machine
  • Keep you up to date with local activities and events

Listed below are the various ways of keeping in touch during deployments and your HIVE will provide further information if you need it.

British Forces Post Office (BFPO) - Mail

By post - The Enduring Free Mail Service can be used by family and friends in the UK and at BFPO addresses worldwide to send packets free to named Service personnel and MOD deployed civilians in authorised operational theatres. Customers who are posting letters, cards and packets up to 2kg in weight using the Enduring Free Mail Service to Op HERRICK and HM Ships in support must ensure that these items are physically handed over to a counter clerk at a UK Crown/Sub Post Office or overseas BFPO. Certain items are prohibited and these are listed in the BFPO guide.

Parcels must be addressed using the following format:
Service No Rank Name
Unit/Regt
Operation Name
BFPO No

The town and country must not be included in the address.

Most operational BFPOs are included in the enduring free parcel scheme. A full list of BFPO numbers and further information on this service is available in the BFPO guide or by contacting the BFPO enquiries team on telephone: 08457 69 79 78.

British Forces Post Office (BFPO) - Blueys, E-blueys and Fax-blueys

Blueys

A hand-written letter which can be sent free to deployed personnel. Blueys can be obtained free from your HIVE or Welfare Office and also from your local Post Office.

E-blueys

A two-way method of communication that can be used by anyone with access to the internet. Deployed personnel, family and friends can compose an e-bluey and once they hit ‘send’, their letter is sent via an automated system to the recipient. The letter is received by the specialist Forces Post Office system, printed, enveloped and sealed before onward transmission. E-blueys are private, and they combine the speed of electronic communication with the personal touch of a letter. Your HIVE can assist you in setting up an e-bluey account.

Fax-Blueys

Free service provided by BFPO available through some HIVEs to send a scanned handwritten letter or picture over the internet. Where a Fax-bluey machine is available, handwritten letters (written on special Fax-bluey paper available from the HIVE or the Unit Welfare Office) can be sent to deployed personnel with the same speed and privacy as an e-Bluey. The Fax-Bluey machine scans and sends the letter via an electronic system that prints, folds and seals it in theatre before delivery to the recipient.

British Forces Broadcasting Service

BFBS campaign ‘Boost for the Boys’ - introduced by BFBS using ‘Audioboo’ enables forces families to record and upload messages for family and friends wherever they are in the forces world. The service is free and simple to use. The messages are played on BFBS Radio and uploaded on to the ‘Boost for the Boys’ page on Audioboo. There is also a facility for iPhone users to leave an audio message using the BFBS app.

Radio dedications - BFBS airs ‘Access All Areas’ every Sunday on BFBS 1, which consists of dedications made by the family members and friends of deployed service personnel. Alternatively, requests and dedications can be aired any day on any BFBS show.

BFBS message board - Personnel, family and friends can leave a message on the BFBS Message Board on the website. Messages can be viewed online and are also read out by radio presenters during broadcasts.

TV Blueys - Personnel, family and friends can record their own video dedications on a digital DVD camcorder, and send it off to BFBS. The video is then played in between programmes on BFBS TV overseas. See the BFBS TV weblink in ‘related links’ for contact details.

Film messages - Units can arrange with BFBS to have a camera crew film messages to families living overseas from serving personnel in theatre. Full details are available on the weblink provided in ‘related links’.

BFBS requests and dedications contact details

Messages to be aired  on BFBS can be requested by any of the following means:

Email: bfbsme@bfbs.com
Telephone: 01494 372 786
Text: 07740 377 377 starting your message with ME or AAA (for Access All Areas) then a space
Via the website
Write to: BFBS Radio, BFPO 786

Paradigm - WelComE (Welfare Communications Everywhere)

Free voicemail - (when calling from a UK, German or Cypriot landline). With a Paradigm account, family and friends based in the UK, Germany and Cyprus can leave voicemail messages for entitled UK military personnel serving on operational duty overseas. Entitled deployed personnel can retrieve the voicemail messages for free in-theatre.

Top-up Service - Friends and family can top-up the Paradigm account card from the comfort of their home. Entitled deployed personnel can top-up the private side of their Paradigm account card whilst serving on operational duty overseas.