International Women’s Day 2022

International Women’s Day

Today we celebrate International Women’s Day, a day celebrated globally to highlight the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality. Here at RFS; we seek to move the spotlight onto the inspirational women that we have encountered in our time as an organisation and champion their achievements through our “Inspirational Women’s Spotlight” as we seek to #BreakTheBias within our community.


Mel Bradley MBE originally qualified and worked as an engineer, but since 2007 has been devoting her time to educational projects in Afghanistan, from building schools, to university scholarships, to training and employing refugees. In addition, she manages a team of caseworkers for SSAFA, the Armed Forces Charity, and was responsible for the project management of the First World War commemoration ‘Shrouds of the Somme’ across the UK. 

Alongside her esteemed career, Mel is a volunteer counsellor for SHOUT,  and is the non-executive director for Recruit for Spouses. This work takes place alongside personal and family commitments and being a military spouse herself, this is a great achievement. Her devotion to individuals in times of crisis can be considered inspirational and invaluable and thus being recognised by the Queen in 2012 with the commendation of an MBE for her services to Afghanistan. Mel truly is an inspirational lady, and her kindness and dedication deserves all the support and credit she can receive as she continues her service to deliver impactful change.

If you are interested in learning more about volunteering opportunities at SHOUT, please email us at, and we can help you get started


Humaira Rahbin, esteemed writer, researcher and humanitarian comes from Afghanistan and in 1994 sought refuge from the persecution arising in her home country amidst civil war. Once the Taliban regime had been toppled in 2001, she returned to Afghanistan; flourishing under the educational and social opportunities that followed their political demise. Alongside her studies, Rahbin became a dedicated activist, working simultaneously for various youth and women empowerment programs and organisations in Afghanistan, resulting in employment roles working for the US Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Dutch diplomatic mission in Afghanistan. Humaira has completed an undergraduate and postgraduate degree, both from Kabul University, and a MPhil degree in Public Policy at Cambridge University. 

Following completion of her studies at Cambridge, she returned to Afghanistan, working on a project focused on Afghan women’s access to justice. However, this was halted in February 2020 following the US withdrawal from Afghanistan; and the return of the Taliban to the nation. Seeking refugee now in the UK, Humaira continues her mission to advocate for the rights of women and marginalised groups in Afghanistan through her work and activism. We hold a personal connection with Humaira as she writes blogs for our cause; completed alongside her research work; and, despite past experiences and present fears in relation to the terror caused by the Taliban in her home nation, her resilience and determination to secure a better future for women, and for her family, is an inspiration for us all.


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Jo Salter MBE became Britain’s first female fighter jet pilot in 1994, flying the Panavia Tornado ground attack aircraft with 617 squadron of the RAF. This followed the 1992 announcement by the British Government that women would be able to fly jet aircraft in the future. On the year of this announcement, Jo earned her wings and by the close of 1992 had finished her fast jet training at RAF Brawdy with Dawn Hadlow, who became Britain’s first female RAF flight instructor. Whilst being deployed on operational tours from Turkey to Saudi Arabia, Joe completed an MBA course with the Open University, leaving the RAF in 2000 to become the head of technical services at NetConnect.

In the present day, Jo uses her confidence, determination and passion to give motivational talks to individuals and organisations, leading as a Director at PwC in the week, and training University Air Squadron cadets and the Air Training Corps at the weekends. It is Jo’s resilience and excellence which can be seen in everything that she does, and the achievement of her Military career in the face of Male-dominated adversity which is a particular highlight, and one in which we can take great inspiration from on this celebrated day. 

To find out more about Jo, her talks, charity work and her Flying Career please visit her website 



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Heather Sharp, founder of the Forces Wives Challenge, served for 10 years in the Regular Army alongside raising her family with her Husband; also a serving member of the British Army. Once leaving the forces, her vision to harness the talent and unique experiences of Military Spouses, united through adventure and challenge, has come to life in the form of the Forces Wives Challenge. This month, the FWC Heroes of Telemark (HOT) team will become the world’s first all female team to retrace the steps of the WWII ‘Heroes of Telemark’ across Norway’s Hardangervidda Plateau, covering over 100km on foot, at 3500 ft above sea level, to the very same building where the men before them carried out their daring attack. 

This challenge is admirable, and the life stories of Heather and the HOT ladies are ones in which we can take great inspiration from, and show our support for their efforts to represent and champion military spouses in the modern day. To show your support for the FWC, visit their website at;, or follow their story on social media;

  • Instagram; @forces_wives_challenge 
  • Facebook; Forces Wives Challenge
  • Twitter; @ForcesWivesChal


Image taken from RFS Website/Our Team

Heledd Kendrick, CEO and founder of Recruit for Spouses may be a familiar face for us employees, but it is her ‘behind the scenes’ work that I wish to champion here. Heledd founded RFS in 2011, recognising a need to provide support and agile working opportunities for military spouses; raising the profile of an underemployed, and under-supported demographic through her work to increase the opportunities in our community to find meaningful, and fulfilling employment. 

Leading an ever growing team in her charitable aims, alongside her roles on the Veterans Affairs Cabinet Office; as a Trustee of the Little Troopers charity; and as an advisory board member of BFBS; her passion to aid and support the unique experiences of military spouses is inspirational and we cannot be more proud to follow her on this journey at Recruit for Spouses. Heledd has been commended by numerous awards, including the 2016 Special Award for Women in Defence and the 2013 Big Society Award, and more recently was included in the Timewise Top 50 influencers of 2020.