SCSN Support NetworkService ChildrenIn this issue….Life as an SCSN Intern!The 2012 Photo Competition Results.Living with PTSD - A Family’s Experience.Sharing Best Practice tosupport Service Children Summer 2012
SCSN Thank you to all the children who entered our ‘Through the Eyes of a Service Child’ 2012 Photographic Competition. There were so many wonderful entries that it was very tough job for our judges! I hope you enjoy looking at the winning entries later in this edition. Congratulations all 12 winners and I look forward to meeting them at the official presentation in August at the RAF Museum London. Of course I must thank our three judges Jenny Green OBE, Christine Druce andI can hardly believe that it’s been 3 months Iain Duncan for giving up their time.since I last wrote for our SCSN newsletter, time On the research front, Dr Grace Clifton, theseems to fly by so quickly! So on with the SCSN Academic & Research Advisor, is workingnews… We recently extended a warm welcome hard on our first SCSN Research Conferenceto our first SCSN Intern, Katherine Grove. She which will take place on 10 September at thethrew herself into all aspects of our work and University of Oxford. Places are filling uphas even written a number of articles for this quickly so I urge you to book soon as we onlyedition of the newsletter. She has just have a few places left.graduated from her secondary PGCE course andwill leave us at the end of June to take up her We are delighted to announce that thefirst teaching role. We wish her every success in SCSN/Buckinghamshire County Council/Haltonthe future, it has been a delight to have her School Project has again won funding from thewith us. MOD £3M Service Children Fund. This will enable us to extend our Service ChildrenOur spring seminars and training events went Support Project in Buckinghamshire still further.very well and it was great to meet so many of Our two new ‘Service Children Supportyou at the Universities of Oxford, Warwick, and Coordinators’ are now fully trained and veryReading and at the Vulnerable Children busy with their new roles in schools and youConference in Buckinghamshire. We will host a can hear directly from them in this issue.number of other events this summer andautumn and I look forward to meeting many I would like to thank the Independent onmore of you then. I have also attended 2 Sunday for including me in this year’s HappyNational Conferences over the past few weeks 100 list and for giving me the chance to furtherand both provided much food for thought. The promote the work of SCSN. I would also like toRoyal British Legion Stakeholders’ Conference thank the University of Oxford for recognisingat the start of May encouraged us to reflect on the contribution of SCSN and the importance ofour current challenges and constraints and to Service Children’s life experiences. It was anlook to the future and continue to work in enormous privilege to receive a Vicepartnership with each other. Chancellor’s Civic Award at this year’s ‘Encaenia’ Ceremony and to be honouredThe SSAFA Additional Needs and Disabilities alongside some truly inspiring guests includingConference focused on Service families who Nobel Prize winner, Aung San Suu Kyi.have children with additional needs. Hearingfamilies speak about their experiences was both Finally we would love to hear how your Serviceeye-opening and inspirational and while Children £3M projects are progressing as wellchatting to Mums and Dads over coffee, it was as catching up with what’s going on in yourobvious that many families feel that area. Please send any newsletter articles andprofessionals are failing their children. I want to photographs to us using the usual address:follow up on this and I would really like to hear firstname.lastname@example.org from parents and professionals alike. The closing date for receipt is 20 August 2012.
in a shooting while on duty six years ago. That night, a young gang member tried to run William over with his car. Dori remembers that as the night everything changed. William would display extreme mood swings, from being almost catatonic and sitting on the couch unresponsive, to completely disappearing from the house. Dori remembers sometimes“Everything will be OK” she wouldn’t see him for days at a time; she didn’t even know where he was. - One family’s struggle with PTSD. William says sometimes he lived out of his car and slept in the station parking lot. Today, itDeborah Harrison, Professor of Sociology at the bothers him that his fellow officers knew thisUniversity of New Brunswick, Canada, who has and didn’t do anything. Even when he tried tobeen researching Canadian military families seek help at his station, he was denied.since 1990, sent us this article by Isabel Angell,NPR News, Washington DC . Deborah says “The “There were several instances where I tried toarticle is about William and his family and their turn in my badge and my gun and express to mystruggle with his PTSD. Although William is a department that I was incapable of returning toPolice Officer I think his story has real relevance work,” he says. “You know, it’s that machoto Service families living with a loved one with profession and you just put your boots back onPTSD”. and go to work.”SCSN would like to thank Isabel Angell for Dori says her mother would call the station overallowing us to reprint her article and remind and over, even reading them the symptoms forreaders that Deborah will be one of the guest PTSD over the phone from the Diagnostic andspeakers at the SCSN Academic Conference that Statistical Manual, the professional guide tois taking place at Oxford University in mental disorders. But nothing happened.September. “No one would help because they didn’t want that bad rep on their station,” she says. Meanwhile, things kept getting worse for“Everything Will Be Okay”: One Family’s William.Struggle With PTSD (post-traumatic stressdisorder) has been getting a lot of attentionrecently as soldiers return from the wars in “There was no light at the end of the tunnel,Afghanistan and Iraq. But PTSD can also affect there was nothing, it was just darkness,”civilians. William Edwards developed PTSD after William says. “And I didn’t see any way out. Andwitnessing a fatal shooting while on duty as a that’s when I started to feel like I was absolutelypolice officer in Camarillo, California. His life – useless to my daughter, to my wife, and I justand the lives of his family members – has never wanted to release them of that burden.”been the same since. One time, Dori remembers finding her father inWilliams Edwards joined the Camarillo Police a closet with a gun to his head. She also recallsDepartment when he was just 21. He needed a another time when she and her mother foundway to support his wife and baby daughter, him about to hang himself in their garage.Dori. He was a good cop, but looking back, he “That was always one of my biggest fears, thatsays he doesn’t think he was suited for the one day I would get the call or I would wake upprofession – perhaps he was too sensitive. and he would be gone forever… not just 50The daily hardships of the job had already been miles away doing who knows what, but that hecatching up with William when he was involved would just never come back,” Dori says.
Our Cover Girl!But Dori never gave up on her father. Sheremembered when she was little and afraid togo to sleep, her dad would tell her thateverything would be okay. She never forgot - the story behind that kiss…how comforting that was to her. Even when hewould lay on the bed, unable to move, shewould tell him that everything would be okay.William remembers this part, and says thatknowing his daughter still loved him helped himhold on and survive the tough times. ‘Blowing a Kiss’ by Connie Hickman-Tinnieswood. This issue of the SCSN Newsletter is graced by Dori and her father William. our very own Cover Girl! As you will see later,Today, William is doing much better. He retired Connie won first prize in the age 6-9 category infrom the force three years ago and now owns the SCSN Photographic Competition with hertwo businesses: a property inspection firm and photo entitled ‘Blowing a Kiss’.a photography studio. He and Dori’s motherhave since separated, but the family remains The story behind Connie’s photograph wasclose to this day. Dori is a freshman at UCLA. particularly moving. Her Mum, Natalie Hickman wrote: When Connie was two years old her Forthcoming Events brave Royal Marine daddy died of a brain tumour, which was a horrendous time for me16th July 2012 ‘Building Resilience in Service and Connie. We re-located back to PlymouthChildren’ Speakers - Ros Hearne, Educational the following summer so we could be closer toPsychologist, Warwickshire, and Katie Alvey, family and friends. Soon, we began to re-buildEducational Psychologist Oxfordshire. This is a free our lives, remembering and missing Simonevent but please reserve a place by email to: (Connies daddy, my husband) every day. Twocontact@servicechildrensupportnetwork.com years later I met someone (Alex) who would you believe it was in the army! The friendshipSeptember 2012 ‘Introductory Training Day’ Suffolk developed into a fantastic relationship; Alex is– more details to follow soon. now a wonderful father to Connie and nearly six years on, they are joined at the hip! Last yearSeptember 2012 ‘Service Children: Implications and Alex was in Afghanistan for seven months andMitigations’ Cornwall – more details to follow soon. Connie and I missed him very much. ConnieRemember that SCSN offer bespoke training days to would keep an eye on the news and be verymeet the needs of LA staff, schools, governors and fraught at any fatalities or casualties fearingother health and welfare professionals as required. that the worse would happen again. Im glad toFor more details please email: report Alex returned to us safe and email@example.com
Schools - Support our Forces on Friday 12th October RWB Day is a chance for your school to show support for families of our Armed Forces. By taking part you can raise money to suppor t children who have mums or dads serving in the Army, Royal Navy & Royal Marines or Royal Air Force. To get involved you just need to have fun with a red, white and blue theme - you can dress up in red, white and blue, run a themed event, do a sponsored activity or enter our poetry competition. We suggest that anyone taking part should at least donate a pound and dress up in one or all of the colours. It’s that simple! All the money raised will beused to support the work of:www.redwhiteblueday.co.uk
SCSN Profile Name: Emma Cheedy - Service Children Support CoordinatorSo what’s your background?I have been married for almost 13 years to Paul, who is serving in the RAF, and we havetwo children. Before getting married, I was a Civil Servant working with the RAF Police andSecurity Flight at RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus. Since having the boys, I have spent most of mytime volunteering with various Service charities and organisations, and gaineda Diploma in Child Day Care. Once the boys were both in school, I started working in theFoundation class of a school with a high percentage of Service children.What does your role entail?I support five schools in the RAF High Wycombe area that have Service children. My day isspent visiting one, maybe two, of the schools and the children with whom I am working,planning the activities I will be doing with each child or group on our next meeting,keeping my records and notes up-to-date, updating head teachers, contacting outsideagencies or new schools any of the children may be moving to which could be anywhere inthe world.What has been your experience so far?Some parts have been challenging! Some schools feel that parents wont like the Servicechildren being singled out or parents think, What does she know about how we live? But,once the parents realise that I am one of them everything seems to fit into place! Parentsare very pleased that the schools have this opportunity and all feel it will be of benefit notjust to the children but the Service family as a whole. I am really enjoying the work andfind it very rewarding.What are the key issues that you have encountered?I have been doing lots of work on Transitions where children have beenmoving to new schools . Lots of the children I have been working withseem to be moving overseas at the moment which presentsadditional challenges! I have also been supporting children whohave a parent deployed overseas and helping them to cope withthe effects on the family as a whole. I have also found that anumber of parents have been having problems when applying forplaces in schools for their children when they have been posted tonew areas so I have been helping them to sort things out.
in the RAF. “Instead, I am just about to start my first ‘proper’ job for 10 years, something I didn’t think I would be able to do being married to the RAF, in the form of my husband Paul, and the transient lifestyle that comes with his job.” Dylan was born in Cyprus, but the family leftAn RAF wife has become one of the first to find when he was eight weeks old, and before hiswork using an innovative new company set up first birthday had moved from RAF Akrotiri toto help military spouses. Emma Cheedy started RAF Aldergrove in Northern Ireland to RAF Brizework in April as a Service Children Support Norton. Rhys was born whilst the family was atCoordinator for the Service Children Support RAF Brize Norton and the Cheedys remainedNetwork after registering with Recruit for there for more than eight years, before movingSpouses, a website established by the wife of a first to RAF Daws Hill then, after 15 months, toserving Army officer. Heledd Kendrick set up RAF High Wycombe.the company in response to the struggles facedby many service spouses to find work.The company, which donates all profits toservice charities, allows forces spouses toregister on its website free of charge.Employers then pay a small fee to advertise jobsand access the database of spouses with skillsranging from shop floor to boardroom level. Itspatron is Lady Jean O’Donoghue, wife ofGeneral Sir Kevin O’Donaghue, who describedRecruit for Spouses as “a great opportunity (forspouses) to re-enter the workplace and provethat we really can make a valuable andworthwhile contribution to employerscountrywide.”She said: “Recruit for Spouses will give spousesthe confidence to show their real worth. Emma and her family.Spouses have a wide range of skills and talents. Limited to volunteering work or school jobs, likeMany are highly qualified but have had to puttheir talents on hold, or channel them into many military spouses, Emma became an activeunpaid occupations because of the vagaries of member of The Royal British Legion Branch inservice life and the raising of a family. Although Carterton, helping with fundraising for thethe latter affects civilians as well, I think that Poppy Appeal. She was also a SSAFA Forcesthere are additional responsibilities attached to Help In-Service Volunteer and was thebeing a spouse of a serviceman or Community Volunteer Coordinator at RAF Brizeservicewoman; there will be times when the Norton, Beaver Scout Leader for the 2nd Brizespouse is the sole carer; there will be big Norton Air Scout Group and was offered,upheavals in the childrens lives which only the through volunteering in school, a job as aspouse can deal with because of service lunchtime supervisor.commitments.“ She said: “I had come to realise that if I wantedEmma, who has two sons – Dylan, aged 10 and to work it needed to be in a school environmentRhys, 8, said she thought she faced permanent or from home.unemployment while her husband was serving
I needed to be around for the boys and thisbecame all too obvious when Paul was deployedto Afghanistan for six months in 2009. Withoutfamily close by and the school holidays to dealwith it would have been impossible for me tohave worked when daddy being away becametoo much for Dylan to cope with.“As most military wives will say ‘we just get onwith it’; we give up our own career paths toraise our families and follow our husband’scareers. It can be very lonely and dishearteningsometimes, especially when job hunting islimited as you don’t know how long you will bein one place. Marking the Jubilee!“Recruit for Spouses is a fantastic concept. in Buckinghamshire.Military spouses can look at the jobs advertisedby employers who understand that it is in some On Sunday, 27th May 2012, the County ofcases only short term work and it is work that is Buckinghamshire celebrated The Diamond‘local’ to where people are based or from Jubilee of Her Majesty The Queen in a Service ofhome. The employers will be giving so much Thanksgiving. The service, held at the Parishmore than just a job and in return there is a Church of St Mary The Virgin, Aylesbury, waspool of work skills, qualifications and experience arranged by the Chairman of Buckinghamshirein the form of military spouses looking for work. County Council, Mrs Marion Clayton.“So I’ve started my new job. I am nervous andexcited; Paul’s work is disappointed as I will no Alan Wilson, the Bishop of Buckinghamlonger spend all my time baking. As to what I delivered the address, while the High Sheriff ofam going to spend my first pay packet on? I’ve Buckinghamshire, Mrs Carolyn Cumming andseen a lovely pair of pink shoes…” Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant ofJoy O’Neill, founder and chair of the Service Buckinghamshire, Sir Henry Aubrey-Fletcher,Children Support Network, said she knew how Bt JP, gave the readings. Service Pupils fromforces spouses could struggle to find work. “As Halton School, Alex in Year Six and Evie anda service wife I know how difficult it can be to Nicholas both in Year Five also gave readings atfind meaningful work in a new area and as an the service. The music was provided by Stemployer I know how important it is to recruit Mary’s Choir and the High Wycombe Musicthe right person. Using Recruit for Spouses has Centre Intermediate Choir. The service wasbeen a positive and professional experience. tremendously uplifting and all of the children,Within a month I’d been able to appoint Emma, readers and singers alike, made a splendida high calibre candidate for an important new contribution. The service was followed by arole. I will definitely use Recruit for Spouses scrumptious afternoon tea in the Countyagain to advertise future vacancies,” said Mrs Museum Gardens, enjoyed by all.O’Neill. We would be delighted to know how you celebrated Her Majesty the Queen’s Diamond*To register with Recruit for Spouses or find out Jubilee. Please send any photographs andhow to advertise jobs on the site, articles to:visit www.recruitforspouses.co.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org@recruitforspouses.co.uk. by the end of July.
Last year, I was commissioned by Shire Books to write Army Childhood: British Army Children’s Lives and Times. An illustrated outline of the ‘army-child experience’, Army Childhood encompasses over three hundred years of army children’s history, covering such areas as the army’s changing attitude to its soldiers’ young dependants; how they have been transported to postings all over the world; and how and where they have been housed, educated and entertained. I hope that readers will find the book interesting, and that it will provide them with some informative and illuminating food for thought. Clare Gibson Army Childhood Army Childhood: British Army Children’s Lives by Clare Gibson and Times, by Clare Gibson, is a 64ppThose who work alongside service children and, paperback, published as part of Shireof course, their parents and families, are well Publications’ Shire Library series in May 2012.aware of the ways in which these youngsters’ RRP £6.99.lives differ from those of children in civilian http://www.shirebooks.co.uk/store/Army-communities, and of the challenges that they Childhood_9780747810995face. Another group of people also has aninnate understanding of today’s service Child Bereavement Charitychildren: those who were themselves once Conferencearmy, air-force or navy ‘brats’. And not only dothey have personal experience of how service 2012life impacts on children, but the benefit of ‘Grief andhindsight also gives them a unique perspective bereavement inon the ways in which growing up as a forces’ schools – Let’s talkchild can continue to have a profound influence about it’later in life. Thursday 20th September 2012 - University ofAs the daughter, granddaughter and great- Warwick. A unique opportunity to learn directlygranddaughter of regular soldiers, I have always from bereaved young people and professionals.been intrigued by the differences and Schools have a vital role to play in the lives ofsimilarities in the experiences of army children bereaved children – up to 70% of schools have aacross the generations. It is a subject that has bereaved pupil on their role at any one time.been poorly documented and studied, however, The programme will include presentations,which is why I set up The Army Children Archive discussions and workshops.(TACA) website (www.archhistory.co.uk) tochronicle British army children’s history. As well If you are interested in finding out more oras looking back into the past, TACA also has an booking a place please contact:eye on the present and future and tries to raise email@example.com orawareness of the issues affecting today’s service phone 01494 568910 at the Child Bereavementchildren, and to help them where it can. Charity .
SCSNService Children Support Network ACADEMIC CONFERENCE 2012 ‘Reflecting on Research and Practice for the Children of HM Forces Families’
‘Reflecting on Research and Practice for the Children of HM Forces Families’ Monday 10th September 2012 Dept of Education, University of Oxford, 15 Norham Gardens, Oxford. OX2 6PY Coffee and Registration from 09.15 Finish 16.30This one day Academic Conference will shine the spotlight on the research currently being undertaken inthe fields of education, psychology, and health relating to the life experiences of service children andtheir families in the UK.Our presenters will focus on the emerging issues in this under-researched area and consider theimplications for current and future policy development and practice. Topics · Families bereaved through military death · Adolescents living through deployments · Meeting the needs of military families with young children · Military families coping with a child with special educational needs/disability · Impact of having a military father on families. The event will be of particular interest to: · Academics working in universities and colleges of further and higher education · Secondary, Primary and Early Years teachers and practitioners · Researchers working within the fields of education, psychology, health and social care · Local Authority Advisers and Consultants · Professionals from education, psychology, health and social care · Military Charities and Welfare Organisations · Anyone dedicated to high-quality provision for Service children and families in the UK. Early Bird Conference Fee: £50 (booked by 15th July 2012) Conference Fee after 15th July: £65 (book by 31st August 2012) Fee includes learning materials, refreshments and a light lunch. To reserve a place please complete the Conference Booking Form and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org bookings will be confirmed by email or post. Terms and Conditions Payment required with booking - Fees are not refundable.
My Daddy’s Going Away… By Lt Col Chris MacGregor KRHMy children are now 8 and 6 years old. They year and I am very proud of their resilience. Inattend a small comprehensive primary school part, this has been developed by their lifestylenear Reading and have just truly settled in. to date and their parenting, but as manyThey are now known by the staff and children readers will attest, it has not been easy.alike and have carved their niches. Only I asked for these circumstances, but (forAt the end of this term, however, they will the time being) my family follow and for that Imove again to another school: the third for Ben am very grateful. It is no surprise that militaryand the second for Ellie (this does not include families, who move as the military machinethe various kindergartens and nurseries they dictates, are in the spotlight right now. Theyhave been to in Germany and England). They (you) deserve to be. There should be nowill have to mourn their lost friends and make sacrifice on their part for my career serving thisnew ones, establish themselves once more in country - but at times I know that they offerthe hierarchy of class politics, settle into new more than they know. It is my job as a fatherteaching styles and environments and and as a serving officer to mitigate that as best Idemonstrate their talents and admit their can for both my family and others. If we are toweaknesses once more. ensure that a smaller, more effective, military can prosper in the future, with potentially moreThe teachers will try hard to understand their reservists and less regular Service personnel, abackgrounds and their previous reports, but holistic approach to family welfare must exist. Ithey will, inevitably, want to make their own came to this obvious conclusion as a Companyassessments of the children. In some regards, Commander in Iraq in 2007 and from thatthis movement is a good thing. Military moment, started to think about the mutualchildren tend to be more confident and benefits to the organization, its personnel, theiraccepting of change (and schools appear to families and children of better support toenjoy having them), but it is also destabilizing Service families and their children. When we goand it is hard for the children. We will have on holiday I know that if my wife will only bemoved house over their school summer happy if the childcare is excellent and theholidays and while they are settling into their children are happy - if not, I face severenew home and school, both their Mum and Dad reprimand. The same philosophy should existwill start new jobs. when it comes to our working environment too; if we are to function well in war zones aroundI was on a 9 month operational tour to HQ ISAF the world, there should be as little conflict atJoint Command in Kabul over much of the last home as possible.
One aspect of achieving that is understanding methods for staying in contact over the tourthe stresses of separation. On the plane back and demonstrate that it is not the fault of thefrom Basra, I wrote the first half of a poem for child that their father has had to go away.my children to explain my absence. As I realized Better still, the book might even inspire morethe benefits that it might have for others, it dads to read to their children - at which, as adeveloped with reference to the Emotional nation, we do not yet excel.Cycle of Deployment into a colour picture bookcalled My Daddy’s Going Away… that has now From the feedback that I have received fromsold over 8000 copies worldwide to schools and families and schools alike, it appears that theDads in all walks of life. My Daddys Going Away... book and website does help all those families who have toIt is not surprising that there is an increased endure temporary separation from each other.focus on the issue of paternal separation. With a small team from The University ofA father’s departure is not just a personal issue Reading, I hope to start writing teaching packsfor kids or a problem for mums. Paternal for schools that will help teachers betterseparation may have a very real affect on how understand separation and its effects on theirDads feel about themselves and how they children - and yes, I promise that I am writingperform when conducting the business that has My Mummy’s Going Away…!sent them away from their families. Emotionalhealth and well-being are increasinglyimportant to families and businesses alike. Weall know that there is a definite link between anemotional state and behavior: a happy workeris a better worker... and a happy parent is abetter parent.It was in my interest to have soldiers fighting forme without distraction from domestic issues.As I understand it, good comprehensive supportprior to, and during, a period of separation willhelp: Ÿ Dads focus more on their mission, whatever that might be, and become more effective and efficient at work, and; My Daddy’s Going Away… is a great little Ÿ the family left at home to bond and storybook that supports children and families work collaboratively together. through paternal separation. The foreword was kindly written by HRH Prince Charles, The PrinceBecause the verses of the poem are linked to of Wales and a proportion of profits go tothe Emotional Cycle of Deployment, every page Service charities.of My Daddys Going Away… can act as a Please follow progress of these initiatives andcatalyst for discussion and can be used to more on the Facebook page and visit theeducate children and thus permit families to website now for loads of tips and tricks oncope better. They provide a medium through coping with separationwhich parents and teachers can explore the www.mydaddysgoingaway.com.process of deployment, separation anxiety,
SCSN Profile Name: Helen Brettell - Service Children Support CoordinatorSo what’s your background?My Dad was in the Army, so I have grown up with the Forces. We moved around every 2-3 years and I spentthe majority of my childhood in Germany where we lived in "quarters" with other military families. My Dadwent away a lot, sometimes deployed to places like Ireland, the Gulf and Bosnia, but also on courses and forsport. I eventually married my husband who is in the RAF. We have had various postings in the UK: 5 Years inHampshire, 7 years in Scotland, 18 months in Norfolk, 2 years 9 months in Oxfordshire and now were atHalton where weve been for 14 months. I spent many years as a PA until I had children. After a period oftime at home with my children, I returned to work in Oxfordshire at the Childrens Centre. Here, I went on togain my NVQ3 in Childcare Learning and Development and numerous courses relevant to the job. I gainedvaluable experience as every day was different and there were many family issues, including forces families.What does your role entail?Key to the role is the ability to empathise with the child and their family at times of change or when they arefeeling unsettled. Initially, I help new children to settle into school by spending time with them to helpalleviate their worries and fears. Also, at times of deployment I will meet with the children regularly and wewill write e-blueys to their parent or make things to send out to them. If a child (or their family) feels thatthey need extra support, I am available to spend some one-to-one time with them at school. The schoolsthat I am working with are very receptive and understand the need for additional support for Servicechildren. Feedback from the school suggests that the parents think its a good idea too. The children are veryreceptive and seem to enjoy the one-to-one time. It is still very early days so Im trying to build rapport withchildren, parents and teachers so I expect my experience to be very different in the coming months.What does that mean day to day?Ive had a couple of children leaving from 2 different schools so for each child I put together a leaving journal.This included various photos: one of them in their school uniform, their teacher, friends, classroom,playground and whatever was special to them in their school. This was put together with a page at the backto add names, addresses, and e-mail addresses of all the friends with whom they want to keep in contact.We also looked at worried and happy cards and discussed how they were feeling about theirmove. I used worry dolls with one child. I supported one little boy, who desperatelymisses his older brother who is working away. We made something for him to send tohis brother as well as a Welcome home picture (he really seemed to enjoy the activityand smiled all the way through!). Another little girl has been here for 6 months andis fairly settled but talked about daddy finding out if he still had a job today(redundancies are out today). If hes made redundant they will move back to theirold house which she would really like to do - this all came out as we were playingwith some pipe cleaners, making them into people and devising a story.Over the coming year I hope to make the same difference to the families that HaltonCC school are making. Im hoping that families wont be as worried about getting theirchildren into Halton School for the support because they will also get the same supportfrom the schools in which I am based.
‘Through the Eyes of a Service Child’ The 2012 SCSN Photographic CompetitionWe had an excellent response to the SCSN photography competition, ‘Through the Eyes of aService Child,’ which was launched earlier this year in collaboration with the Royal Air ForceMuseum. The judges, Iain Duncan, a photographer from the Department of CollectionsManagement at the Royal Air Force Museum, Christine Druce from See Saw Oxford and JennyGreen OBE had a real challenge in selecting the winners. The photographs submitted, variedgreatly in subject matter, each revealing an insight into the life of a Service Child. The single floweron a barren tree, perhaps, symbolises this point. Christine Druce from See Saw Oxfordcommented, “It is clear that, in many cases, participants had put a lot of careful consideration intohow they wanted to convey their message. As a result, the images were a moving and thought-provoking portrayal of ‘life as seen through the eyes of a service child’.” Similarly, Jenny Greennoted, “I was struck by how poignant the photos were and how even some very young childrencaptured the emotional impact of dads service life on the family. It was a privilege to see thephotos.”The winning photographs will be displayed to the public in the Royal Air Force Museum, London.The winners of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place in all four categories will be awarded a generous selectionof prizes from the Royal Air Force Museum shop. All 12 winners will be invited to a prize givingceremony at the Royal Air Force Museum London, on 24 August 2012, where they will be able toview their photographs on display. The winning images will then be published in the ServiceChildren Support Network’s calendar for 2012, raising valuable funds for the charities, ‘Red, Whiteand Blue Day’ and ‘The Forces Children’s Trust.’ Keith Ifould, Director of Commercial Services atthe Royal Air Force Museum commented: The Service Children Support Network provides valuablesupport to educational professionals who work with Service Children, enabling such children toreach their full potential in the classroom whilst at the same time providing practical help andadvice to the partners of active serving personnel. Accordingly, I am very happy for the Royal AirForce Museum to lend its support to the Service Children Support Network in the promotion of itsannual photography competition, and the subsequent creation of its 2013 calendar, in support of anumber of charities work.SCSN would also like to take this opportunity to thank the judges for giving up their valuable timeand also the Royal Air Force Museum for their support.
The Under 5’s Daddy, I broke my arm! By Molly Wallace, Mullion, Cornwall. 2nd Place Welcome Home! By Callie Jacobs, Exmouth, Devon.3rd PlaceIn Daddy’s Helmet.By George Anderson, Shrewsbury, Shropshire
The 6 to 9’s Blowing a Kiss! By Connie Hickman-Tinnieswood, Plymouth, Devon.2nd PlaceDaddy’s Home!By Bethan Mary Adams,Martock, Somerset. 3rd Place Present from Daddy. By Rhys Cheedy, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire.
The 10 to 13’s My Brother speaking to my Dad. By Joe Kelly, Hohne, Germany.2nd PlaceThe Journey.By Molly Barnard, Celle, Germany.3rd PlaceMoving Boxes.By Dylan Cheedy,High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire.
The 14 to 18’s Alone in the Wood. By Darien Harrodine, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. 2nd Place Flower. By Sian Murray, Thirsk, North Yorkshire.3rd PlaceThe Beach.By Darien Harrodine,High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire.
News from the Tidworth ClusterTidworth Garrison is home to 2 Brigades, 14 major units and many smaller independent units andprobably has the largest number of deployable soldiers in one place in the UK. Consequently, atany one time, a high proportion of children across the local schools in this area have parents onoperations. There is evidence in local schools, and from a recent Ofsted report on Children inService Families, which identifies that family mobility and parental deployment affects servicechildren’s behaviour in a number of ways. Non-service children are also exposed to thesebehaviours within such a close community, and also have to deal with student cohorts changing ona regular basis. The emotional and social well-being state is often altered not only when a parent isdeployed but often in the lead up to it and when the parent returns (including periods of R&R)and frequently has a detrimental affect resulting in deteriorating behaviour.This project, funded through the MOD Support Fund for Schools with Service Children, hasemerged through consultation and on-going work across the Tidworth Cluster of schools with theArmy Welfare Service. Joint working between Extended Services and Bath Spa University (theCentre of Education Policy in Practice, schools of Education) has supported a collaborativeapproach to this project, which in essence wants both service and non-service children living in theArmed Service Community to benefit in a number of ways: Ÿ Children’s Agencies and quality of life will be enhanced by equipping them with knowledge, skills and opportunities to influence local decisions that impact on their lives. Such activities will also contribute to developing their emotional and social resilience enabling them to better voice their needs and for these to be met. Ÿ Raising awareness and developing skills within school staff on issues relating to Children’s Rights, agency and participation methodologies can impact positively on school activities and, in doing so, provide opportunities for children to influence decisions that impact on their education. Ÿ In working collaboratively across the cluster of local primary schools, the children and staff will benefit from a broad range of peer-support and peer-to-peer learning opportunities. This will also strengthen joint working and hence further access to agency resources e.g. counselling. Ÿ Local, regional and national agencies working with children and their families will have access to improved intelligence to ensure that their services are equipped to meet the specific needs of children living in Armed Services Communities.
We chose the Learning to Lead Programme as the concept is a very deliberate and specificapproach to support student leadership. Its rationale rests on the belief that when schools take oncharacteristics of communities, they enable all community members to exercise human agency –that capacity can be purposeful and influence their own environment.The initial focus has been with the Year 5 pupils in our primary schools, supported by staff whoreceived the Learning to Lead training, and who meet as a local network to explore how thisprogramme can be fully utilised. Within each school pupils have formed teams to identify aspectswhich they feel would benefit from their input, and opportunities they wish to get involved in.Year 5 teachers have used the Learning to Lead tools to facilitate this participation which hasprompted a range of ideas and input ranging from: Ÿ Pupils organising and coordinating the management of the classroom. Ÿ Pupils re organising the layout of classrooms and how they work together has seen a change in behaviours. Ÿ Setting up interest clubs i.e. art, sports, decoration (seasonal decorations for the class- room). Ÿ Leading warm up sessions for PE . Ÿ Fund raising for a range of resources from a sofa for their book corner to equipment for Golden Time. Ÿ Developing Wet Play and Wet Play Monitors. Ÿ Developing a School Newspaper. Ÿ Year 4 pupils now being involved in a Toilet team to resolve any issues around their use. As pupils, staff and schools work together to develop skills, experience and commitment to support the ‘Learning to Lead’ approach within the school environment, the longer-term aim is to extend potential impact to the wider Tidworth Community. Specifically to develop child-friendly environments and practices in the out-of-school setting, enabling pupils to collaborate with for e.g. The Tidworth Community Area Board to influence local decision making on a range of issues affecting children living in the Tidworth Garrison including thoserelated to the specific impact of deployment and mobility.For more information on Learning to Lead please see www.learningtolead.org.uk
Associated work - Throughout the Tidworth and Ludgershall area, with its mix of civilian and armylocal organisations and agencies, we aim to work collaboratively. Earlier this year we saw a largenumber of troops deploying and in preparation we formed a small group to work with some UnitWelfare Officers. The Multi Agency Deployment Forum aims to: Ÿ Promote military-civilian integration. Ÿ Provide emotional and practical support to families living in the garrison or dispersed in the wider community. Ÿ Support families to build resilience in children to cope with army life. Ÿ To promote stronger and safer communities. Ÿ To improve outcomes for vulnerable families.Research has shown that Army Families encounter additional stress factors throughout their liveswhich, without adequate support, will impede on child development, well-being, happiness andfuture opportunities. Main purposes for this forum: Ÿ To raise awareness of Army Families lifestyles and especially at times of Deployment. Ÿ To work in partnership with all relevant agencies to achieve a robust package of support. Ÿ To pool resources with other agencies to deliver training for staff to be better equipped to support army families who experience loss and separation. Ÿ To be aware of up-to-date research to inform the development of services. Ÿ To identify and disseminate funding to support the work.From this collaborative working we have seen closer links with the military and our schools;increased good communication, INSET on Deployment delivered to our local teachers by UWOsand Extended Services, and a ‘Whilst You’re Away’ art project set up as part of the Art Club atWellington Academy which will forward artwork to serving soldiers in Afghanistan.‘Wiltshire Voices’ is a project that aims to find new ways of reaching out to people who do not, orcannot, attend the council’s meetings. Wiltshire Voices aims to do this by talking and listening tolocal people and recording their stories. Each project focuses on a specific group of people whonormally struggle to get their voices heard. 12 projects have been developed with the first pilotbeing based around life in Tidworth for Army Wives. In this film the women share their personalexperiences of living in Tidworth and reflect on a range of issues including transport, housing,health care, community safety, schooling, childcare and local facilities. The launch included anopportunity for local partners to discuss the debate the DVD and the needs of this group and howas a community we respond feeding into our own area Joint Strategic Needs Assessment. To viewthe DVD go to http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/communityandliving/wiltshirevoices.htm
xford Enc 12 O aenia 20 Joy is honoured with The Vice Chancellor’s Civic Award and meets a truly Inspirational Woman!On Wednesday 20 June , Joy and Kev O’Neill were delighted to be guests at the 2012 OxfordUniversity Encaenia where Joy was presented with a Vice Chancellor’s Civic Award. Joy, who isabout to complete her MSc at Oxford, was nominated by her Dean at Kellogg College for her workwith SCSN. The Encaenia Ceremony itself was held in the prestigious Sheldonian Theatre and wasconducted predominantly in latin!The list of Honorands was very impressive and included Baroness Manningham-Buller (theprevious head of MI5), Mr David Cornwell (more widely known by his pen name - John le Carré)and Professor Drew Faust (the President of Harvard). But this list of the great and the good wassomewhat overshadowed by the presence of the small, rather shy figure of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.Ms Suu Kyi, who seemed a little overwhelmed by all the attention nevertheless stood andaddressed the audience with a confidence and depth of conviction that belied her slight build.Quite rightly she drew a standing ovation and it was a real honour to have been present to hearher speak from her heart. Then it was off to St Hugh’s College for a VIP lunch where the CivicAwards were presented by the Vice Chancellor of the University. Joy was then taken aback by apersonal request from Aung San to meet her in person and discuss the work that she and SCSNhave been doing to improve the educational attainment of challenged children. Joy also foundherself sat next to Professor Faust (a world renowned historian specialising in the American CivilWar) at lunch and they discussed military family experiences from the perspective of both sides ofthe Atlantic! A garden party in the magnificently manicured grounds of Worchester College wherestrawberries and cream were consumed in the warmth of an all too rare sunny afternoon was aperfect end to a wonderful day.
Life as an SCSN Intern!I am currently completing my Post Graduate Certificate in Education in English at ReadingUniversity. As part of our PGCE course we are required to complete a Further DevelopmentPlacement, which could take you to Marwell Wildlife Park, the Roald Dahl Museum, or the ServiceChildren’s Support Network (if you’re lucky enough to be me) to name but a few! Having been inthe University of London Officers Training Corps for three years while at university, with aGrandfather who was a Lt Colonel in the Irish Guards, and a boyfriend who is going to commissioninto the Royal Anglians this summer, I have some military connections and knowledge of theArmed Forces. So, when the time came and Reading University handed us a rather large bookletfilled with options for our FDP placement, I was instantly drawn to SCSN both for personal andprofessional reasons – and I was fortunate enough to get it!It immediately struck me as a varied and interesting placement. The brief summary included in thebooklet stated:“SCSN works with schools, universities, Local Authorities, NHS Trusts, Military organisations,charities and Military units across the UK and there may be an opportunity for some nationaltravel during the 3 weeks. A typical week would include elements of the following: Ÿ Working to support Service children and their families in local schools; Ÿ Liaising with multi agency professionals and military units to identify sources of support for Service children and their families; Ÿ Carrying out assessments in schools; Ÿ Some elements of record keeping and administration; Ÿ Staff development sessions; Ÿ Project management; Ÿ Preparing bids for future projects; Ÿ Policy, planning and board meetings; Ÿ Research; Ÿ Partner work e.g. with Educational Psychologists or local charities.”The potential opportunity to work with external agencies was something I was looking forward toas I had not experienced much of this in my teaching placements.
No sooner had I found out what my placement was did I receive an email from Joy inviting me tothe Everyone Matters Additional Needs and Disability Conference, held by SSAFA at the MOD inLondon. I was excited at the prospect of being in the MOD and intrigued by what this conferencewould entail. The audience included a high percentage of persons with some kind of militaryconnection, particularly military families who shared their own experiences and asked questionsfreely and challenged responses. The conference was eye opening and moving. I was shocked tohear the difficulties that some parents face, simply trying to move schools or the battles that arebeing fought by parents trying to receive the same medical prescriptions for their child fromcounty to county. If I was unaware of the issues that some parents in the military face and theirchildren with my military connections, how would teachers be aware of these situations with nomilitary knowledge.On my second day I attended a committee meeting with, Joy, Kev and Dr Grace Clifton. I was giventhe rather challenging role of taking down the Minutes, but eager to deliver I scrawled unreadablenotes throughout and frantically tried to decipher the scribbles as I typed these that evening. I wasamazed at the work that SCSN has been doing and to learn of its achievements in such a shortspace of time, such as the two recently appointed SCSN Service Children Support Coordinators(whose profiles are included in this newsletter) who have been providing support in local schools.I couldn’t help but be impressed that Joy had managed to secure additional funds from the MODto recruit a third Service Children Support Coordinator. I also learnt of the “Through the Eyes of aService Child” Photography Competition, which followed on from the success of the Artcompetition last year (the results of which are included in this newsletter). This was a movinginsight into the lives of Service Children.In order to see and experience first-hand the role and support of the Service Children SupportCoordinators I went to Weston Turville school. Here, I was able to sit in on Helen’s weekly meetingwith a handful of pupils there. As it is early days Helen was simply talking with the pupils to build arapport with them while they decorated their folders. It was clear from the outset that many ofthese children possess that element of “just getting on with it” passed on to them by theirparents. Nevertheless, they clearly value the time to speak with someone and share their thoughtsand feelings. Of the pupils that I met, many chose to draw a picture of their daddy on their folderor an aspect of his military life. From the short time I have spent at Halton and RAF Benson, and having met with parents of service children, it is apparent that the fact that Emma, Helen, Caroline and Sue are all parents to service children themselves is invaluable. I have also been fortunate enough to attend a Trauma and Bereavement Workshop led by David Trickey, a Consultant Clinical Psychologist. The idea of a “workshop” filled me with dread and I hoped it wouldn’t be a “traumatic” day – would I be expected to discuss my experiences with a complete stranger? As it would happen – Yes! But it was not the traumatic experience I had feared. Yes, we shared our experiences and discussed our thoughts with one another, but I learnt so much more about bereavement and trauma from having shared and evaluated these experiences in light of the information presented. We learnt so much about how the mind worked; how it processed normal memories in contrast with traumatic memories and the effects that this can have upon children and young people.
As a trainee English teacher, soon to start my first teaching post in July, I couldn’t help but seehow valuable it was for me to learn not only the range of behaviour that may be demonstrated bya pupil who has experienced a trauma or bereavement, but also to have a better understanding ofhow best to support them. Interestingly, in a room filled with people I was the only teacher.Indeed, as was pointed out later in the day it is teachers in our trusted positions and regularcontact with children that are often best placed to support a child who has experienced a traumaor bereavement and yet I was the only one. A morning spent with a member of the ChildBereavement Charity confirmed this as she explained that her role was to provide teachers andschools with the tools to be able to talk with a pupil about a bereavement and how best tosupport them. She took me through an information pack which discussed how schools could helpand the ways to support a bereaved pupil, parents, carers and Forces families. This was aninvaluable morning, given that 92% of children experience some form of bereavement, andbereavement even of the family pet can have a significant impact. When my Springer Spaniel,Heidi, died I was devastated and for a few days work didn’t get done and what was worse I wasn’tbothered that it hadn’t been done. So it is not surprising that there may be a noticeable change ina pupil’s work and/ or behaviour in school.One day was spent in Halton Community Combined School, where I was able to see first-hand thesupport on offer to Service Children and the role of the Family Support Worker. It is easy to seehow it achieved its grade of “Outstanding” by Ofsted in 2011:“Despite potentially challenging barriers to learning, including the very high number of pupilsarriving and departing throughout the school year, almost all pupils make good or better progress.This is because of the outstanding drive and determination shown by the headteacher and herstaff in getting to know and understand the pupils and their families, so that they can tailorindividualised learning programmes to meet their differing needs…The school has developedexcellent systems to help pupils settle quickly and to accelerate their learning. Thepioneering initiative to appoint a family support coordinator with expertise in workingwith service families ensured the emotional well-being of pupils and their familieswas at the forefront of the schools work, and this has created a safe and stress-freeenvironment in which pupils flourish.”Having spoken with Caroline, the Family Support Worker at Halton Schoolabout her role, it was interesting to see how broad ithas become, encompassing any issues children maybe facing, either in school or at home, and not justthe key issues of deployment and transition.A morning spent with Charlotte Bradshaw of theTransfer Support Team at Amersham CouncilServices, clarified the idea behind the passport.Ultimately, it is “an exciting resource to help pupilsjoining and leaving primary school outside of normaltransfer times”. She also explained the role of theTransfer Support Team and I spent the afternoonobserving a session at Ash Hill Primary School.
At RAF Benson I saw the passport in action, with children drawing their family and completing activities about themselves that they would like to share with their new school. It helps the teacher get to know the pupil and learn of any worries the pupil may have so that they can support the child where necessary. The pupils thoroughly enjoyed their time and were keen to share their work with Sue Rolduson, their teacher, and each other. Some pupils even shared their thoughts and feelings about what itwas like to have a mummy or a daddy in the services. One little girl remarked rather amusingly,“When daddy goes away, I’m happy and sad. I’m sad because I can’t see him, but I’m happy ‘causehe gets more money so we can go on holiday!”Meeting with and speaking with parents has been invaluable. The communication betweenschools and parents is essential. Having only had a handful of opportunities to speak with parentsduring my teaching placements, the ability to hear the thoughts and concerns of parents in aninformal environment, during coffee mornings with Emma, has highlighted that for most there is aneed for additional support for Service Children within schools. While nearly every mother Ilistened to used the phrase, “We just get on with it,” it was clear that most would appreciatesupport within school and someone for their child to talk to.My time with SCSN has been a rollercoaster of emotions. At times I have fought back tears whilelistening to a wife talk about her son crying every night because his daddy is in Afghanistan, orreading the poems of children on display in RAF Benson, or the photo of a single flower on abarren tree submitted for the photo competition. On long drives home, I’ve told myself to “Man up!” At other times I have laughed at the comments made by children and I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with SCSN. On a personal and somewhat selfish note, I have lapped up the advice and top tips given to me by parents and my colleagues with SCSN about deployment and managing your children’s expectations. The experiences I have had both in school and from meeting with external agencies will undoubtedly enrich my teaching practice. My mentor, Joy, has been inspirational – her drive, tenacity, and ability to contact me at all hours of the day have meant that I got the most out of this placement for which I am truly grateful. “It’s been following me around all morning, I think it’s the Intern…”