London living brings unique challenges for Army families, so who’s on hand to support you? One person who’s helping to bring the community together at Queen Mary Buildings is Army spouse Victoria Cook (pictured above). We caught up with her to find out more…
AFTER working in hospitality for 17 years, Victoria is now a registered childminder looking after children from military families. She’s been married to a long-serving member of the Band of the Scots Guards for 12 years and has been based in London for the last decade with her two young children.
As well as being a volunteer with the Army Welfare Service, Victoria runs coffee mornings and stay-and-play sessions.
She explained: “I set up a much-needed family playgroup two years ago and also took over coffee mornings when the ladies who ran it moved on.
“I’m happy to be involved with any children’s activities within our community and help with the running of the community centre.
“I also keep families updated with information through social media.”
Victoria is well known for giving families a warm welcome and makes them aware of anything that is going on in the area – she even provides cakes out of her own pocket for get-togethers.
“I enjoy helping people, it’s something I’ve always done,” she added. “In the community we all live in, I think it’s important to support each other where we can. Moving to London can be a daunting experience and a lot to take in. Community spirit can help make that transition less stressful.
“It’s always good to have people on hand with knowledge and information, from where to buy a pint of milk to the best schools in the area. With so many faces in London, it’s reassuring to see a few friendly and welcoming ones in your own community.”
AFF’s London Co-ordinator, Becky Green, often meets Victoria when she’s out and about at QMB hearing about families’ issues. She said: “Victoria does a fabulous job, especially for families new to the area.
“She is always happy to give advice and is especially good at informing families of all the fun things to do in London. She organises lots of events to keep children occupied and give families a chance to socialise. Victoria makes what she does look so easy but a lot of thought and effort goes into what she does.”
Victoria is our summer Community Champion and wins a tablet courtesy of DXC Technology.
Do you have a person who works hard to improve Army family life in your area? To nominate them for this award, email firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘Community Champion’ in the subject line and a summary – no more than 300 words – of why you think they should win. The winner’s story will be published in Army&You and we’ll share the others on this website.