SEPTEMBER 2012 saw the Welsh Government take responsibility for Service children in the Vale of Glamorgan. Katie Coleman became a Forces Family Support Officer, as a result of the MOD’s £3m fund for schools with Service children. Katie tells A&Y what her role entails…

 

MY JOB has enabled me to work closely with families, children, education providers and the unit welfare team to build links.

We have also established relationships with the Welsh Government and highlighted the need for support that is lacking in Wales compared to England.

My role is to support Service children and to also raise awareness of the Armed Forces to the local primary school staff and help them to fully understand the effects of deployment and how mobility can affect children.

The head teacher from St Illtyd Primary School explains: “It has been helpful to have support for our Forces families’ children.

“It has helped us to realise some of the challenges they can face when mum or dad is getting ready for deployment.”

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Ambassadors in action

From the Service Children In Llantwit Schools Project, we have established a student support group called Wales Armed Forces Ambassadors (WAFA).

Each school has two representatives ranging from six to 13 years old and all of them were excited to be advocates for Wales Service children.

At our first meeting, we spent our time sharing our life experiences as Service families and the children dictated what support they felt they would benefit from.

The local primary schools were invited to design the logo for the group; the entries were fantastic and imaginative and the winning logo is pictured here.

We hope during 2014 WAFA will become known throughout Wales, supporting all Service children and gaining an ever-increasing membership.

Over the next year, the representatives will become confident in their roles ready for all of the changes happening at MOD St Athan.

As new children arrive they will be welcomed and supported.

To find out more about the role of a Forces Family Support Officer, email Katie at colemank@llantwitschool.org.uk

Accessing the £3milion Schools’ Support Fund

Schools, academies/free schools or local authorities in England, Wales, Northern Ireland or Scotland who wish to apply for funding, can email LF-PSC-CYP-3MSF-Mailbox@mod.uk for details or search “MOD Support Fund for Schools” at www.gov.uk

 

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