A blog from Army&You’s winter 2022 edition by Katie Galloway

I’m in year 10 and I’m a service child at Risedale School in Catterick Garrison.

I’ve been here since September 2021 and at the beginning, it was difficult. A lot of new people, who I’m now great friends with, asked me where I was from. Having moved all around the UK, been to five different schools and having lived in six houses, it isn’t an easy question to answer.

I’ve been to so many different places at so many different times that I don’t believe I’m really from anywhere. However, Risedale has made me feel as if I belong.

Our headteacher, Mr Scott, is from a military background and also served so he understands how difficult it is for anyone to move around a lot, lose and gain friends, and sometimes feel as if we are different.

At Risedale, there are many other pupils and adults just like me, who are from army families. As there are such a huge number of us, we all feel like a community in the school working together to support each other during harder times.

In the past year living at Catterick, my dad has been away a lot. Near the end of 2021, he was in Belize for three months and he is currently in Eastern Europe until Easter. During these times where my dad isn’t home, I know that there are staff at Risedale that I can trust and speak to if I feel I’m struggling and need some support, along with my amazing circle of friends who are also service children, meaning that we all know what these experiences are like and how to support each other through it.

My first day at Risedale was overwhelming and scary but it’s the best place I could be. It’s where I belong.

Main photo: Katie with headteacher Mr Scott

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