“Our family will remain eternally grateful for all the support we have received from the Armed Forces Education Trust.”

Since its origins in the 1850s as a home for the orphans of soldiers in London, the Armed Forces Education Trust has grown into a grant making trust supporting the children of service personnel whatever their current geographic location.

Over the last five years, grants in excess of £1 million have been awarded to support children of all three services, from both serving and retired parents.

Charmian Hickman, CEO of the Trust, says: “Most service children are happy, resilient and successful, and thrive on the opportunities that service life brings. Others, however, can be disadvantaged by a lack of stability in their education and by some of the challenges of service life.

“For these young people, we may be able to assist with education related costs that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford. This can help your young people over particular hurdles that are preventing them from achieving their educational potential. We also give grants to schools to help them provide your service children with additional emotional or academic support.”

Stepping in to help

The Trust is currently providing support to a young lady who, after a turbulent time in the Scottish education system, moved to England when her father was posted.

“This occurred at a key stage of her education and meant she would have missed a school year,” explains Charmian. “Her local authority wasn’t flexible enough to allow her to drop a year to give her time to catch-up, so we stepped in to help.”

Working in conjunction with her new school, the Trust provided her with a grant towards her school fees.

“This has allowed her to stand the best chance of overcoming the problems caused by service-related mobility, and to maximise her educational potential,” adds Charmian.

The Trust is increasingly being asked to help families who suddenly lose their eligibility for Continuity of Education Allowance (CEA) for various reasons, particularly during key exam years.

Charmian says: “Often, we’re able to give this support, if only for a short time to allow parents time to appeal decisions.”

Find out more

To apply for a grant, visit armedforceseducation.org

Tap into AFF’s advice via our education & childcare specialist – Anna Hutchinson – educationsupport@aff.org.uk or visit aff.org.uk

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