HMS (Her Majesty’s Schools) Heroes is a unique national pupils’ voice supporting Service children and young people. It originated in Plymouth and now has member schools worldwide.
Five of the schools that have recently joined HMS Heroes Catterick and Richmond in North Yorkshire are known as the Hambleton Heroes. There are only a few Service children in each school so they’ve come together for joint membership, bringing their community together and giving important peer support.
One of the Hambleton Heroes explains: “I thought I was the only child with a mum and dad in the Army and felt really different. It was great to meet children like me.”
Sharing with others is key to giving Service children confidence to understand that they’re not unusual and that there are likeminded friends they can turn to for support. But, the initiative goes far beyond that, as ambassadors for Service pupils, HMS Heroes provide insight into what it’s like to be a Service child – helping to bridge gaps between school staff, fellow pupils and the wider community.
The network stretches across the globe too. A recent message from Mount Pleasant Falklands HMS Heroes to the Catterick and Richmond group said: “It feels like we are part of one big school together even though we are miles apart. It’s good to know that someone cares about people who are part of the military family and to have people who understand how we live even if we are 8,000 miles away.”
HMS Heroes exists to raise the profile of Service children and help to explain the unique challenges that go hand-in-hand with being part of a military family. The aim is for school groups to organise events and activities and engage in local community projects.