YOUNGSTERS took centre stage during a prize-giving ceremony for a project designed to increase support for children from military families.

The Festival of Friends, organised by the University of Winchester in partnership with Hampshire County Council, invited pupils and staff from primary and secondary schools to come up with mini projects to improve the integration of Service children and their families into school communities or increase awareness of Service life among teachers and classmates.

The competition saw the creation of several worthwhile initiatives, including a drop-in service, a family picnic and an after-school club.

It was judged by a panel of experts on the education of Service children and prizes were awarded to the winners at the Festival of Friends celebration event, during which school groups enjoyed a campus tour and activities led by university students from both a Service and civilian background. The schools then showcased their projects alongside leaders of community initiatives and local and national Service charities including AFF.

Colette Fletcher, assistant vice-chancellor, said: “The university is passionate about supporting the Armed Forces community and we are keen to recognise the skills and attributes that Service children develop through their experiences of military family life. We are delighted to be working with Hampshire County Council on the Festival of Friends project, which looks to help schools across the county find new ways of working together to support Service children.”

The winners were:

  • Test Valley School, Stockbridge
  • The Wavell School, Farnborough
  • Crofton Hammond Infant School, Fareham
  • Ranvilles Junior School, Fareham
  • Marchwood Junior School, Southampton
  • Alverstoke Church of England Junior School, Gosport
  • Wellington Primary School, Aldershot


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