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North Yorkshire County CouncilNorth Yorkshire County Council


Posted 18/3/2020

Hello everybody and Happy March! It’s so lovely to see a bit more sunshine breaking through and the beautiful spring flowers popping up everywhere! I hope everyone is enjoying their first taste of the warmer weather.

The first thing to note is – the arrival of the wonderful Dandelion Blog! The children who have contributed to the blog have some gorgeous things to say on what they felt about the Cathedral Service for Remembrance. The Dandelion Blog is something we are hoping to feature on our website termly and is a great outlet for the voice of the service child. Thank you very much to those who have contributed to the first instalment.

It has been another busy month for Nickie and I – as ever – with our continuing 1:1 support in schools and for families, and of course events planning for VE Day and Armed Forces Day! We are very much looking forward to celebrating these with you all, and are so grateful to all people and schools who support our work on both.

As part of our VE Day celebrations, we have been organising some interviews to take place between service pupils and residents of local nursing homes who are keen to share their memories of the VE Day celebrations in 1945. We are hoping to encourage as many schools as possible to take part in their own street parties to celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE Day, and will be sending out a resource pack to all our schools very soon!

The Festival of Friends project is moving along wonderfully, with the schools involved so committed to improving the pastoral support of their service pupils. It is so great that we have so many schools in North Yorkshire who understand that military life brings so many challenges, and that if the emotional health and well-being of these pupils is not looked after, it can impact on their academic success.

We have just had a meeting for the Festival of Friends mid-project evaluation, where we looked at the case studies the schools have completed so far. There are some absolutely fantastic projects underway, such as a drama production showcasing what military life is like for service kids, a memorial garden for friends who have moved on, and an information booklet for new service children arriving to the school.

The Festival of Friends awards ceremony will be taking place on Thursday 17th September 2020 at the University of York and promises to be a wonderful conclusion to the entire project, with campus tours to promote access to higher education for service children and a fantastic opportunity to see the outcomes of the hard work the schools have put into their individual projects.

Finally – a note on the coronavirus. A link to the current guidelines:

Please see below a great visual lesson - demonstrated beautifully by my daughter Isadora - on the importance of hand washing, which can be easily shared with children.

Hoping that you all stay safe and well.






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