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Happy New Year!

Posted 13/9/2019


I hope you have all had a great start to the new academic year! 

This will be my sixth year as a Service Pupils’ Champion!  I’m probably more nervous about this one than I was about my first because I will no longer have Annabel - my collaborator, co-conspirator and font of all SPC knowledge – to keep me right.  Luckily we have the very lovely Jess Greenhalgh (pronounced Greenhalž like the French ‘je’!) joining the SPC team, and being put in right at the deep end planning the Remembrance Service at Ripon Cathedral!

I’m an RAF wife and Mummy to three - a 5 year old daughter and 1 year old twin boys! My little girl has had 4 nursery/school moves already, and we moved from Yorkshire to Oxfordshire when the boys were only 10 weeks old - so I am familiar with the changes, moves, separation from families and other challenges that service families face. My background is in primary teaching; I graduated in 2012 and I have had lots of experience working with many unique children from varying backgrounds. 

Since beginning my own family, I developed a keen interest in supporting service children in schools, especially knowing my own children will be facing similar challenges to those service pupils I have worked with during my teaching career. Starting this new role as a Service Pupils’ Champion is really exciting for me as I can now really focus on that passion to help service families like my own!

Jess is looking forward to meeting many of you over the coming weeks!  If you’d like to get in touch her email address is

Towards the end of last term Matt Blyton proposed the Festival of Friends project, a collaborative project aimed at developing and sharing good practice in supporting Service children in North Yorkshire and City of York schools. It supports the progress and welfare of Service children, strengthens staff understanding of their unique needs whilst improving their integration with non-Service children.  Matt’s bid for funding for the project was successful and the first planning meeting takes place next week.  You’ll be hearing a lot more about the Festival of Friends project!

The Service Children’s Remembrance Service takes place on Friday 8th November at Ripon Cathedral.  The theme this year will be linked to the 75th Anniversary of D Day, Jess and I will be in touch soon with information about the artwork for this year.  We’re looking forward to seeing you all in November.

Next year sees the 75th anniversary of VE Day, Jess and I are working together on a commemorative project which we hope will bring schools, veterans and the local museums together to commemorate and celebrate VE Day 75, hopefully culminating in some celebratory street / garden parties.  We’ll be in touch with more information soon!

The SPC Anxiety Workshops are still available, free of charge, to all schools. The workshops are not limited to Service Pupils, or to anxious pupils!  In fact, I believe that they have more impact when they are offered to all children – we will all experience anxiety at some point in our lives, understanding what it is and where it comes from goes some way to enabling us to overcome it.  If you would like further information about the workshops then please email me:

And that’s it for our first blog of the new academic year!  Hope you all have a lovely September, see you soon!





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Posted 17/7/2019

Hooray – last blog of the school year!  It has been very busy year and next year looks set to be the same! 

Armed Forces Day

June 20th saw us knee deep in military vehicles at Ypres Lines, Catterick Garrison for the 5th Armed Forces Day celebrations.  Almost 1000 children and young people watched, tasted, heard and tried all that the Armed Forces can offer.  Thank you to schools for bringing your children- a great day was had by all and for once the sun shone!  Thank you also for the gorgeous ‘Thank You’ letters which are a joy to receive and even more of a joy to share with Garrison HQ and the soldiers who are so patient with the children – especially the guy who wore full body armour all day so the children could beat him with a stick!  Our thanks, too, to our friends and colleagues in the MOD for making this day possible.  Photos of the day are available on the gallery page.


Writing Competition September 2019




Never Such Innocence: Giving Children and Young People a Voice on Conflict


To mark National Writing Day we are excited to announce our new competition launching in September 2019!

Following on from four successful centenary competitions, the Never Such Innocence 2019/20 competition will be bigger than ever!  We are delighted to open a new speechwriting category, and to broaden the age range to 9-18.

Our new project, Giving Children and Young People a Voice on Conflict, invites all young people aged 9-18 from across the world to process, respond to and reflect on all forms of conflict throughout history and consider the value of commemoration via our poetry, speech, song and art competition.

As always, our competition is completely free to enter. We are currently accepting early entries from all young people aged 9-18! Please do not filter entries so everyone may receive a very special Certificate of Commendation.

Behind the scenes, our team are producing a variety of resources that will be available from September 2019. More information about our resources for the upcoming competition are below!

As always, please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. For more updates you can also follow us on twitter and instagram @neversuch!

 In our Centenary Project we received over 11,000 entries from over 47 different countries, territories and dependencies - thank you for playing your part in our International Movement, now let's reach even further!

Dates for your Diary…

First SFSG Meeting for the 2019/2020 term will be at 09:30 on Thursday 3rd October at Boroughbridge High School.

The Annual Remembrance Service for Service Children takes place on Friday 8th November at Ripon Cathedral, our theme this year will be the 75th Anniversary of the D-Day landings.  We’re looking forward to seeing you all there!

Anxiety Workshops

The Anxiety Workshops are still available to schools (for free!), please contact Nickie if you would like further information on the workshops available:

Emotional First Aid for Parents

The Early Help Service will be running another EFA for Parents course in September at Colburn Children’s Centre – please contact Nickie ( if you would further information about the course or would like to refer parents on to the course.


MOD Project April 2019-April 2020  If you have any families with children/young people with SEND  who need support please  ask them to contact Annabel Hall 07816648163 or Jane Clark 07730818129.

And Finally…

Lovely Annabel is leaving her role as SPC this week to pursue new adventures – including working with SENDIASS supporting military families.  Annabel was the original Service Pupils’ Champion and has seen her role develop and expand over the seven years she has been an SPC, at first for Ripon and then as the role grew so did the area she supported!  Annabel will be sorely missed, I particularly will miss her massive amount of Service Pupils’ knowledge, her guidance and her calm head!  I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Annabel for her tireless work and wish her the very best of luck for her future adventures!

Hope you have a completely gorgeous Summer Holiday!

Nickie & Annabel


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