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North Yorkshire County CouncilNorth Yorkshire County Council

Happy May!

Posted 6/5/2020

Hello everyone and Happy May! I hope – as ever – you are all keeping safe and well.

I know I’m not the only one finding it all a bit never-ending at the moment. Especially with kids at home, it’s certainly not “time off”! I keep hearing things mentioned about “slowing down” and time for “reflection” …ha! I wish! The important thing to remember is we are all in it together, we are all keeping safe and doing our best to keep those most vulnerable safe too.

We are now on the countdown to my husband returning from his deployment – 3 weeks to go! – and then hopefully we can resume some level of normality (sanity) in our house. I am so aware I am not the only military spouse in this situation and this lockdown for many of our Service families is just another level on top of the usual challenges military life throws at us. Some families may, like mine, have a parent who is currently away from home, whether that’s through working as a key worker or on a deployment. Some families are now living in a bit of an uncertain period with their postings now on hold. It’s not easy(!) and Nickie and I certainly understand. We are still here if we are needed for any support.

Through helping Service children and their families to deal with loss and separation, Nickie and I have amassed many different activities and some useful links that may help children and families to cope during this time. It is vital that our mental health and emotional wellbeing is being acknowledged and cared for. I think this strange and unprecedented situation we all find ourselves in has really shown how important human contact is for our health and happiness! Please find some ideas for dealing with loss and separation here: (link to PDF)

Unfortunately, despite many meetings at County Hall with the VE 75 committee and working closely with a few of our lovely key schools plus the RBL nursing home Lister House in Ripon, I am very sad that our plans for VE Day celebrations are no longer able to go ahead. However, we have our VE Day 75 tab up and running on the website where you will find lots of different activities surrounding VE Day 75 plus some great PowerPoint presentations aimed at younger and older children which explain very clearly why we are commemorating this event. There is also an amazing VE Day 75 activity pack on there from Ceri Cusack at The Dales School (thanks Ceri for letting us share!), and links to the RBL’s VE Day resources. The RBL promises some great events we definitely encourage you to get involved with, such as Dame Vera Lynn’s performance of “We’ll Meet Again” which will be on BBC One at 9pm on 8th May and is sure to be a very emotional tribute – I think it will really strike a chord with our current situation as well.

Taking some inspiration from the absolutely wonderful Colonel Tom Moore (Happy 100th Birthday!) we would like to ask everyone to encourage the younger generation to research a veteran of the Second World War in honour of the upcoming 75Th anniversary of the end of the War in Europe. (link to Veteran profile activity) FaceTime/Skype/Zoom your grandparents/great-grandparents – even if they were only children at the time of VE Day in 1945 – and find out what they remember of the street parties and celebrations! Did their dad go to war? Their brother? What did they do in the Second World War and where were they posted? A lot of our work surrounding VE Day 75 was aimed at bridging the intergenerational gap between those who remember the war and our youngest people. My daughter is five, and her generation will be the last to be lucky enough to know and remember the veterans of the Second World War. It is so important that we make sure those generations connect.

I hope everyone is enjoying the lovely weather – long may it continue!

Jess

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