More military families in Wiltshire to receive our support after NSPCC funding boost

More children of servicemen and women in Wiltshire will benefit from an NSPCC service that helps to build emotional resilience thanks to a donation from ABF The Soldiers’ Charity.

Children with a parent or carer in the Armed Forces face the same challenges as other young people their age, but with additional pressures caused by the deployment cycle, social isolation or separation from parents when they are posted overseas. All of this can lead to higher levels of anxiety amongst military children.

As a result, the NSPCC has long been supporting children from military families in Tidworth with a dedicated lunch club which aims to combat anxiety and develop emotional resilience.

This year, we awarded a £20,000 grant to help children aged 11-14 (KS3) at Stonehenge School attend the club, which the NSPCC co-runs with the Army Welfare Service.

Children’s Services Practitioner at Tidworth Service Centre, Jane Lyle, said: “The Military Lunch Club is an invaluable service offered to young people in the area.

“The group helps young people with a variety of different aspects of being in a military family, which is a big part of life here, such as relocating to new areas and parents being deployed.

“During the sessions, we help the children learn how to manage their emotional wellbeing and aim to make them feel part of a group and identify with other young people who are experiencing similar situations to themselves.”

Assistant Headteacher at Stonehenge School, Fiona Staker, added: “At Stonehenge School we have been working with the NSPCC to provide support to our students for a number of years.

“At first this was limited to a drop-in lunch club, and now is being delivered in a more structured weekly support session.

“Being a services child offers young people a particular lifestyle that comes with lots of opportunities but also challenges.

“The NSPCC work with the children to celebrate these opportunities but also look towards how they can overcome these challenges.

“Feedback from our students has been overwhelmingly positive and we are grateful for the support the NSPCC has given us over the years.”

The Tidworth Service Centre provides a number of other direct services to local families, such as Seeking Solutions, Pregnancy in Mind, Family Focus and Building Blocks, as well as drop-in groups for families in the community such as Time Together, Babies and Emotional Resilience in Children (ERIC).

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