RAF Lossiemouth News

£370k funding secured to support Forces Children in Moray Schools

A new initiative between RAF Lossiemouth, 39 Engineer Regiment and Moray Council has secured £370k in charitable funding to establish a dedicated support network for Forces children in the region’s schools.

The cash has been awarded to Moray’s Dandelion Project by the Armed Forces Covenant Trust Fund, which supports the Armed Forces community.

RAF Lossiemouth led the project, with assistance from Moray Council and 39 Engineer Regiment (Kinloss Barracks).

The project seeks to ensure that all forces children have the right conditions and environment in their school setting to thrive, no matter what challenges their serving parent’s military commitments may generate.

A dedicated team of staff will be employed to provide in-school support for Forces children. Bespoke training will be provided to enable school staff to better understand the complex nuances of service life. The project has been financed for three years by the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust and aims to create a positive and proactive attitude towards supporting Forces children in the region.

There are Forces children in the vast majority of the region's schools - 48 out of 53 of Moray schools report at least one Forces child in attendance.

The detrimental impact service life can have on children is well documented through academic research and local-lived experiences, which have seen significant drops in attendance and wellbeing during periods where a parent is deployed on operations.

Lindsey Stanley, Moray Council's Business Support Team Manager for education, and Sarah Riley-Evans, the project lead and RAF Lossiemouth's Community and Development Officer.

This is the single largest Armed Forces Covenant grant received in Moray to date, and reflects the ambition of the Dandelion Project, and the enduring partnership we have developed with Moray Council.

I am excited at the potential this innovative project creates for all Forces children in Moray to have the right conditions they need to bloom and grow strong.

Sarah Riley-Evans
Project Lead, RAF Lossiemouth

Children from schools around Moray visited RAF Lossiemouth earlier this year during our STEM at the Workplace event. Many of them were Forces children.

I am delighted that the hard work of my team, building relationships and forging close partnerships with Moray Council and local schools has resulted in this success.

As I prepare to pass on the duties of Commanding Officer to my successor, I am heartened to know that Forces children across Moray will benefit from the lasting legacy created by this partnership.

Group Captain Jim Walls
Station Commander, RAF Lossiemouth

The project has been supported by 39 Engineer Regiment out of Kinloss Barracks. They also supported us at our STEM in the Workplace event earlier this year.

Integrating children of military families into what - for many - is a different education system presents challenges. This charitable grant will be a massive boost in the support that we can offer.

We have been working closely with RAF Lossiemouth and Kinloss Barracks for many years to ensure families have the best experience while they are posted here; this award recognises how well we work together as partners, and the importance to us of our relationship with the military community.

Lindsey Stanley
Moray Council Business Support Team Manager for Education

Lt Col Jamie Stuart outside of our brand new P-8A Poseidon, based at Kinloss Barracks until October 2020.

I have been struck by the commitment already shown by local schools to supporting the Forces child, and we are delighted to be part of this initiative which will build upon these foundations and create a toolbox of resources and training to empower Moray’s educators.

Lt Col Jamie Stuart
Commanding Officer 39 Engineer Regiment

We are pleased to support RAF Lossiemouth under our Removing Barriers to Family Life programme.

Working in conjunction with schools and military bases will allow them to push for policy changes where needed, in support of military families who may be experiencing significant and emotional life events.

Melloney Poole
Chief Executive of the Armed Forces Covenant Trust Fund

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