Whilst deployment is a fact of life for service families, each time a parent is away - whether for a few weeks or for a longer tour - there will be an emotional impact on the child. In order to be able to support your child it is useful for us to be made aware of any upcoming tours as soon as possible - although we are well aware that sometime there is very little notice given to the serving personnel! If there are any ways in which we might be able to help - for example, if the parent who remains at home is finding it difficult to hear them read as often as usual - please talk with us.
All children - service or not - who have a parent or carer away, are invited to come along to our new weekly drop-in sessions. These are run by staff and parent volunteers on a Thursday afternoon, and can be attended for the entire duration of the absence or on an ad-hoc basis. The children have the opportunity to talk to other children who are in the same position and to the adults about their feelings. It has been lovely to hear them talk about the positives to having a parent away - for example visiting the parent in Cyprus or looking forward to the treats when they are home. The children also have the opportunity to write (or dictate) letters or make cards, take photos of work they have done or make a welcome home gift.