Children from military families to remember the fallen at Ripon Cathedral

Poppies at Ripon Cathedral

12:45pm 9th November 2017
(Updated 6:10pm 9th November 2017)

More than 600 children and young people from military families will gather at Ripon Cathedral on Friday for the annual Service of Remembrance.

It will include contributions from school choirs and bands, readings and poetry, and large-scale artwork will be on display.

Senior figures from the military, civic and education communities will also attend the event.

County Councillor Janet Sanderson, North Yorkshire's Executive Member for the Children and Young People's Service, said: "Service children make a great contribution to their schools and communities. They share their experiences of moving from place to place and their resilience in spending prolonged periods apart from loved ones. Changes in schools, friends and often countries are part of their normal lives.

"We are hugely proud of their contribution and we do everything we can at the county council with our wider partners to support service children in their family life and through high standards of teaching and learning, as well as pastoral support in schools."

The Very Reverend John Dobson, the Dean of Ripon, added: "The Cathedral takes great pleasure in working with North Yorkshire County Council in organising this great annual service for military pupils across the region.

"These children know about the impact of military life on personnel families from the inside. It is great to see them gathering in this ancient Cathedral in such large numbers for an act of remembrance in which they celebrate in worship the enduring benefits of our armed forces. By gathering together, they both give and receive encouragement."

North Yorkshire County Council has been maintaining support for the children of military families in schools at a time of continued change for the armed forces.

The authority has expanded several of the county's schools in recent times, including Dishforth Airfield Primary School and a number of primaries in Catterick which continues to be developed as Europe's largest 'super garrison'.

It's also received extended funding from the Ministry of Defence for its two Service Pupil Champion posts which it created more than three years ago.

They are both members of military families and operate in areas where there is a concentration of service personnel - Ripon, Dishforth, Catterick, Richmond and Bedale.

Their role is to provide bespoke support to families and to develop a peer support network for children.

They also provide training for school staff to raise awareness of the particular challenges which come with a service lifestyle.

Together with Matt Blyton, the council's strategic lead for service pupils, they are planning a national conference for professionals in Harrogate to share good practice.

The Service Pupil Champion role has recently been shortlisted for a county council innovation award in the category of 'Improving the Customer Experience'.

The winner will be revealed at a ceremony in Northallerton on 7 December.

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