Rubie, Heather, and Jaiden have lent their voice to an awareness-raising campaign about Ruby Boots; a project that supports young people, from 12-24 years old, from veteran families in Fife.
Ruby Boots, an idea generated by young people, received funding from the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust. Its purpose is to train young people from veteran families to support peers who have parents leaving or have recently left the armed forces.
Once trained as Buddy Mentors, they will share lived experience, answer important questions, provide friendship, and organise fun-based activities for peers who are making the change from military to civilian life with their families.
The radio ads aim to encourage young people from armed forces and veteran families in Fife to find out more about how they can get involved, as well as adults from civilian, military, and veteran backgrounds to consider becoming facilitators.
“It’s so good knowing that sharing my experience of life in a forces family has helped to shape Ruby Boots and help other young people who have a parent leaving the armed forces. I really enjoyed getting involved in the radio ads and, hopefully, they help to raise awareness and encourage others to get involved.”
“It’s great that we have something like Ruby Boots happening in Fife which I wish was around when my dad left the armed forces a couple of years ago. I would encourage anyone who could benefit from the project to find out more.”
Many young people from the armed forces community have moved, on average, a minimum of five times across the UK and overseas whilst a parent has served, often moving together with mutual support from families within a regiment, squadron, or fleet.
Making the change from military to civilian life is something very different and made in isolation; it can prove either a gradual or rapid change for young people and their families, who will feel an acute loss of identity, friendships, and community.
Sometimes, young people will take on caring responsibilities for a parent who has experienced life-changing physical or psychological wounds as a direct result of service, who balance this commitment with their education, social life, and hopes for the future.
Emerging evidence has suggested that there are potentially significant numbers of young people from this community living with additional support needs (ASN), such as Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) which makes adapting to change more challenging.
Such experiences can sometimes lead to challenges to education and learning, integration in local communities, making lasting friendships, mental health and wellbeing much more – often too seldom understood and appreciated by civilian peers, families, educators, and professionals.
Ruby Boots Project aims to adapt and respond to ensure individual support needs are met and to reach out to over 1300 young people from the armed forces community that currently live across Fife.
Do you know or work with young people, aged 12-24 years old, from armed forces and veteran families in Fife?Find out more