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Natasha reflects on campaign lead role

Gary Seath 12 months ago

Forces Life Media

Forces child, Natasha, stars in recent Tornado of Change Campaign.

Natasha’s role portrayed a pupil starting at a new school, having made the change from military to civilian life with her family.

Co-produced with young people from the armed forces community, the campaign aims to enhance empathy and understanding of what it’s like to make this change.

There are over 5000 children and young people from veteran families living in Scotland.

The campaign amplified lived experiences of what it feels like when a parent decides to leave the armed forces and communicated some unique challenges faced.

Making the change can prove a worrying, overwhelming, and disorientating experience, often leading to moving school and home, whilst feeling an acute sense of loss concerning identity, community, and friendships.

Communicated via three conceptual videos, the campaign themes focus on feeling anxious about what lies ahead, being lost and alone in a new place, and feeling powerless in the face of change.

As a forces child, Natasha relished the opportunity to get involved, she said:

“Being able to represent children and young people, who, like me, have experienced the joys and hardships of being a military child, has been a real privilege.

“I could relate to what my character experienced. Being a military child, I had moved schools a few times, and I wanted to feel welcome and supported too.”

Natasha told us that her father had served in the 1st Battalion The Royal Green Jackets, which later became the 2nd Battalion The Rifles, from 2003 until 2016.

He was medically discharged due to a gunshot wound sustained on operations in Basra, Iraq, and he is now working as a Veterans Programme Manager and pursuing a career in mental health and counselling.

Making the change to civilian life proved challenging for Natasha’s family, who said her father was fortunate to receive support from several veteran charities.

Having reflected on retracing similar steps taken on her personal journey, Natasha provides the following advice to peers who will make the change to civilian life with their families in the future:

“Getting involved in the Tornado of Change Campaign certainly brought back memories of moving to a new place, leaving old friends behind, and joining a new school.

“ I would say don’t worry; Embrace new challenges! Seek support if you feel anxious. There are lots of people and organisations, like Forces Children Scotland who will be willing to help make the change a little easier.”

Watch Natasha’s video now

Trigger Warning: This campaign explores lived experience of children making the transition from military to civilian life, which some may find triggering. 

 

Natasha got involved in our Tornado of Change Campaign, via Forces Children Scotland’s Youth Participation services.

 

Are you a young person or parent from an armed forces or veteran family?

Want to know more about our Youth Participation opportunities? 

 

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