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Ruby Boots | Helping to make changes a little easier

Gary Seath 4 weeks ago

Changes and Transition Media

When a parent decides to leave the armed forces it means big changes for their children and young people too.

We listened to the voice of children and young people who have made this change to secure generous funding from the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust to deliver our Ruby Boots Project.

The project works in partnership with schools in Fife and Edinburgh to bring children and young people from armed forces communities together to share lived experience and help peers get ready for making this change.

Adopting a whole-school approach, the project also delivers assemblies to raise awareness and promote greater understanding about how making the change from military to civilian life can impact children and young people.

Making this change can impact children and young people in lots of ways.

For some it’s about leaving communities of support. Some will have lived ‘on the patch’ and formed close bonds with peers and adults through a sense of belonging, shared experience and understanding.

Making changes can also mean adapting to a new identity for some children and young people, having taken great pride in being in a forces family.

In some cases, it will mean making one final move. This can lead to further disruption to friendships, routines, relationships, education, and much more.

It may also mean that, once again, they are the new kid in a new school or the new face within a new community, which can lead to isolation and loneliness.

The Ruby Boots Project helps children and young people to understand and adopt effective strategies to overcome challenges in making these changes.

Sessions are currently running for pupils from armed forces communities at Leuchars Primary School, Madras College, and Firhill High School.

Moreover, assemblies have been held at Balmullo Primary School, St Columba’s High School, and Oxgangs Primary School.

Better still, children and young people will work with an illustrator to share their lived experiences, creativity and ideas to co-develop a storybook.

Once completed, it will be distributed to schools in Fife and Edinburgh to help classmates, educators and professionals to enhance their understanding.

Katy King, Ruby Boots Project Coordinator for Forces Children Scotland said:

“Ruby Boots is helping prepare the young people for a variety of changes surrounding leaving the armed forces community.

Not only does this extend to moving away from the forces community and homes they may have considered temporary but it’s also helping to prepare for a degree of separation from people that they consider family.

“Despite these factors, many young people are seemingly very positive about the upcoming changes and are excited to settle somewhere and have a permanent base.

“However, they do become more subdued when conversations turn to the deeper realities of what will happen and they become more aware of the unknowns.

“There is excitement regarding the idea of leaving and the plans for the future, but apprehension dawns on them when discussion becomes about the realities.

“That’s when the Ruby Boots Project makes positive interventions to ensure the necessary peers support, information and advice is in place.”

 

Do you work with pupils from armed forces communities in schools across Fife or Edinburgh, or are you a young person who would like to know more?

Get in touch and we’ll respond as soon as we can.

 

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