The past few weeks have filled us with joy, attending several homecoming events watching families be reunited in time for Christmas. We are aware however, that this hasn’t been the case for all families and with that in mind, please do remember that we offer all naval children free resources to help cope with having a parent away.
Our office will be closed from the 21st December to the 2nd January and the team is looking forward to some time off to recharge their batteries after an incredibly busy 2023. However, we know that many of you will be struggling at this time of year, for many different reasons.
Please contact your local authority or the NHS on 111 or www.111.nhs.uk if you need support during this period. If you’re struggling with your mental health, reach out to The Samaritans either through their website or their 24/7 helpline 116 123 (freephone). Mind’s website has some brilliant resources for managing your wellbeing.
With times still being a financial strain for many, we were thrilled that V2 Radio, the local commercial station for Sussex, asked their listeners to take part in a toy appeal, of which we were a beneficiary. As you can see from the picture above, we received an incredible number of gifts that will make Christmas morning a little more special for some of our young people.
Speaking of our young people, we are delighted to have teamed up with Over The Wall, a UK based charity for children and young people with health challenges and disabilities to discover a world of mischief and magic.
They provide a safe place to step outside of comfort zones, establish friendships and build confidence through meaningful and exciting activities and we have secured 8 places at a selection of different camps next year. We are inviting applications from children and young people aged 8-17 years, who are currently experiencing health challenges or have finished treatment in the last 3 years. Also, the invitation is open to children and young people aged 8-17 years who have a sibling (0 – 17 years) who is currently experiencing health challenges or has finished treatment in the last 3 years. Pop to our Facebook page for more details.
And the opportunities for our young people don’t stop there. We have been extremely lucky and have managed to secure some more voyages with Tallships Youth Trust!!!
The available dates:
February 13th -17th for 12–15-year-olds. The voyage is Portsmouth to Portsmouth
March 25th –29th for 16–25-year-olds. Again, the voyage is Portsmouth to Portsmouth
October 13th–17th October for 12 – 15-year-olds and again it is a Portsmouth to Portsmouth Voyage but as this falls in the Scottish half term, we will be providing transport from and back to Glasgow. SPACES ARE LIMITED, so email your expression of interest to us and we will send an application form to you.
We are also launching two new projects in January so look out for more details. With Leaders Unlocked we want to hear from you – we are looking for young people between the ages of 12 and 25 (with a particular focus on Portsmouth, Plymouth, Somerset and Helensburgh – so we can see what life is like for the different strands of the Royal Navy) with the aim of exploring what your lives are really like – and along the way work with you to develop your leadership skills for the future. This exciting project will help inform us how to find the best opportunities for our Life Chances programme – so we can make a real difference in your lives. The application process for this will be launched in January so look out for details.
For those of you who are interested in the cultural and creative industries we will also be launching a Digitally Mediated Creative programme – Your Creative Future. If you want to know more about what a career in the Arts or how to turn your creative side into a career and you are aged between 14 and 25 then this could be for you. You will hear from Mentors in different Creative roles and get 1:1 support to look at opportunities for you. Places are limited to 30 so look out for how to apply.
Well, all that is left is for me to say is that on behalf of everyone at the Naval Children’s Charity we wish you all a Wonderful Christmas and a very Happy New Year.
Clare Scherer MBE
Chief Executive Officer, Naval Children’s Charity