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The BIG Debate

We live in a world where the best jobs and best opportunities go to the people who are most articulate, the people who are best at putting their point across. So, learning to debate can be incredibly valuable for young people.

Frequent moves can disrupt a child’s social support network and cause feelings of isolation, as they may have to often adjust to new environments, schools, and peer groups. This can lead to a sense of disconnection and loneliness, as the child may struggle to establish meaningful relationships in their new community.

So, recognising the advantages of debate training and the sometimes-isolated situation for naval children, we at the Naval Children’s Charity, working in partnership with veterans charity Forward Assist and educational charity Parallel Histories, created a new debating programme. A programme for young people from naval families who would both benefit from debate training and enjoy getting to know and sharing experiences with other young people from naval families located in different parts of the country or abroad.

Over a series of online workshops, our young people learnt many valuable skills to take forward in life. They were then invited to take part in a final debate in London, the topic in question? Discuss the Pros and Cons of being a Naval Child.

Joshua Hillis, Deputy Editor of Parallel Histories commented:

‘They were brilliant. They were articulate and debating in a way that really, we’d hope adults would debate, they were engaging respectfully with each other but robustly, and relating their own experiences in an emotionally mature way. The confidence and speaking skills they brought to it was amazing and the ability to engage with questions coming from Ministers and senior figures and also doing that in front of a camera with the lights on them. That was impressive.’

Many thanks to the team at Parallel Histories for all the fantastic work they put into giving our young people a wonderful experience and some fantastic life skills to take forward.


How we can help you

Apply for Financial Assistance using the Lightning Reach portal.

For applications for financial assistance you can apply by clicking on Register for Help below which will take you to the Lightning Reach portal. This platform is provided by our trusted partner, Lightning Reach, a social impact startup which uses secure technology to make the application process as quick and safe as possible for you.

A simple 3 step process
  1. Register and complete your profile here
    When asked to specify which of the Armed Forces you have served in, make sure to select ‘Royal Navy’, ‘Royal Marines’, ‘Merchant Navy in support of the Armed Forces’ or from the roles / industries list to ensure you are matched to Naval Children’s Charity.

  2. Once you’ve completed your profile, you should receive a support match to The Naval Children’s Charity. Click ‘continue’ to complete and submit your application.

  3. Provide your supporting evidence and submit your application to The Naval Children’s Charity.

Once your application has been made a caseworker will be in touch as soon as possible, this is usually within 3 days.

The profile you create on the Lightning Reach portal can also help you to find and apply for support from other support organisations easily and securely. We recommend that you submit your application to The Naval Children’s Charity first before submitting applications to other organisations.

For help with completing your application, visit Lightning Support and search for ‘The Naval Children’s Charity’.

If you have a question or not sure what help you need and require information or advice please use this online form.

Alternatively, If you would prefer to call our casework team, we can be contacted on 023 9263 9534, our office hours are 0830-1600 Monday to Friday.

How we can help you

The Naval Children’s Charity supports children up to and including the age of 25 whose parent(s) serve or have served in the Naval Service: Royal Navy, Royal Marines, QARNNS, WRNS, their Reserves and the RFA. If you need information or advice regarding support for your child(ren) please fill in the form to the best of your knowledge. One of our caseworkers will then contact you.

If you would prefer to call us we can be contacted on 023 9263 9534, our office hours are 0830-1600 Monday to Thursday and 0830-1300 on Friday.