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.