WS armySERVICE children are to receive extra support in an initiative that champions the issues faced by forces families.

The Wensleydale School & Sixth Form in Leyburn has become a Service Children’s Champion school complete with a peer mentoring group to support students while their parents are on active service.

Sponsored by the Armed Forces, a dedicated member of staff at school will work with the children to address any issues that might arise as their parents serve their country.

A special families’ day was held at Catterick Garrison to give service children and their non-service peers the chance to see what life was like for parents serving in the military.

It also allowed the service children to see what equipment their parents use while on deployment and even taste the food they would eat.

Service children mentor Anna Lancaster said: “I will be running a Service Children’s Champion group from September for all armed forces children in our school.

“This will enable our students to meet other service children and get peer support when parents are away on deployment and generally talk about life in the Armed Forces. The families’ day was a great way to start and everyone really enjoyed themselves.”

Year 7 students Phoebe Whitbread added: “The Service Children’s Day was a very good idea because it was a chance to show children whose family aren’t in the Armed Forces what service life is like and what our families do and equipment they use.

“It is also good because service children get to meet other service children that are in the same situation and they know what it feels like to have your family in a dangerous war zone.”