Our guest blogger, Gill Arbuthnott, author of A Secret Diary of The First World War, shares what it was like to write about real Scottish soldiers... I always buy a poppy in November, but until a couple of years ago, it was a rather impersonal act on my part. Not any more: in September 2016 I started writing a children’s book about the First World War, based on the trench diary of James Marchbank, a boy from Dalkeith, near Edinburgh, who went to war aged 14, in August 1914 and basically grew up on the Western Front. Suddenly, what I read about [...]
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We’re very pleased to welcome guest blogger Daniela Makin, who generously shares her family’s experience of doing Reading Force below…. Our Reading Force... by the Makins Hello! We are the Makins, a book-loving and creative family of one grown-up, one pretend grown-up and two small children, Raphael (age 4) and Corin (age 3). My husband, Seth, is an army doctor working in Suffolk, where we have lived since last September. I am a qualified secondary teacher, currently on sabbatical to enjoy my children's last year at home before they go to school. Reading is very important to us. We have read [...]
Many thanks for supporting Neil, our Ride London 100 cyclist! He made it with flying colours!! We’d like to thank everyone who supported our Reading Force cyclist in August’s gruelling Prudential Ride London 100 miles! And of course we’d like to congratulate and thank Neil Baverstock himself for his amazing achievement. Neil setting off at 0530hrs for his epic ride Neil prepared for this epic cycle ride with significant training in all weathers which paid off on the day. It was a challenging ride made especially difficult by being one of the hottest days of the summer. He completed [...]
Whether you’re on the beach or at home, you can travel everywhere with a good book! Here are some of our favourite new releases…. Babies and toddlers Swarm Of Bees by Lemony Snicket and Rilla Alexander It can feel good to be angry. It can feel better to stop. Swarm of Bees! Swarm of Bees! You are SO angry! What will you do? Watch out! A mischievous boy has unleashed an angry swarm of bees! The result is a zany gallop through a charming town where readers will encounter evidence of some bad behaviour, some [...]
We’re thrilled that our founder and Director, Dr Alison Baverstock, has been awarded a Points of Light Award to coincide with Armed Forces Week for her commitment to Forces families. Points of Light are outstanding individual volunteers – people who are making a change in their community. The Points of Light award acknowledges volunteers who make a difference in society. The awards are administered by the Prime Minister’s office, in collaboration with the Department for Culture Media and Sport. Every week day the Prime Minister recognises an inspirational volunteer with the Daily Point of Light award. On receiving this Points of Light [...]
We love working with other charities supporting Forces families, and The Ripple Pond is a charity we admire and are very happy to work with. Here, founder of The Ripple Pond, Julia Molony, shares her story…. Why I set up The Ripple Pond Julia Molony, Founder of The Ripple Pond In 2009 my second son, Anthony, deployed to Afghanistan. This was his 6th tour of duty in seven years. On 21 May I received a phone call from Anthony’s wife to say he had been seriously injured when his vehicle had detonated an IED. Thankfully I have a very [...]
Our guest blogger, children’s author S.P. Moss, shares memories of her RAF childhood and the books that became ‘home’. She is kindly giving two signed copies of her books, The Bother in Burmeon and The Al-Eden Emergency, to Reading Force families. See our Facebook page for giveaway details. Home is where the books are My brother and me (cool sunglasses!) in Aden, 1960s I learned to read in Aden, back in the far-off days of the 1960s. According to my mum, once I started, I didn’t stop. I read on Tarshyne Beach, which was usually so hot it wasn’t [...]
Free seminar at Kingston University – March 22nd 2019 Photo credit: Neil Hanna Photography At Reading Force we support Forces families, and draw wider attention to the special circumstances that are part of their world – but not necessarily understood by others. Forces families tend to be off the general radar. Although there is an annual reminder on 11th November, for much of the year there are those who live the experience of being in the Forces and those who don’t, and the overlap is not large. Forces people tend to be independent, self-contained, and disinclined to complain. And [...]
Founder of Reading Force, Alison Baverstock, reflects on her long-lasting Forces friendships, the next generation, and a new year’s resolution… We spent New Year with family friends in France. The original friendship, between us and a couple we met when we were both posted by the Army to Wiltshire, has been maintained by the next generation and we were there with their eldest child, herself a member of the Forces, her friends and our daughter. Everyone in the group of ten had a link with the Military, either currently serving or having grown up as the child of a Serviceperson – [...]
We send books to Forces families all year round to enjoy sharing, whether a family is together at home or separated by deployment or training. But with Christmas fast approaching, we’re especially thinking about families who will have a loved one away from home on Christmas day and through the holiday season. Over this festive period, we’re aiming to send around 1,000 books to help families just that little bit. Here, four mums share their situations and thoughts on Christmas in the military and how books and sharing stories across the miles can help... Sian and four year old daughter Amelie [...]