We are very pleased to announce that Annington Ltd, which owns and manages homes for Forces families on behalf of the Ministry of Defence is supporting Reading Force over the next three years.
James Hopkins, CEO of Annington, says:
“We were impressed by the support Reading Force is giving those Service families dealing with the challenges of separation and by the simple premise that talking about a book helps parents and children remain connected.”
The funding is being used to support a Reading Force Ambassador in Scotland, who will visit schools attended by Service children, and tri-service Welfare offices and settings across Scotland including Glasgow, Edinburgh, Inverness, Lossiemouth and Faslane.
Our new team member, RF Ambassador Fiona Maxwell (photo) will meet and talk with teachers and pastoral staff about the ways Reading Force can support the needs of Service children, and how the scheme can be utilised in a variety of circumstances – whether a family are at home together, separated by a deployment, readjusting and re-bonding following a deployment, or have recently moved home or school.
For the last year RF Ambassador Pam Parish has been visiting pastoral personnel in schools and settings across England, and the face-to-face meetings have been highly beneficial and raised awareness of Reading Force and its free resources to families. We wanted to extend this impact to Scotland.
James Hopkins: “When the charity asked us to help them fund the costs of an Ambassador for Scotland, an important area for the charity’s development strategy, we were delighted to help.”
Our new Ambassador for Scotland, Fiona Maxwell, was an Army wife for 34 years and is a mother of three with ten moves of home under her belt. She fully understands the challenges that can arise during separations, new postings, mobility and resettling. She is also a keen reader, and one-time garrison librarian, and books have been a constant throughout her and her three daughters’ military family life.
Fiona: “Being the Reading Force Ambassador allows me to promote my love of, and belief in the importance and lasting benefits of, shared family reading to Services families across Scotland. This matters to me because shared reading was a fundamental part of my family’s life when my children were growing up – and continues to connect us all.
I am looking forward to building lasting and co-operative relationships with schools, unit welfare offices and other organisations involved in the educational, emotional and social well-being of Service children and to raising awareness of Reading Force and its positive outcomes throughout the Forces community and support services. I hope to encourage as many Service families, schools and community groups as possible to experience the fun and merits of taking part.”
Annington Ltd’s support is also contributing to the printing of the special Reading Force scrapbooks for all Service children.
Dr. Alison Baverstock, founder and Director of Reading Force, says: “Reading Force is a simple way of keeping parents involved with home life and children connected to their parents. We appreciate Annington's support very much and are delighted to be working with them to promote the emotional stability of Forces families.”