Family Stories

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Brave New World

2020-07-01T15:11:00+00:00

Ahead of a seminar on the lives and experiences  of Forces partners, taking place on 8th July, Alison Baverstock, Reading Force founder and military wife for 30 years reflects on lockdown and deploymets. Talking to a young friend over the weekend, her experience of returning to work after self-isolating at home really chimed with me. At the time, I couldn’t put my finger on why. Later I realised she had been describing how I always felt at the end of a deployment. All of a sudden your world changes, and things are back to normal – except they are not. The end-date [...]

Brave New World 2020-07-01T15:11:00+00:00

‘I’ve always enjoyed both reading and being read to.’

2020-06-05T15:16:46+00:00

In Part 3 of the Blakesley family lockdown blogs, Nathaniel (12) shares his thoughts on reading, boarding school, and Sherlock Holmes during lockdown… I’ve always enjoyed both reading and being read to. I remember having loads of books in my room as a toddler (including The Gruffalo, The Gruffalo’s Child, Mister Magnolia etc), and then reading almost all of the Beast Quest and Sea Quest books as fast as I could. Dad gave me his old Kindle in 2014 (I was 6) and loved the idea of being able to download books, but as I have got older I have come [...]

‘I’ve always enjoyed both reading and being read to.’ 2020-06-05T15:16:46+00:00

Lockdown Life

2020-06-05T12:14:42+00:00

In Part 2 of the Blakesley lockdown blogs, Karen takes the pen from Paul and recalls arriving in the UK, moving to the Services Cotswold Centre, how reading habits change with life events, and her father’s last days. As international flights go, the return to the UK was relatively uneventful. We landed in London in early March with only the clothing we took for a diving holiday in Asia, the weather was cold but thankfully dry. We managed to navigate to a military welfare flat in Westminster, our home for the next three weeks. The heating was working so even with [...]

Lockdown Life 2020-06-05T12:14:42+00:00

Stranded!

2020-06-03T09:24:15+00:00

The Blakesleys are a military family currently serving in Kuwait. Paul commissioned into the Infantry in 1994, and he and Karen (a qualified Head Teacher on a career break) have two sons, Maxwell (15) and Nathaniel (12). The boys attend Ellesmere College and The Dragon School respectively. The family have lived in Catterick, Warminster, Wilton, North Luffenham, Pirbright, the US, Germany, Cyprus. They will move to Izmir, Turkey, in late 2020. The Blakesleys are avid readers and have been members of Reading Force since 2013. For this series of blogs we asked the Blakesleys to talk about their current experience of [...]

Stranded! 2020-06-03T09:24:15+00:00

Just to let you know we’re still open for business…

2020-03-23T12:32:50+00:00

The Scott siblings opening Reading Force post I’ve had a familiar feeling in my stomach for the last week or so, as we prepare for the arrival of something we can’t see but know is coming. Talking to my Reading Force colleagues this morning, I suddenly realised what it was – the feeling I always got when preparing for an unaccompanied tour. It’s a combination of emotions: uncertainty, knowing that I wanted to hold my family close; having enough resources to support us all and keeping us thinking about anything other than a long separation. And [...]

Just to let you know we’re still open for business… 2020-03-23T12:32:50+00:00

An epic adventure to the Arctic Circle

2020-03-11T14:30:37+00:00

Alison Allmand-Smith is about to embark on an epic adventure to the Arctic Circle to fundraise for Reading Force – WOW! We’d like to say a very BIG thank you to Alison! In this blog she talks about why she’s going on this survival expedition and why Reading Force is close to her heart…   Hello, on 6th March I’m setting off to Kiruna in the Arctic Circle to raise money for Reading Force. The expedition has been organised by a group of former Elite British and Swedish soldiers, headed up by Military Cross holder Steve Heaney of adventure and survival [...]

An epic adventure to the Arctic Circle 2020-03-11T14:30:37+00:00

Booking the chance to say thank you

2020-02-03T10:01:33+00:00

Running a charity, and ensuring there is enough money to keep going, is much harder than it looks.   Charities rely on donations. Company budgets and funds that give charitable grants are increasingly under pressure. Plus there is a natural reluctance for any organisation to find a charity over-dependent on their contribution, and hence – should they be unable to continue funding – to become the reason someone loses their job. Most company donors feel comfortable if they see a range of sponsors listed – but finding new sources of sponsorship can be really difficult. In the current climate, with so [...]

Booking the chance to say thank you 2020-02-03T10:01:33+00:00

Top tips for military life

2020-01-21T14:36:27+00:00

Julie Boyle’s husband is leaving the Army this year, having served for 22 years. Here, as our guest blogger, Julie looks back on life as a military wife and mother, reflects and shares her top tips for managing the ups and downs of military life. Looking back on my military life… I met Owen almost eight years ago, I knew then life would be a rollercoaster! I was right too. Living over two hours apart meant we saw each other at weekends and when Owen was on leave, when other army commitments didn’t interfere of course. It was tricky and at [...]

Top tips for military life 2020-01-21T14:36:27+00:00

Thinking of doing Reading Force?

2019-09-23T18:01:18+00:00

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 [...]

Thinking of doing Reading Force? 2019-09-23T18:01:18+00:00

Happy New Year and New Reading

2019-05-03T15:52:14+00:00

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 – [...]

Happy New Year and New Reading 2019-05-03T15:52:14+00:00
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