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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

Military Wives

2020-03-11T13:57:20+00:00

Have you seen Military Wives yet? Founder and director of Reading Force, Alison Baverstock, gives her thoughts on the film here, what the makers got wrong, and what they got so right…   Military Wives Military wives are mostly invisible. Partly through inclination – we just tend to get on with it – and partly because wider society has not, until now, appeared particularly interested in us. Joining the military is both a heritable and regionally-specific activity, so there are some families/parts of the country that know all about the Forces, and others that are almost entirely ignorant. So a film [...]

Military Wives 2020-03-11T13:57:20+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

The Brightstorm twins are back for more adventure on the sky-ship Aurora…

2020-02-06T10:00:48+00:00

We’re thrilled Vashti Hardy, the author of Brightstorm and Wildspark – both nominated for the Blue Peter Book Award! – has written our latest guest blog to mark a very exciting day… Darkwhispers, the sequel to Brightstorm, is out TODAY!!! In this blog Vashti shares the books and stories she loved as a child, the moment she knew she wanted to create stories, and what inspired her to write the brilliant Brightstorm… As a child, I was always drawn to stories with an element of fantasy, science fiction and magic. The first longer book read to me by a teacher in [...]

The Brightstorm twins are back for more adventure on the sky-ship Aurora… 2020-02-06T10:00:48+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

Planning for Christmas… with a loved one away

2019-12-18T22:29:59+00:00

Founder of Reading Force, Alison Baverstock, was an Army wife for 30 years and experienced many Christmases separated from her husband. Here she shares her top tips for managing Christmas with a loved one away from home. Our local department stores usually start their preparations for Christmas around autumn half-term. By now I imagine their staff are thoroughly fed up with the sound of carols and Christmas songs! Planning for Christmas can also be a very stressful business. To me it’s no surprise that it regularly scores high on the list of common events people dread. There are just so many [...]

Planning for Christmas… with a loved one away 2019-12-18T22:29:59+00:00

Let’s hear it for the girls…

2019-11-20T11:37:36+00:00

A lucky Reading Force family recently won a copy of Holly Webb’s exciting new book The Runaways. Holly is the author of 128 books, and we’re thrilled Holly has written our guest blog on her favourite books with standout girl characters… I’ve always loved books with a historical setting, so starting to write books set in the past has been so exciting for me over the last few years. My new book, The Runaways, has a determined girl at its centre, a child who’s determined to save the animals she loves. Here are some of the historical novels whose amazing girl [...]

Let’s hear it for the girls… 2019-11-20T11:37:36+00:00

A Secret Diary of The First World War

2019-11-11T22:31:55+00:00

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 [...]

A Secret Diary of The First World War 2019-11-11T22:31:55+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
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