Wales

Fears over funding for military kids scheme in Wales

Jonathan, Josefa and Charlotte
Image caption L-R: Jonathan, Josefa and Charlotte, who all have a parent in the military

A project which supports children of parents in the military is in danger of ending with funding yet to be secured.

The Supporting Service Children in Wales Fund pays for specialists teachers to give children emotional and educational support.

Ministry of Defence funding will end this year, while the Welsh Government - which gave a grant of £250,000 in 2018 - has yet to commit any further.

Millie Taylor, from SSCE Cymru said the children needed extra help.

"The risk is that these children don't receive specialist support and the resources won't be there to run school clubs and give extra help," she said.

At one primary school in Haverfordwest, about 70 children have at least one parent who serves in the armed forces.

The 14th Signal Regiment is based in Brawdy and the married quarters are within the school's catchment area.

Using money from the fund, the school has an MoD keyworker who is one of five similar support staff across Wales who offer specialist help for service children.

Image caption MoD keyworker Kay Reynolds (far right) works with children in the school who have parents in the military

Charlotte, Jonathan and Josefa are all in year five.

"I was born in Germany, then we moved to England and now we're in Wales," Charlotte said.

"I know my dad goes away to help other people in other parts of the world, but I do worry about him.

"It's also a bit nerve-wracking making new friends, starting in a new school is kind of scary."

Jonathan, who is in the same class as Charlotte, said: "We move every four years and in that time, I get used to stuff then we move and it all changes.

"I have to get used to new stuff like a new curriculum. It's disappointing but it's exciting at the same time because I get to make new friends."

Josefa, who has lived in Fiji, England and Wales, said: "I l like it when we travel, it's exciting but when I have to make new friends, it's a bit hard because I'm a bit shy."

A Welsh Government spokesperson said: "We're disappointed that this will be the last year of the MoD's support fund and we're considering how we can best support service children in Wales in the future."

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