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Posted On: 15th Feb 2013

Surviving on the Home Front

Laurie and her group with an armed forces spokesperson
Laurie casting the role for her film

A group of young people, whose parents are members of the armed forces, are creating a film to encourage their teachers to understand the effects overseas deployment has on their lives.


The Plymouth-based group wants to show how it is not just the deployment itself which affects them, but the pre-deployment, rest and recovery, and post-deployment stages - known as the 'deployment cycle'.


The group feel teachers in their schools have difficulty understanding the constant life changes service children face.


Lead Fixer Laurie Foxcroft (17), and the other Fixers in the group, all experience frequent changes in their family dynamics due to the deployment of their family members.


Laurie’s step-father works as a submariner in the Royal Navy and is often sent overseas, being away from home for periods of six to nine months.


This can cause difficulties in school as relocation may be needed, and can create tension at home as Laurie adopts a parenting role over her sister.


She explains: ‘Service children face added stress at school, especially when talking about war in a history lesson, or discussing the whereabouts of their father on a parents’ evening.


'Also, if we relocate, we fall behind on work. Couple this with the worry at home for the safety of your family and your life becomes pretty strained, socially and professionally.


‘We do not want special treatment from teachers, but we would like to make them aware of the challenges we face.'


Through a short film intended for teaching staff, Laurie and the team will talk about their experiences as a service child.


The team will then work with HMS Heroes - a group which provides support to families of armed forces personnel - to distribute the film.


‘Although I am not technically a service child [a service child must be biologically related] it still affects me, and many other young people, in a variety of ways. I hope our film will show the strains in our life.'


The film is currently in production and should be completed by Easter.

Author: Ashley Scrace


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