The Armed Forces Covenant Fund supported an initiative by Hampshire County Council and the University of Winchester to establish a county wide network of district coordinators for work with Service children in schools and to encourage and support projects to raise awareness and integrate Service and civilian communities.
Lauren Smith-Birch, the University's Widening Participation Coordinator in charge of the Service children support programme, invited schools across Hampshire to develop projects with their Service and non-Service students and to apply for a prize fund, awarded and celebrated at a Festival of Friends event at the University on 27th April.
Stands showcasing the inspiring projects gave the audience the chance to learn more about the winning projects and to talk to the pupils and staff involved. Projects included groups and events and unique initiatives such as supporting both Service and civilian families with separation by giving both child and parent knitted dolls. Pupils set up their showcase stands and then enjoyed a campus tour and taster sessions in departments such as the multi media centre. They also had an opportunity to talk to university students and find out about university life before the awards ceremony. Hampshire County Council's Andy Heyes ran a CPD session for school staff.