How does it work
Each member school has its own in-house group, with delegates who join up at meetings of all member schools. Here, we raise concerns, talk about worries and create fantastic projects that meet our aims, that have been identified as:
- Support for each other and our communities
- Developing intergenerational dialogue, talking with people of all ages
- Creating a national Heroes network
Heroes thrives on the creative nature of our members and support received from many parts of the community. It is a true pupil voice group. The name comes from a joint decision in your own home you can be a Hero, supporting the parent left behind, caring for your brothers and sisters and being brave when your parent or family member is in a dangerous place. ‘We are all heroes,’ noted one ten year-old and it became the name.
When we come to the delegates group, it is “a safe place to talk because you know your friends will understand how you feel because they feel the same”. We can speak openly about our issues and challenge our schools to respond, through the group rather than having to single ourselves out.
Many Heroes experience the trauma brought about by the cycle of Service deployment and value support that does not make us feel ‘different’. Our motto, ‘Together as One’, was devised around this theme, by combined agreement, as was our logo, drawn by a primary school member. The key words we use to show the support that we want from MKC Heroes are: strength, hope, trust, care and support.
At a recent meeting, some older Heroes reported the difficulty of studying war and conflict, as lessons can trigger intense emotions. “I just have to get out of the room,” said one girl, “my teacher wouldn’t understand.”
Issues we have talked through have included responding to our feelings related to the cycle of deployment and the death of a parent in Afghanistan. When three girls, all under 8, lost their Dad, MKC Heroes was the first to respond. On the day of the funeral, three Hero representatives attended on behalf of the wider group and proudly carried the Heroes standard amidst those of the Royal British Legion and the Regiment. The scene was so moving that it provoked letters to the local paper praising our strength in the face of our specific challenges. This was very kind but we didn’t want praise - we support our friends.
Our Ambassadors have made a brilliant video that shows teachers what our lives can be like. It is for schools to use to help teachres to understand us better. You can see the film and an ITV documentary about it on this site. The Ambassadors won a Diana award for their campaign with the film. Please have a look at the film and share it with others.
Working with others
The group is successful due to the partners supporting us -City and County Councils, local businesses, Royal Navy, Army, Royal Marines, Councillors, MPs, Naval Personal and Family Service, HIVE welfare support, contributing schools and our main supporter: The Royal British Legion
Talking with people of all ages is a key focus, and we want to make a difference in our communities.
We work with faith and community groups, supporting many public occasions, we have a plot in the national garden of Remembrance at Wootton Bassett, where we send crosses and a wreath, each year, with our thoughts and feelings written on them, we support homecomings of our troops and their anniversary events, not to mention Armed Forces Day. We hold events for Veterans, raise money for Service charities and, most of all, we care for each other…we are a family…Together as One.
Heroes have the first children’s standards, matching those of the RBL. These have become the rallying symbol of Heroes and helped engagement with city events and developed understanding of team work. The national standard was dedicated in Armed Forces Week 2012. This travels the Nation to significant events.
Each school/pre-school group has developed from a small club into a resource to provide support in the way that best suits each place. Heroes have focused on supporting our families through difficult times and are keen to support our partners to achieve their aims, specifically the RBL, for whom we have raised quite a lot every year.
Developing the Heroes Network
As Service children move on and as Heroes gets more publicity, schools continue to join.
The volunteer support team has brought together adults supporting us on a day to day basis, helped to up-skill them, develop networking and has actively linked them with other supporting agencies and each other.
If you would like find out more, check out our school pages, where you will see what we get up to on a regular basis. Click the latest news items to see what’s going on and, if you want to help, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You could join our supporters page!
To date Heroes has in excess of 8000 members and is growing daily.
This is based on several factors, that include registered service children, as noted in the annual schools’ census. In addition, any child who has any relative serving in any of our Armed Forces, the Reserve Forces or the the RFA, can be classed as a Heroes member. Children of Veterans are also eligible as Heroes.