Staff from veterans’ charity Launchpad went back to school this week to teach Year 6 pupils the importance of Remembrance Day and why we should remember those who served and honour armed forces members who have died in the line of duty.
Launchpad’s Avondale House is located next to Byker Primary School in Newcastle upon Tyne and staff and residents have visited the school previously to carry out talks and activities around Armed Forces Day and Remembrance Day.
This week, over 60 pupils listened to staff and veterans to learn more about the charity but also what is Remembrance Day and why we pay our respects to those who serve and have served.
They then participated in a creative art session where they designed poppies and drew posters to indicate what Remembrance means to them.
Staff and the pupils from Year 6 were invited to the Remembrance service held at St. Michael’s Church this morning to pay their respects and showcase their poppies and creative designs.
The children aged 10 & 11 were then invited back to Avondale House to meet residents and visited the garden of remembrance, which is situated in the centre of the courtyard within the house and was shown some of the work of last year’s students.
Sam Hughes, Assistant Manager – Projects at Launchpad, said:
“Launchpad’s Avondale House is located in the heart of the Byker estate so it’s important for us to engage with the local school and community so they can understand who we are and how we support veterans who need additional support once they leave service and have found the transition to civilian life difficult.
“The children really welcome the activities we organise for them but it’s nice they learn about the importance of Remembrance Day and participate in the church service.”
Liam Thacker, Year 6 Teacher at Byker Primary School, said:
“This has been a wonderful experience for our Year 6 students to work with the staff and veterans from Launchpad’s Avondale House and to attend this morning’s Remembrance service at the local church. The children proudly displayed their creative poppies at the front of the church for all to see.
“All year groups do some work around Remembrance Day but it is nice that our Year 6 pupils were able to gain a deeper understanding with regards to the meaning of the day itself.
“We have a long-standing partnership with Launchpad and the pupils who attended last years’ service still talk about the occasion. All our pupils are appreciative of the opportunity and how important Remembrance Day is to our community as a whole.”
Launchpad received funding of £400 from Byker Community Trust (BCT), part of Karbon Homes, through the BCT Community Partnership Fund to contribute towards the costs of the materials needed for the activities, such as paint, brushes, paper and pens etc.
Launchpad provides vital accommodation and support for up to 100 veterans in the North of England via three houses in Newcastle, Durham and Liverpool. Avondale House on the Byker estate in Newcastle upon Tyne opened in 2013 and comprises 33 self-contained one-bedroom flats and communal areas for former serving personnel and their partners.
The charity has supported over 575 residents across all three houses. 90% of the veterans who arrive at Launchpad are homeless, and on average over the last five years, 61% successfully moved on to settled accommodation, either living independently, reunited with family or with the support they need and 41% of residents gained employment during their time living at Launchpad.