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Funding success will help service families

Good news for children and young people of military families in York.

The role of Service Families Liaison Officer has been secured for a further two years thanks to a successful funding bid, submitted by Ebor Academy Trust, to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) Educational Support Fund.

The grant means the role can now continue, supporting children and young people of military families at York schools and universities, until at least July 2025.

Ebor already employs Beccy Dixon (pictured above), who has held the role for eight years. Working closely with Army Welfare units, key members of the armed forces and other professionals, Beccy provides critical close support to a multitude of service families across the Garrison especially at times of mobility and deployment.

Beccy routinely liaises with local authorities, schools and universities, to ensure service families are given the best possible educational support.

“This is great news for every educational establishment in the city,” said Gail Brown, Ebor’s chief executive. “Thanks to the financial support of the MoD we have been pleased to work alongside Beccy in providing highly valued pastoral support to military families and children. It is unusual to secure more than one year’s funding so it was really good news to have the reassurance of her expertise for at least another two.”

“I am delighted that Ebor has managed to secure the services of Mrs Beccy Dixon for another two years. The work she does in support of our service families is nothing short of vital and I am incredibly proud that she sits as part of our team,” said Lt Col Matt Jones, York Garrison Commander.

“In what has been a complex and challenging year with MoD-wide estate restructuring and a significant uplift in service children arriving into York Garrison, Beccy remains instrumental in the delivery of training and educational initiatives to a plethora of schools and critical continuity in the positive integration of these children.”

Mike Jory, CYC School Adviser, said that: “having worked with Beccy in her role supporting service pupils in York schools, this is a really exciting development and will bring the benefit of her expertise and experience to an even wider group of people.”

As part of Beccy’s role, continual professional development courses will be designed and set up with the Pathfinder Teaching School Hub in York. Courses will offer teachers and other professionals supporting service children and young people an opportunity to develop their awareness and understanding of the unique challenges that are part of everyday life for military families, further enhancing the support network for the service community.

Beccy said: “Having an understanding of military lifestyle is key when supporting service children, young people and their families, and it is important in establishing effective support mechanisms. We have a responsibility to support our military community, ensuring they are not disadvantaged by their service.

“Equipping teachers and other professionals with the knowledge, skills and understanding, through a structured training programme, will further enhance the support provided through schools and organisations across the city.”

Photo: Beccy Dixon, Service Families Liaison Officer