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Elgin Academy pupil recognised for work with children from military families

By Jonny Clark

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AN ELGIN Academy pupil has been recognised for his dedication to the needs of children from Armed Forces families.

Alfie Crabb, who is in sixth year, set up a service club for the children of military personnel, providing a first-of-its-kind platform at school for armed forces children to talk about the ups and downs of postings and deployment.

Alfie Crabb talks to an audience.
Alfie Crabb talks to an audience.

Alfie’s club idea spread around schools in the Oxford area, where his family were based ahead of their posting north, and he now hopes to help start the club in Moray.

His commitment earned him a role as an ambassador for children’s charity Never Such Innocence. Taking to the stage at their 10th anniversary event at Edinburgh Castle recently, Alfie said it was “crucial the voices of Armed Forces children are heard”.

The 17-year-old, who’s following in his father’s footsteps by joining the RAF, said: “It’s hard to put into words what makes being a military child so different.

“Compared to civilian life there are many changes, which can bring lots of excitement, but challenges too.

“It’s so important that we have clubs and groups in schools that can bring us together. Other young people from Armed Forces families understand what it feels like. Everyone just gets it.”

Alfie has joined forces with Moray’s new initiative, the Dandelion Project, which is led by Moray Council in partnership with RAF Lossiemouth and 39 Engineer Regiment at Kinloss Barracks.

The Dandelion Project, named after the term given to children of military families, is working to ensure the right support is in place in Moray schools.

The education support officer leading the Dandelion Project, Priyanka Chard, was at the Edinburgh Castle event.

They met with Alfie and his family as well as other young people from Armed Forces families in Moray.

Lossiemouth High School pupils, Lily Gilmour and Rhianna Williams, both 16, sang a song which had previously been recorded at London’s Abbey Road Studios and performed on Britain’s Got Talent by the Never Such Innocence charity’s Voices of Armed Forces Children Choir.

Rhianna has been a member of the choir since 2021, and Lily, her friend, is also from an Armed Forces family.

Afterwards, Rhianna said: “I heard so many beautiful words from Armed Forces children at the event and it gave me a better insight into what other service children feel and go through.

“I left feeling very inspired by my peers. I am really grateful to Never Such Innocence for allowing me the opportunity to perform alongside such talented people, and I am now really keen to get involved with the Dandelion Project in Moray.

“It’s so important to allow the voices of Armed Forces children to be heard.”

Priyanka Chard added: “It was inspiring to watch Alfie, Lily, Rhianna, and all the other Armed Forces children presenting on stage.

Lossiemouth High School pupils Lily Gilmour and Rhianna Williams singing on stage.
Lossiemouth High School pupils Lily Gilmour and Rhianna Williams singing on stage.

“They were all full of courage and passion and I was honoured to be a part of such a powerful event.

“It underpinned how important it is that the voices of children from Armed Forces families are heard.”

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