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Service Children

Our military connection is an essential part of the school’s distinctive character.

girl getting a book from a shelf

Why our military connection is so important here at Risedale School:

Risedale School has one of the largest proportions of service children (over 40%) of any secondary school in the UK. This military connection is an essential part of the school’s distinctive character. It is expected to expand to between 600 and 800 pupils over the next decade as the population of Catterick Garrison increases and becomes a ‘Super Garrison’. Links with the Armed Forces are strong and to support our service pupils and families we have two dedicated members of staff Helen Porritt and Ewan Thomson our Service Children Advocates.

Your Service Children Advocates here at Risedale:

Helen Porritt and Ewan Thomson have known each other and worked together at Risedale for many years and their combined experience, skills and enthusiasm complement each other greatly. The role of Service Children Advocate is one that they both feel very strongly about, and as a school, Risedale is very proud that they are there to support the needs of our service ps and their families. They are a strong team and as is often the case, 'what one doesn't know, the other one does!'

Helen Porritt

Helen Porritt

"I have strong links with the army as my husband was a serving soldier for 22 years and together we brought up our son in an Army environment. I have lived in married quarters in Catterick as well as Paderborn, Fallingbostel, Hohne and BATUS (Canada). I know what it is like to undergo the stresses and strains of deployments, long periods of separation, as well as the day to day situations that can arise. My role as a Service Children Advocate enables me to use my own experiences with the military for good and hopefully benefit our pupils here at Risedale."

Ewan Thomson

Ewan Thomson

"I left home and joined the Army at 16, serving for over 23 years. I have lived and served in the UK and Germany as well as deployments to Norway, the Falkland Isles, Canada and Kenya along with many other theatres. I have two sons; both of whom were very successful Risedale pupils. My last tour was as a Welfare Officer on the Garrison looking after service personnel and their families whilst serving in Bosnia and Iraq. I have a wealth of knowledge and experience; I know what it is like to be a soldier, husband and father serving in the Armed Forces and how deployments can affect family dynamics. My role as a Service Children Advocate is a position which I hold dearly and look forward to developing as time goes on."