My name is Rhys, a first time dad blogging about my adventures and experiences of being a parent. [email protected]

Cyfarthfa High School celebrated for supporting service children

L-R: MTCBC Armed Forces Champion, Cllr Andrew Barry; Cyfarthfa Headteacher Mr Lyndon Brennan; His Worship The Mayor, Cllr Declan Sammon; member of Cyfarthfa High School's Raising Standards Team, Marguerite Courtney; MTCBC's Children and Young Person's Champion, Cllr Lisa Mytton.

Cyfarthfa High School has been congratulated for the support it offers students whose parents are either serving or have served with the British Armed Forces.

The school has achieved the Armed Forces Friendly Schools (AFFS) Cymru bronze status in recognition of the level of support and the range of activities offered to eligible students.

Headteacher Lyndon Brennan said: “We are delighted to be celebrated in this way for the tireless work undertaken by our staff to support service children. It is our intention to continually provide a positive environment for service children and would encourage other schools to become more engaged with their Armed Forces community.

“We look forward to developing this programme in the year ahead by providing a wider range of activities and specific provisions tailored to the needs of this particular group of students in the ‘Cyfarthfa family’.”

Around 30 students are currently involved in the scheme which is hosted by trained staff members who understand the unique pressures and difficulties encountered by families where a parent is armed forces personnel.

With group meetings, activities and fun days, students can share experiences and worries with each other, make new friends in the school which they may have moved to mid-term, allowed special leave of absence if their parent is home from the armed forces and even enjoy the experience of looking after a pet – in the shape of Cyfarthfa High School’s dog, Nancy.

Councillor Andrew Barry, the Council’s Armed Forces Champion, said: “Congratulations to Cyfarthfa High School on becoming the first school in Merthyr Tydfil to achieve AFFS bronze status.

“It is important that service children get the appropriate support they need for the unique circumstances they’re often faced with, and I hope that other schools follow-suit in showing their commitment to these children and young people.

“Coupled with the Council achieving the prestigious Ministry of Defence (MoD) Silver Award last month for its Defence Employer Recognition Scheme, this award again reinforces our commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant”.