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Army Puts Pupils Through Paces

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Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 7:01am 11th February 2013

The army is going into a Cornish school.

Veterans are putting pupils at Helston Community College through drills, field craft and personal safety sessions as well as helping instill discipline.

Out of work parents are helping too, to get more work experience.

Pupil Christian is among those taking part. He said: "My behaviour sometimes isn't the best and it's shown me right from wrong. It's good fun as well. They aren't too harsh - but they're harsh enough!"

The training includes skills the veterans learned whilst in the forces, consisting of problem solving, first aid and interview techniques.

This develops confidence and communication skills and raises aspirations so participants have more chance of finding work or setting up their own business.

The initiative also supports the combat veterans as it encourages social interaction, builds confidence and can help them gain qualifications and wider experience.

Tim Cocks, Active Plus Director, said, “The Helston Community College project is a brand new idea where we plan to have two injured veterans – Chris and Stan – delivering activities on a weekly basis to support students and provide opportunities for parents to gain employability and work experience skills by working alongside the veterans.

"Once the parent is involved, further support and training can be offered including training from the veterans or one to one support from Cornwall Works for families, Careers South West and employment advisers. The aim is to encourage the parents into employment, volunteering and further training or work experience. At the same time the project will support the students and the veterans. We are starting the students off with drill training and later a former member of the Special Forces will be coming in to teach personal safety – a course he designed from his own experiences in combat zones."

Helston Community College Assistant Headteacher David McDonald said: "The students will be participating in a variety of activities and training which will enhance their progression in raising aspirations and achievement. The veterans are fantastic role models and will be inspiring the students through a disciplined structure of teamwork and communication activities."

The scheme could be rolled out to other schools if it goes well.

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