Longcroft helps forces families stay in touch

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Longcroft School in Beverley is helping to support military families after installing a new system to allow relatives to communicate with service personnel, quickly and easily.

The school now has access to ‘e-bluey’, a system which allows messages to be sent via email and then printed as letters and dispatched through the military postal system.

It can be difficult for young people when those close family members are stationed away from home for long periods of time, which is why Longcroft has established an e-Bluey Club to help support them.

Longcroft School has had close links with the Armed Forces for many years, due to the significant number of students stationed with their parents at the Defence School of Transport in Leconfield who have attended the school.

In addition, any child could have a relative who has signed up to the Army, Navy or RAF, regardless of where they live.

Cathy Duroe, a teaching assistant at the school who established the ‘e-bluey’ club, said: “Having a close family member in the Armed Forces, such as a sibling or parent, can be emotionally difficult for young people, but with the e-Bluey system, direct and quick communication can be achieved, without the message recipient needing access to a computer.

“By providing access to e-Blueys from one of our computer rooms, we are helping students to stay connected with their loved ones.”

Two such student are Connor, 12, and James, 14, Mooney, whose brother Lee is a member of the 1st Battalion Irish Guards stationed at Aldershot.

Whilst on leave, Guardsman Mooney visited the club to see the base of operations from where his younger brothers communicate from. Mr James Mooney, the boys’ father, said: “I think it’s really strengthened their relationship with one another – they can write about personal stuff and support each other despite the distance.

“It’s great that the school has seen this need and is working with students in this way.”

Guardsman Mooney added: “It’s great to stay in weekly contact with my little brothers and to hear all the news from back home. Each message is something to look forward to and really boosts my morale.

“The e-Bluey system is easy to use, but really effective.”

In the future, Longcroft hopes other students with relatives in the Armed Forces will also take the opportunity to join the e-Bluey Club and is also looking at the possibility of developing a pen pal system.

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