Never Such Innocence Children’s workshops

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HMS Oardacious are a team of four serving submariners that intend to compete in the upcoming Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, rowing 3000 miles across the Atlantic, with the aim of raising money for the Submarine Family, focussing on activities that can support the mental health and resilience of both serving personnel and veterans, including their families.

HMS Oardacious has paired with Never Such Innocence (NSI), a charity which focusses on using creative arts to explore the feelings and challenges felt by children, but specifically those with unique challenges encountered by being the child of a serving or veteran Submariner. The mediums include poetry, art and songwriting. Participants in NSI’s Voices of Armed Forces Children Programme have read poems at the National Memorial Arboretum for the unveiling of the Submariner Memorial and their choir appeared this year on Britain’s Got Talent.

Never Such Innocence has demonstrated that the use of creative arts for children to express their feelings has had a success that is not commonly seen through other means. The pressures and challenges experienced by the children of serving submariners is rarely expressed, predominantly due to the security attached to submarine operations. The aim of this competition is to use HMS Oardacious as the mechanism for children to express their feelings that would not be possible elsewhere

The Competition

Never Such Innocence and HMS Oardacious will be running a creative competition from the start of the race (12 December) until 5 days after the team finishes the race, with age and creative categories. HMS Oardacious and NSI intend to create a booklet of all the best pieces of art submitted by children and are in discussions for a suitable exhibition of the pieces in MoD Main Building.

As part of the competition NSI have agreed to run free workshops for the children of serving personnel. These workshops can be hosted in person at the children’s schools or virtually during the Christmas holidays. The school workshops can be conducted either in Service Children After School clubs or within the routine lessons. Whilst the priority is for the children of serving Submariners, this opportunity is open to all children of serving Royal Navy personnel.

If you would be interested in a workshop being hosted at your children’s school or attending the virtual workshop, please contact Katie Salari at [email protected], with your preference for the workshop, the location of the school and a suitable school point of contact.

Serving in the Royal Navy Submarine Service can be challenging and even more so for children, especially if they don’t feel like they’re comfortable to appropriately express their feelings to their peers or parents through other mediums. These workshops are the perfect opportunity to allow children to express themselves and remind them that they are not alone. All serving families are strongly encouraged to take advantage of these free opportunities.