THE first residential retreat for military service children from across South East Wales has been hailed a success.

Service children from Newport, Monmouthshire, Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly and Powys took part in the health and wellbeing activity residential retreat with Forces Fitness and Supporting Service Children in Education Wales (SSCE Cymru), the first event of its kind.

Captain Ian Moore, of The Royal Welsh, and Cllr Lisa Dymock, Monmouthshire council’s armed forces champion, attended to present awards at the event, which was supported by Welsh Government funding.

Sean Molino, managing director of Forces Fitness, said he hopes this is “the first of many” such events.

“This was such a fantastic activity retreat for some truly amazing children,” he said.

South Wales Argus: Darcy Wolfe, Shannon Rai, Charlie Ashleigh Hall and Seren-Lee Owen who took part in the event

Darcy Wolfe, Shannon Rai, Charlie Ashleigh Hall and Seren-Lee Owen who took part in the event 

“I honestly loved hearing all their stories and about their life experiences and to see them all getting on so well was absolutely brilliant.”

The three-day event, held at Amelia Trust Farm in Barry, focussed on team-building, communication, health and wellbeing and making new friendships in the outdoors.

Cllr Dymock said: “When you you think about health and well-being this is perfect, it really supports these children.

“I am also an ex-service child and it can be very lonely, most children don’t experience what we do when our parents are away for long periods of time in the armed forces, so I really support this programme, it’s been brilliant.”

Jody Lewis, of SSCE Cymru, added: “The SSCE Cymru team thoroughly enjoyed being involved in discussions with the children and finding out what support they would like from us and their schools.

South Wales Argus: Katelyn McGimpsey taking part in the event

Katelyn McGimpsey taking part in the event 

“As a military spouse, military mum and an ex-primary school teacher, I have been blown away by the benefits and the positive impact that this weekend has had on all these children.

“We are hoping that these residentials will become an annual event that more service children in Wales can take advantage of.”