We are launching the first book in the Rugby Academy series at RAF Cosford Museum on Thursday this week.
But my being Patron is not the only reason the children are joining me. They are coming because the helped me write the book.
Rugby Academy is about rugby team at a school where many of the children have parents in the RAF. To write about such an important and sensitive issue I needed to know more.
Albrighton School and RAF Cosford airbase were really helpful, allowing me to talk to children about what it is like to be in an RAF family. And to the parents about how their children cope with the many challenges being in a forces family.
How does it feel when your parents are mobilised at short notice?
What’s it like when they are away for months and you can only talk to them for a few minutes every week?
How much do you worry?
Or does it feel normal?
How do they feel when their parents return?
I learned a lot from the children at Albrighton Primary. They were very generous with their time. And I asked their parents what I could ask them before I went ahead, to avoid asking stupid questions.
The children also read the book once it was written. To make sure it represented their lives. I hope it does. The last thing I want to do is misrepresent their lives .
After all they did to help me, I am very grateful. That’s why I dedicated the book to them.