The charity Little Troopers has launched a new project to support military children from all three services while their serving parent is deployed away from home.
Little Troopers' 'All Together' is a deployment club open to children of all ages, providing free residential breaks, adventure days and online sessions, all made possible by a generous grant from the Veterans’ Foundation.
The project aims to bring together children who have a loved one deployed, giving them the opportunity to meet with others in a similar situation, spend time together and access support during one of the most challenging times of Armed Forces life.
Louise Fetigan, founder of Little Troopers, said: “Each year, thousands of military children have a parent, or in some cases both parents, deployed for months at a time."
"Many families from the military community were telling us their children and young people were finding deployments hard; that they were struggling with feeling isolated and they felt being with others in a similar situation would be beneficial."
"As a charity we promise to listen to what’s needed and do our best to meet those needs.”
“This is why we are launching a dedicated project to support these children during this challenging time. 'All Together' is the only tri-service initiative open to all military children who have a loved one deployed."
The first “All Together” event will be an adventure day for 80 children this summer. This will be followed by a residential weekend for military teens and a series of online events in autumn 2022. Further events are planned for spring 2023.
Thanks to the grant awarded by the Veterans’ Foundation, Little Troopers will be able to provide support for hundreds of military children experiencing deployment.
"Our aim is to reach as many children as possible and to help them feel part of a special community of other little troopers who are going through the same experience," said Louise.
"A huge thank you to the Veterans’ Foundation and everyone who plays the Veterans’ Lottery for making this possible.”
David Shaw, CEO and Founder of the Veterans’ Foundation, said, “We are delighted to award this grant to Little Troopers – their work providing breaks, events and support for children whose parents are away on deployment is so important.
“This vital funding would not be possible without our supporters, their donations and the players of the Veterans’ Lottery, who have helped us to give over £10 million in grants to more than 300 UK-based military charities since 2016 – thank you all.”
To play the Veterans' Lottery and support more causes like this, as well as being in with a chance to win up to £50,000, click here:
Adventure day for children aged 7-14
Little Troopers has organised a special adventure experience for up to 80 children. The sessions will take place at the same time at eight different locations across the UK, with ten spaces available at each location. Applications will open on the Little Troopers website at the end of May.
Residential breaks for children aged 13+
Little Troopers will run two residential breaks for military teens who have a parent deployed. The activity weekends are planned for October and February. Applications for the October residential will open in July.
Online events for under 10s
Starting in the autumn, Little Troopers will run a series of online shows and events specifically aimed at supporting younger military children through deployment. More information will be announced later this year.
Little Troopers is a registered charity offering support to all children who have parents serving in the British Armed Forces. The charity has a number of resources that parents can use to support children at home including the Little Troopers Separation Pack and Little Troopers Treasures story recording app for military parents to record themselves reading stories for their children to watch while they are away. The charity also runs a school programme which provides specialist resources, courses and workshops for teachers and service children in school. For more information visit www.littletroopers.net