There’s another military charity on the block – but this one is a little different.
Little Troopers is the only UK charity dedicated to supporting all children who have parents serving in the British Armed Forces. It’s estimated there are 100,000 military children in the UK.
The charity has been celebrating its 10th anniversary this year with a range of new caring, supportive initiatives.
How it all began
In 2011, founder Louise Fetigan was an army veteran and military spouse and mum. Her husband was in the middle of back-to-back deployments to Iraq and then Afghanistan.
Their daughter Madison struggled to cope with her dad being away and Louise felt that there wasn’t sufficient support available for military children. She held her first fundraising event – and the charity was born.
Madison is now 18 and has just started university.
Little Troopers is still very small and run from within the military community. However it has achieved a great deal in that time.
In 2021, Little Troopers has launched a series of free resources for secondary schools to support military teens. These include:
- An online resource hub
- A military child wellbeing course
- a new podcast series called SQUAD in which 15 teenagers were interviewed. The podcast is presented by TV and radio broadcaster Katie Thistleton.
In addition, this year the charity has also:
- Run a virtual roadshow for military children in primary schools. 3,400 children attended from 200 schools.
- Partnered with the Welsh government to get Little Trooper storybooks into every primary school in Wales.
- Partnered with Build-A-Bear this Christmas to distribute 2,000 teddy bears to children whose parents will be deployed over the holidays.
- Created a new, free newspaper called The Little Troopers Gazette. This is written by military children, for military children to help them feel a sense of community and to hear from other military children who share similar experiences.
- Launched a new series of downloadable resources for families to use at home, called The X-Ray of Feelings.
Other ongoing projects
The charity is already supporting children through a number of simple, morale-boosting schemes.
- An award scheme called the Little Trooper of the Month. Parents and teachers can nominate children to receive a medal and prize for being especially brave or resilient.
- We have a free app called The Little Troopers Treasures app, where parents who are going away can record themselves reading stories. Children can watch it back and see their parent alongside the e-version of the book.
- Little Troopers Letters – an initiative to help support children during house moves. They receive two letter writing kits and can give one to a friend they are leaving behind to help them stay in touch.
- Birthday cards – families can request free handwritten birthday cards from us. These are usually used by parents who are serving away from home and will be missing their child’s birthday
- Separation packs – specifically for families going through deployment or prolonged separation. They include a world map, stickers, separation diary, photo frame and parent information sheet.
For more information or to make a donation, please visit the charity’s website.