Saturday, 13 July 2024
UK Charity Week 2024 - Sponsored by Sinclair Method UK
Saturday, 13 July 2024

Bear hugs for Windsor military children while parents are deployed

TWENTY-four children from Windsor who all have parents deployed overseas with the British Armed Forces were invited to a special event to mark UK Armed Forces Day.

Thanks to the military children’s charity Little Troopers and Build-A-Bear Foundation, the children visited the recently opened Build-A-Bear Workshop at Windsor Royal Station to make their very own bear to treasure while they are separated from their serving parents.

The children, whose parents serve with the British Army and Royal Air Force, got to experience Build-A-Bear’s hands-on, interactive process and create their very own personalised furry friends, complete with the brand’s iconic Heart Ceremony. The personal nature of the interactive experience often fosters a lasting and emotional brand connection.

Bear hugs for Windsor military children while parents are deployedChantelle Parker, who attended the event with her two children, commented:

“My husband has been deployed for the last five months, and it’s been really tough for both of our children since it’s their first long deployment Daddy has done. The Little Troopers event was incredibly special, and both children absolutely loved it. They said it was the best day ever!”

The event is part of a long-term partnership between Little Troopers and Build-A-Bear Foundation which has provided more than 5,000 teddy bears to military children across the UK since 2020.

Louise Fetigan, Founder of Little Troopers, commented:

“Having a parent serving away from home for months at a time is one of the hardest things that military children experience. Sometimes having something as simple as a bear to cuddle when you are feeling sad or are missing your parent can make a real difference and help these children to feel supported. The bears from Build-A-Bear Foundation have always proved really popular with our families and today was a really special way to mark Armed Forces Day for those children celebrating without their serving parents at home.

“We are honoured to partner with Little Troopers to support the children of those serving in the British Armed Forces,” said Rosalind Johnson, President of Build-A-Bear Foundation. “For more than 25 years, Build-A-Bear has added a little more heart to life and continues to build impactful programmes guided by the Foundation’s mission.”

Bear hugs for Windsor military children while parents are deployed
Freya and Mason with their bears.

Little Troopers is a tri-service charity that operates nationwide to support children who have one or both parents serving in the British Armed Forces. The charity provides a wealth of resources, initiatives and events that military families can tap into, particularly when a parent is serving away or when a child has to move home or school. This includes residential breaks, adventure days, separation packs and a military children’s newspaper and podcast. The charity also runs a Little Troopers at School programme to provide teachers with dedicated resources to use in the classroom with their service children.

For more information about Little Troopers, please visit: www.littletroopers.net.

For more information about Build-A-Bear, please visit: www.buildabear.co.uk.

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