CHARITY, Little Troopers, has released a collection of real-life photos which shine a light on the experiences of military children during 2020.
The photos and stories were submitted by families from across the three services – Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force – as part of the charity’s ‘Through Our Eyes’ campaign to capture the unique adventures and challenges experienced by children who have a family member serving in the British Armed Forces.
Some of the families featured in the collection include:
- Sisters Lily-May (3) and Lexi (2) in an emotional reunion with their Mum following a three-month deployment abroad.
- Five-year-old Cameron sitting on his doorstep and pictured feeling uncertain and worried about the future after his Mum’s military posting and house move was cancelled due to lockdown.
- Siblings Livi (2) and Evelyn (5) nervously waiting for their Dad to return home after his overseas deployment was extended to eight months due to Covid.
- Three-year-old Petey pictured helping his Dad pack for an up-and-coming deployment, and
- 12-year-old Ella pictured welcoming her Dad home from deployment in August 2019. Erin’s Dad was deployed again in 2020 and has spent much of the year away from home due to Covid restrictions. Her brother is also serving away with the Army and her mum works at a local hospital so Erin attended school throughout lockdown.
Louise Fetigan, founder of Little Troopers, comments: “2020 has been a challenging year for children generally, but lots military children have carried extra weight on their shoulders due to cancelled postings, extended deployments and other pressures. We saw a real increase in messages and enquiries during the lockdown and there are thousands of service children who still have a parent serving away from home or have experienced disruption at home due to the pandemic.
“These photos really capture some of these moments and we hope that by sharing these stories, other military children will see that there are lots of Little Troopers in the world who share similar experiences and are part of this very special community of amazing and resilient young people.”
Little Troopers will be turning the photo collection and accompanying stories into a 2021 calendar to help raise funds for the charity. Each month in the calendar will also feature an inspirational message for military children written by a celebrity who has either served in the military or grown-up as a military child. Celebrities featured include Mark Ormrod MBE, Colonel Dame Kelly Holmes, Jordan North, Joanna Lumley and Andy McNab.
Little Troopers is a registered charity supporting children who have parents serving in the British Armed Forces. The charity runs a number of free initiatives including the Little Troopers Treasures App, which enables military parents to record themselves reading stories to their children to watch while they are away. The charity has also just launched a free secondary school resource hub for teachers to support older military children in school and is planning a primary school workshop roadshow in 2021. For more information visit www.littletroopers.net