Today sees the launch of our 2021 calendar which, this year, features heart-warming photos and stories of real-life military children, as well as personal messages written by celebrities. After a bleak 2020 our aim is to inspire all young people who have a family member serving in the British Armed Forces.
Each month of the calendar features a photo and story that was submitted by a family serving with the Royal Navy, British Army or Royal Air Force. This is part of the charity’s ‘Though Our Eyes’ campaign to capture the unique adventures and challenges experienced by military children over the last 18 months.
The calendar is designed for families to use at home. This year for the first time we have included a monthly positive message from a celebrity who has either served in the military or grown-up as a military child, including Mark Ormrod MBE, Colonel Dame Kelly Holmes, Jordan North, Joanna Lumley and Andy McNab.
Some of the children featured in this year’s calendar are:
- Sisters Lily-May (3) and Lexi (2) in an emotional reunion with their Mum following a three-month deployment to Iraq.
- 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, founder of Little Troopers, said: “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 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, people will see what this very special community of amazing and resilient young people face. Little Troopers wants to continue and grow our work to ensure they have the support that they deserve and the money raised from the sale of this calendar will help.”
The Little Troopers 2021 calendar is now on sale, costing £8.50, You can order yours here.
This year has been a busy one for the charity with the launch of its Little Troopers Letters pack for service children who are due to move home soon and wish to keep in touch with a close friend they will be leaving behind. 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.