About Little Troopers
Little Troopers is a registered charity supporting all children with one or both parents serving in our British Armed Forces (regular or reserve). These children face unique daily challenges due to their parents career choice especially when they experience repeated separation of varying lengths of time from their serving parent(s) due to exercises and operations plus moving home and school frequently due to service requirements.
As a charity we ensure all Little Troopers have fundamental resources available to help ease and aid any separation period, it is important to us that support can be reached self-sufficiently from wherever military children are based, that initiatives are in existence to keep serving parent and child connected when miles separate and that there is a community celebrating how special all the Little Troopers out there really are!
Our charity was first created back in 2011 and since that time has grown, changed and become the much loved military children’s charity and vital support toolbox that now exists.
A small charity with a big heart doing the very best for all the children of our British Armed Forces
About Louise Fetigan
Louise our founder herself served in the British Army and saw active service in Kosovo. Her husband is a serving soldier who has undertaken seven operational tours of duty since their daughter was born in 2003. Louise is passionate about helping all the Little Troopers at home through the anxiety of deployment, the process of moving home and school frequently and keeping parent and child connected having experienced first hand the impact it can have.
What we do...
As a charity our main objective is to support children with parents serving in the British Armed Forces, regular or reserve. At the core of what we do are our values;
We are Supportive and Welcoming
We strive to be supportive to all British Armed Forces families, regardless of their situation, the only eligibility criteria is children must have a serving mummy, daddy or both in the regular or reserve British Army, Royal Air Force or Royal Navy. All families will be given a warm welcome and encouraged to join the ever growing Little Troopers community.
We are Passionate and Committed
The charity was formed back in 2011 because a Little Trooper needed support and there really wasn’t anything out there specially for forces children, the passion behind the founding of the charity is evident in all that is undertaken and achieved, so much is done with so little. The charity are committed every day to ensuring children are not disadvantaged due to their parents chosen career and the daily challenges that come with military life.
We are Accessible and Dynamic
British Armed Forces families are living in all four corners of the world, we aim to ensure everyone feels included and can access the support we provide quickly, easily and in a self sufficient way. The shape of the British Armed Forces is consistently changing and we, where possible, try to react to that by being as dynamic as we can be for the good of all the Little Troopers.
We are Honest and Approachable
First and foremost honesty is of vital importance, we are transparent in how we operate, within the charity is a wealth of experience of the military. Approachable is something we must be to enable us to support and provide what is needed, it is so important to us that you, our families, can come to Little Troopers when you need us most.
We have created a community for all British Armed Forces families; service, rank, location, military accommodation or private, married or not… none of these factors matter, what bonds everyone is that the children have serving parents. We recognise the unique daily challenges children can face when a parent is serving and we aim with our initiatives and resources to ease and aid separation periods, be it one month or nine months we will be there to support through that time.
BROOME Family – Royal Navy
The girls Dad Dan Broome is a Chief Petty Officer Weapons Engineer currently serving on HMS Portland. He has been on three deployments since Olivia (7) was born; the most recent deployment was nine months. Dan has been on the ship for three years in May and within those years has spent the majority of it away.
Keeping in touch with their Daddy is something that the family works hard at. Dan emails every day if he can, He’ll also call whenever he can. When at sea they have a 30 minutes phone call each week. Unfortunately the WIFI connection isn’t strong enough for Skype. The children send out parcels with treats and things that the girls have made. Dan returns eblueys and postcards to them. In his eblueys he will write a letter and draw a picture for them to colour.
“I want my kids to be proud of the job their daddy does and realise how important it is.” The girls have visited daddy’s ship lots when they are at home and know the job he does onboard and where he is. The family tracks him on the globe and count down the sleeps in stages (9 months was too much to count down at once).
Nicky first heard of Little Troopers when she had an email advertising the competition for the calendar, She said; “Dan had just deployed and I felt the picture of the girls waving him off did captivate our military life. Since then I registered and joined the Facebook page. I love the activity ideas. I applied for a visit to Lapland UK and was accepted. Christmas was always going to be difficult this year but going to Lapland put the magic back in for all of us.”
ALDERTON Family – Royal Air Force
Living off base and being unmarried provides all sorts of barriers to a military family as is well known by Claire and her daughter Isabella. Isabella’s Dad and Claire’s fiancé is a Corporal in the RAF and away from home up to seven months of the year. They have had to cancel wedding dates twice because of another posting.
Claire adds “I find the amount of support to be minimal as we live off camp and are unmarried” Isabella goes to a school where there are very few military children, and her friends fathers aren’t in the Forces.
Isabella and Claire have been to the Little Troopers Summer Camp and recently were selected to go to Lapland as Ben was away this Christmas. When talking about the charity Claire said: “I think things like the Little Troopers camp are brilliant, as it gives Isabella the chance to mix with children who understand what its like to mainly “talk” to Daddy by text and to spend your weekends thinking of what to put in parcels to him, and the highs and lows of waving him off and picking him up.”
Claire adds, “It feels like you are part of the Little Troopers family, it is very easy to engage with the charity via social media and you get to know people very quickly that go along to things like the camps, and it is easy to talk instantly as you all have something in common and are able to laugh about the good and bad things about being a military partner.”
MONKS Family – British Army
Nadine’s husband serves in the Royal Engineers and is currently based in Chilwell. Nadine lives in her own home with their three children; two boys aged eight and ten and a little girl aged three.
Nadine’s husband has been away more times than she can count and each time brings different challenges as the family gets bigger and the children grow older. The last deployment was the most difficult as he was away for Christmas and the family live off patch away from his current posting.
The family do welfare parcels every week, each of the children have a build a bear with a personalised message from dad and the eldest boy does a scrap book of events to talk about and show him when he gets back.
Nadine discovered Little Troopers last year and have become huge fans, she adds ; “We attended the summer camp, which was a great way for us to reconnect after a very unsettling couple of years due to two moves in quick succession and a time of high stress for the family. Going to Lapland with Little Troopers was bitter sweet for us as my husband was away over Christmas, being on my own is difficult and Louise and her team were so helpful and cheery, it meant a lot.”
Royal Navy Family
Naomi lives in her own home with her husband and two girls. Naomi’s husband Steve serves as a Chef on one of the Royal Navy’s Destroyer Ships. He’s been deployed twice in 2 ½ years missing two Christmases and the birth of his first child Meredith.
Naomi said “Having to explain again and again that Daddy isn’t coming home yet is heartbreaking. And they’re so little I have to explain quite frequently! At times Meredith gets quite tearful and can’t explain why. We make sure to spend time talking about what daddy does at work and how much he loves us.”
The family keep in touch via emails most of the time as unfortunately Skype is nearly always a disaster. Naomi discovered Little Troopers recently and uses several of the resources and took the girls to Lapland UK, she adds “The separation pack in particular is brilliant! It has lots of ideas for the children to countdown, and things for them to send out to daddy too. Having a map and stickers is a great activity too. Our girls are nuts for stickers!”
Do you have questions?
We want to hear from you! If you have any questions about our charity and the support that we offer do get in touch
Awards won By Little Troopers
Over the past seven years we have been very lucky that the work of Little Troopers and Louise Fetigan, our founder, has been recognised with various awards. These awards are so humbling and mean so much and best of all it raises awareness of Little Troopers and the challenges faced daily by the children of our British Armed Forces.
In the Media
Be it in print, on the radio, podcast recordings or on the television, Little Troopers has done all of the above talking about life as part of a military family, the challenges often faced and raising awareness of Little Troopers and the support we provide.
Are you looking for a press release associated to one of our initiative launches or Military Moments calendar? You can access them here.