Anytime of the year is hard when our Serving person is away from home, but Christmas is especially difficult. This year our Christmas smiles campaign reached over 3,000 little troopers. Our festive project helped to create lots of smiles and lasting memories, while our serving parents are away.
Christmas Smiles in numbers
Christmas Smiles has been running for eight years now. It’s amazing to look back at the smiles that have helped our military families. This year:
- We sent out 2,200 Build-a-Bear teddies.
- We hosted 540 children at our exclusive Odeon screening.
- 60 families took up the invitation to meet ‘Twinkletoes’ the spritely elf online.
- 45 little troopers helped us Search For Santa through a show which took them on a magical adventure in Nursery Rhyme Land.
- 23 military children and their families joined us for the Bake-a-long.
- Lots of Christmas craft sheets have been downloaded and there is still time to make your creation.
- And we gave away some lovely gifts in our weekly giveaways.
Louise, founder of our charity said: “We hope you have been able to be part of the Christmas Smiles campaign this year. The memories created through Christmas Smiles are special, we love that we can provide a little distraction from deployment. Many families tell us that it also gives the children something to tell Mum or Dad in their Blueys.”
One Mum who came along to a cinema screening with her son said; “So lovely and kickstarted the Xmas time for us after a tough year so it’s really appreciated “Thank you so much for the cinema tickets. It was so lovely and kickstarted the Xmas time for us after a tough year so it’s really appreciated”
Once again our Build-a-Bears have been a big success. 2,000 were sent to welfare teams and community development teams who have teams deployed over the festive period.
Cdr Paul Irving RN, Commanding Officer HMS Lancaster, commented: “The challenges faced by our families back home are particularly acute during the festive period. The work of charities such as Little Troopers and their generous donation of teddy bears for our young children is a kind gesture. It shows the support on offer to Service Families. I am extremely proud of the commitment shown by both crews of HMS LANCASTER. The amazing support that we receive from our families friends and charities such as Little Troopers makes being away from home on deployment so much easier.”
Danielle Bowman, Community Development Officer at RAF High Wycombe, comments: “We are immensely pleased to receive these little bundles of joy through Little Troopers. At a time when the children are missing a parent, they bring love and hugs and make them feel special.”
Sgt Edward Payne from The King’s Royal Hussars in Tidworth, comments “Military life brings unique challenges from periods of separation during deployments, to the everyday rigours of service life. Our regimental children have been brave ‘little troopers’ while their parent has been deployed. Having a child-focused charity is beneficial for so many positive reasons, only furthering the operational effectiveness of our military as well as the wellbeing of our loved ones and families. As we all know, military deployment is as equally demanding on military families back home. It is with this great initiative that Little Troopers are here to support.”
Happy New Year
Louise, adds “Even though Christmas Smiles 2022 has finished our work at Little Troopers hasn’t. We have lots planned for 2023 so stick with us. We hope you have had a lovely Christmas and wish you all a Happy New Year.”