Little Troopers Club in action 

Bushey Heath Primary School on the outskirts of London only has 11 service children. But that doesn’t stop the school from going above and beyond to support their little troopers. 


Each week the school runs a Little Troopers Club on Tuesday lunchtime, led by pastoral lead, Rose Andrews. Rose started the club in 2023. She initially invited all the school’s military families, including Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force families, to come in for a coffee morning to meet each other and share their ideas for the club. 


Now running for just over a year, the Little Troopers Club at Bushey Heath brings together children from all different year groups – from reception right through to year six. The activities differ from week-to-week. Sometimes the children will take part in military specific activities like making paper dolls of their family members in different service uniforms or completing worksheets from the Little Troopers at School programme. Other times, the children play games, bake or visit residents at a local care home. 


Last summer, the children met up with other little troopers from four other primary schools in the area and spent the afternoon playing games outside and eating ice-cream. 


Rose explains: “My husband served in the RAF for 25 years so I know first-hand some of the challenges that service children face. The Little Troopers Club is all about giving these children a safe space where they can embrace their shared identity as ‘little troopers’, enjoy spending time with other children who have a similar life experience and share any worries they might have about military life. 


“Lots of the children didn’t know each other very well when we started the club and I did have reservations about how I was going to entertain a group of children ranging from 4 to 11 years old! But it’s been fantastic. The children get a great deal out of spending time with each other and the older ones love helping the younger children.” 


Rose believes her own experience in the military means that the children feel comfortable sharing any worries or concerns with her. She says: “They know I’ve been there, done it and got the t-shirt! We don’t always talk about military life, but if there is something that is playing on their mind, the Little Troopers Club is a place they can share their worries, either with the group, or just with me. When someone is due to move school, the children all share their own experiences of moving and help their friend to feel more confident about the move.” 


The group are now working on creating a school noticeboard to show their civilian friends in school what life is like growing up in the Armed Forces community and hope to arrange another summer event later this year.