Arthur Berridge, who’s Dad is a submariner with the Royal Navy, has been awarded ‘Little Trooper of the Month’ for coping with his Dad serving away from home during lockdown, during which time Arthur got a new baby brother.
Arthur’s Dad, Matt, was deployed for seven months at the beginning of 2020 and like all submariner families, Arthur and his Mum were unable to have any phone contact with him while he was away.
Just two months into the deployment the country was plunged into lockdown – one day before Arthur’s fifth birthday. His Mum was forced to cancel his superhero party at the last minute and Arthur spent the day at home with his Mum, unable to speak to his Dad. Six days later, Arthur’s new baby brother was born. Having no contact with his Dad while being stuck at home, homeschooling and getting used to having a new brother has been very tough for Arthur but he has always done his best to make his Mummy smile every day and to help take care of his new sibling.
Arthur’s mum, Kelly, told us: “We would send Matt messages using familygram but you can only send 60 words twice a week. We weren’t able to speak to him or video call him. I think Arthur found it very hard that he couldn’t tell his Daddy things that happened. We had a toy post box at home where Arthur could put letters and drawings in for Daddy to read when he came home. Obviously it was very hard with Arthur home schooling at the time but he always did his best. He has worried a lot about how ‘the germs’ are affecting the world, but despite this he always tries his best and makes us all very proud.
“He has really been the most caring big brother and Robin completely adores him! When Matt came home in July we also threw a little ‘welcome home’ party and Arthur made a big banner and picked all the party food.”
Arthur’s sixth birthday was also a lockdown birthday, but his family hope they can celebrate properly with him later in the summer and show him just what an amazing little trooper he is.
Louise Fetigan, founder of Little Troopers, said: “Arthur’s story really stood out to us because lots of people assume that these days military children are able to video call and chat to their parents all the time during deployment but that’s not always the case. There are lots of cases where contact is limited or, as in Arthur’s case, the family can’t contact each other at all. That’s so tough and is exactly why we launched initiatives like the Little Troopers birthday card scheme and the Little Troopers Treasures story recording app to bridge that gap and connect children and their parents during such a difficult time. We hope that giving Arthur this award will help him realise just how special he is and how proud his family are of him and everything he has been through. Well done Arthur!”
Arthur will receive a medal, certificate and a £50 voucher as part of his prize.
This month our Little Trooper of the Month award has kindly been sponsored by Amazon.