Wellington Lions and Wellington Eagles Dandelion Club

Military children love to spend time together. That’s why our Little Troopers at School programme encourages schools to have their own forces life club. By coming together across a school, academy trust or local authority, service pupils get to share their experiences and worries in a safe space, as well as feeling recognised and valued as part of the British Armed Forces community.

Wellington Lions Academy and Wellbeing Eagles Academy have had real success running a regular club for service pupils. Both schools run a Dandelion Club every week for half an hour. Service children can choose whether to attend, with some going every week and others only going when they need extra support, such as when Mum or Dad is serving away.

The teachers use resources from the Little Troopers website and Little Troopers Primary School Resource Pack to structure the sessions and engage the children in fun activities such as role play, storytelling, bingo, crafts, poetry, geography, group discussions and more.

Maxine Handley-Wells, Head of Social, Emotional and Mental Health, comments: “Our forces children sometimes need additional emotional support and our Dandelion Club ensures this provision is there for them to access when they need it.

“The Little Troopers resources have been brilliant in helping us establish the club and there are lots of activities to keep the children busy. We also ran the Little Troopers wellbeing and mindfulness online workshop which the children thought was great. They loved the take-home affirmation cards, which helped them to feel loved, cared for and thought about.”

In addition to supporting the school’s service pupils, the school has found the Dandelion Club has helped them better support military families as a whole by improving communication between parents and teachers and helping the school identify any families that are struggling.

Maxine continues “Our Dandelion Club is a safe space where children feel able to talk more freely about any difficulties at home. As an example, we’ve had some cases where the serving parent is deployed and the parent left at home is struggling to cope but hasn’t told the school. This came to our attention in Dandelion Club and we were able to get the child involved in young carers and also reach out to support the parent at home.”

If you’d like to set-up your own forces life club in school Little Troopers has resources for both primary and secondary schools.