Our Aims:

We have created a community for all British Armed Forces families; rank, location, military accommodation or private, married or not… none of these factors matter, what bonds everyone is that the children have serving parents in the regular or reserve forces. We recognise the unique daily challenges children can face when a parent is serving and we aim with our events and resources to ease and aid repeated separation periods, be it one month or nine months we will be there to support through that time.
Our ultimate goal is to open a residential adventure centre available to all British Armed Forces families providing a retreat that enables reconnection in a community environment and a space to support all forces families







12 Sep 2016

Overlooked once again...

September already!!!! I really hoped to be writing a blog post about launching the Little Troopers at School project but yet again service children are overlooked, a niche group that is just too small in the grand scheme of things to support, apparently.
...............But our children are resilient and MUST be used to it by now so surely they will just chug along just fine....

I don't believe they will and I truly believe in the Little Troopers at School Project, I am passionate that if service children in schools got more tailored and specific support they would experience consistency which would be a huge benefit. Not just in one school that has a large number of military children and who has a good practise in place but at EVERY school they go to so they can expect the same level of support no matter where they live.

So the Service Pupil Premium exists but is grossly misunderstood because there is no guidance, yes the government created that pot of money, in fact David Cameron himself told me face to face he was very proud of the fact it was his idea to create the fund....but there it stops. The fund isn't enforced, schools are not accountable on how it should be spent and there is no guidance.

Many Little Troopers transitioning through many schools, different countries, different counties, different systems yet there is no uniform transition process to make this a smooth experience for military families. There should be. Our Little Trooper Transition Passport would combat this problem.

The Department of Education and Little Troopers were working closely after meeting Nicky Morgan former Secretary of State for Education....then Brexit happened and everyone and everything within government changed and so did the priorities...service children are no longer on the agenda.

And just like that the project comes to a halt.

Little Troopers still wants the project to come to fruition and will do all it can to gain funding to enable this to happen and to ensure children of military personnel are not failed and do not face disadvantage because the move around frequently or because of their parents chosen career.

Today no one will accept responsibility and make this project happen...not the MOD and not the Government so WE WILL! I will work tirelessly until this project is launched, because I do believe our Little Troopers need this support.

I'll keep you posted!

Louise xxx

19 May 2016

Little Troopers at School

My daughter became a military child not through her own choice.

I am not a military child but I decided to join the British Army as a teenager, my husband was a military child and also decided to join the British Army as a teenager. Our decisions to follow a career in the military has meant our daughter has experienced various situations I can only empathise with because I have never been in her situation.

Most notably moving lots, different countries, different counties, this has resulted in transition through many schools. Lets go back to the beginning.....

Our daughter started school when she was four, where we lived at that time it was an infant school, she was in that school until she was seven years old but then we had to move her and this time to a junior school which she then remained in until she was nine years old, so early years she experienced stability.

Then it started getting complex through no fault of anyone really but the age she was and the postings we got it became a bit of a patchwork of schools and systems and curriculum's;

Year 5 - Junior school. Posted and moved location.
Year 6 - Primary school
Year 7 - Secondary school
Year 8 - Middle school. Posted and moved location.
Year 9 - Upper school

So in five years every September she has had to move schools, new uniforms, new teachers, new ways and often new locations. This has bought lots of uncertainty and nerves and inconsistency. I will also say at this point I think it has made her grow in confidence and personal strength, I know at nearly 13 years old she is now not scared of walking into a classroom knowing not a soul and holding her head up high, saying hello and digging in to make it familiar.
Some of the school changes have been better than others some more supported than others and only one of those schools understood and catered for her needs as a military child who experiences transition and also repeated separation from her dad, I thank that school because they rock and they are doing a great job. The others.....haven't made it a positive experience for us as a family.

It isn't always the schools fault, they just don't always know the challenges military children face (separation, deployment, moving repeatedly, friendship losses, change, lack of roots...the list is endless) and if they don't know the challenges and the implications of those how can they adequately support them?

As a family we have and still are experiencing the first hand affects of moving frequently with a school age child, we know we are definatly not alone in this either so many of you will have had similar experiences and there is not adequate support from anywhere for these scenarios. To help schools, to help families who can then help their children so it isn't a negative experience and ultimately so it doesn't affect their education.

I'm so proud of Little Troopers and what we have already achieved and it is forever important to me to follow projects and initiatives that I am passionate about, that I have lived and breathed, where I truly believe we can make an impact to thousands of Little Troopers and their families.

Little Troopers at School

Little Troopers at School is a project we will be launching to help schools to help families to help Little Troopers. 
There is a government fund that exists called the Service Pupil Premium, an annual sum of £300 per service child paid to schools for pastoral/non educational support due to the fact they face slightly different daily challenges and situations to other children. This fund isn't completely understood by schools or families and we want to change that and educate schools on how they can best support service children and we of course want to celebrate the schools already using the fund as intended and supporting those children in need.

Follow our journey as the project unfolds in 2016 and keep sharing your feedback with us, we will be putting together a service parent focus group (as part of our Little Trooper Network volunteer scheme that exists) to compliment this project and we'd love you to be involved. Read more here

As always the Little Troopers community is a strong one and together we can make a difference to all the Little Troopers out there.

Louise xxx

27 Apr 2016

Our first and very special London Marathon runner!

Back in 2015 we got a lovely email from Becky who had won a ballot place in the London Marathon 2016 and she'd chosen Little Troopers as her charity!!!

I am always so touched by the support and when people choose to fundraise for Little Troopers is brings such a smile, we're a really small charity compared to other military charities and every single penny counts, we support so many thousands in so many locations we try as hard as possible to make every pound stretch as far as possible.

For a charity to buy places for the London Marathon is hundreds of pounds per place so we've never been in a position to have any so this really was fantastic for Becky to have got a ballot place an even more so she chose us!!! You can apply for a 2017 ballot place HERE 2-6th May 2016 you need to enter.

24th April 2016 was London Marathon Day and I kept a track of Beckys progress all day online and posting updates on social media, it was just so fantastic to have someone running those 26 miles wearing a Little Trooper running vest, I felt so so proud.

Becky totally smashed the run and her donation target and her sponsorship has gone over £900, her account of the experience is one everyone should read and I've posted it below.

But from me, what a special lady to be our first ever London Marathon runner, thank you soooooo much Becky.

Louise xxxx

So, I did it!!
Everything from my waist down hurts and I have absolutely no idea how I'm going to manage at work but I am so proud of myself for getting through it and finishing in 5 hrs 26 minutes and 26 seconds - which included a wee stop at mile 19!!
The whole experience was completely overwhelming, no matter how many people tell you about the amazing crowd support and how important it is to have your name on your vest, you cannot imagine what it is going to be like until you are there.
The sweets from random strangers that keep you going (especially the jelly tots from he hot fireman!!). The guys running in full chain mail, a giant dinosaur costume or with a tumble dryer on his back. The hundreds of different charities on people's vests. The other runners that you chat to along the way. Running past the Cutty Sark. Stopping for a hug from Mike Thompson and the boys at mile 12 which was already 4 miles further than I'd ever run in one go. Crossing Tower bridge. Coughing and nearly wee-ing a bit at mile 16! Having someone shout 'nearly there' just after mile 16 and having the mental discipline to not go over a me punch them when there's still 10 miles to go. Texting the husband during a planned walk break to ask why on earth I ever though it was a good idea to run a marathon. Passing a guy at mile 19 dressed as Jesus, carrying a cross on his back in bare feet. Being passed by a Rhino, Womble and Darth Vader. The pats on the back and arms round the shoulders from other runners to check that during walk breaks I was ok. Thinking that you can't run another step but realising that it's quicker than walking to the end and everything hurts anyway. Seeing Tom and the boys again at mile 25 when you know that you really are 'nearly there'. Running through the park towards Buckingham palace and then turning the corner onto The Mall. The girl called Hannah at the 26 mile marker that saw me walking and told me to finish it running with her. Crossing the finish line with one finger in the air in a salute to ‪#‎oneinamillion‬
I want to thank all of you for your amazing support and sponsorship over the last few weeks and know just how much good it can do for Little Troopers, but most of all I need to that the great British public, without them I would I never have got round.
At mile 20 I said never again. In only a few hours I decided that I have no intention of ever running a marathon again, unless it is London.
Anybody else who wants to sponsor me can at https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/beckythomps



5 Apr 2016

We once again conquered Mount Snowdon!!!!!

The charity started 5 years ago with a climb of Mount Snowdon, its become our flagship fundraising event and loved by many and the 2016 Snowdon challenge was being looked forward to by so many.

50+ registered attendees, 13 of them children and a pretty decent weather forecast....



Never trust the weather though! 2nd April 2016 came and the weather was horrific, it had rained since our arrival in Snowdonia and the forecast looked bleak but we were all there to achieve the same goal and raise funds for Little Troopers.

The trek was such a challenge for all involved with 19 of the group reaching the summit, the conditions were treacherous, it was windy, cold and we battled rain, hail and snow. It was a physical and mental test for everyone involved with lots of tears....even from me at one point, I hit a wall and was certain I couldn't carry on but I did and that summit smile is real!

 


Over £2,660 has been raised with the total increasing daily, the love that surrounds our cause is phenomenal and it makes me so emotional to come together as a group with many strangers and share such a special achievement, a bond forms that lasts an eternal memory and makes every cold, hard step up that mountain worth it.


A huge thank you to all who were involved in making it happen, to all who donated, all who climbed that mountain and all who encouraged us on the day....Little Troopers is a special community and I am so proud to be a part of it.

You can still donate to the challenge HERE


26 Feb 2016

It isn't their fault is it....

My first blogpost of 2016!

Its been a slow, gloomy start to 2016 and as a family my husband has entered a year of high readiness which means lots of time away *groans*

So my question is what do we prefer....a long period away or lots of recurrent weeks/months here and there repeatedly?!

I just can't decide what is easier for me and my Little Trooper to deal with.
I currently feel like I don't know if I am coming or going, I don't want to make plans and then him come home and we'll be away and busy but I don't want to not make plans in the hope he makes it back for a day or so to then be sat at home with nothing to occupy us!
There seems no balance sometimes and we become ships that pass in the night and our Little Trooper forgets to ask if daddy is coming home soon, the norm becomes that he's not at home, this makes me really sad sometimes.

However the daffodils everywhere and the crisp sunny days we have been having have meant more positive days. There is no point in directing my anger at my soldier when he calls to say sorry I am going away for another two weeks next week, it isn't his fault is it, military personnel are paid 24/7 and that's what we signed up for, I know this I signed that dotted line myself. I hear his voice when he tells me knowing the reaction won't be good and he takes the rant on the phone before apology texts follow.

We are a team, we are in this together and that is the nature of our lives isn't it...uncertainty, repeated and sometimes concurrent separation, unsettled times....doesn't make it an easier pill to swallow though

So I am welcoming Spring with open arms, lighter and warmer days for all to enjoy.

There is lots coming up for Little Troopers in the coming moths too so if you have someone serving away from home get booked up and come and  join me and lots of others;

5/6 March - RAF Brize Norton Events
2nd April - Snowdon Family Challenge
16th April - Chelsea FC Trg Ground Event
18/19 June - Summer Camp

Look forward to seeing lots of you soon, Louise xxx

4 Jan 2016

Guest Blog - Huggable Heroes

Happy New Year! Lets start 2016 with a blogpost....

Our last guest blogpost from an unacompanied military family was so popular (read again HERE) I asked Jo a wife of a Royal Marine to write a post about her business Huggable Heroes.
Jo attended our Summer Camp in 2015 and her Huggable Heroes are a great resource for military children, hope you like reading the post with a cuppa.

Louise xxxx



My name is Jo, I am a Military Wife, living in a married quarter with my husband and two beautiful Children 6 hours from home…..

Have you heard of Huggable Heroes? I am known as the ‘Huggable Heroes Lady’, which I secretly Love.

Huggable Heroes are helping military children with a loved one working away cope with Separation Anxiety, a design of making a photo of the loved one into a cuddly toy to help them express their feelings of sadness, anger, loneliness, happiness and love.

By simply having their hero to cuddle at bedtime or to take to their first day at school, Mummy or Daddy will not ‘miss’ a thing.

Our very own Huggable Heroes have helped me to understand when the children are upset either missing or mad with Daddy, helping me to know how to respond to them in the best way.  Daddy was with us at both children’s first days at Pre School and is a regular at Swimming Lessons and Ballet…

Charlotte (4 years) is fascinating to watch with her Hero. She gives Daddy the most amazing cuddles and reads to him. When she is mad that he is working away she tells Daddy off. He has been known to sit on the naughty step and has even been thrown across the room on more than one occasion! (I would like to add, I do not throw anyone or anything across the room when I am angry!)

Henry (My 2 year old) enjoys rough and tumble with Daddy, he knows he is only allowed to do this with Daddy and yes I have found him doing ‘Big Daddy Splashes’ on his Hero!

Another huge difference I have found since having Huggable Heroes in our lives is the time it takes for the children to reconnect with Daddy when he gets home. In the past they would shy away from Daddy, clinging to me for hours on end (which as you know is heartbreaking for all involved). Charlotte and Henry now take Daddy his hero to show him, reducing the reunite time dramatically and I put this down to Daddy still being such a huge part of a daily routine even when he is away.

Huggable Heroes have 100% reinforced the bond between them.

If you would like to see some customer reviews on Huggable Heroes, please check out the ‘Posts to Page’ on Facebook, we have received 100% positive feedback that Huggable Heroes have helped to Reduce Separation Anxiety in our brave children. (www.Facebook.com/HuggableHeroes)

I launched Huggable Heroes in January 2015 after spending 8 months making them for family and friends and realising just how much they help other families.
Since Launching in January last year Huggable Heroes have helped more than 500 Children! We hope that in 2016 we can reach out to more military families struggling with Separation Anxiety.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my guest Blog, I look forward to meeting some of you in the coming months.

Stay Strong
Lots of Love
Jo (AKA Huggable Heroes Lady)

PS If you would like to buy a Huggable Hero, please follow this link to the shop on Little Troopers website. I will donate 10% to Little Troopers for each Hero they sell.

PPS I would be honored if you would help me reach more families by sharing us on Facebook or requesting some flyers or posters for your local coffee mornings.



24 Nov 2015

Today is the day!!!

2011 seems so long ago now....so much has happened in that space of time.

This is a picture of where it all began, me and my much smaller Little Trooper at the summit of Snowdon, my friends and family all rallied round to support the trek I wanted to do to distract my Little Trooper from the pain she was feeling from be constantly, repeatedly separated from her soldier daddy. You can read more about the 2011 trek here


Post the trek My Daddy is a Soldier Adventures was born and over the last 4 years its been a rocky but rewarding road to see the charity grow into such a worthwhile community for forces families.

I always like to dream big and there is so much I want to achieve for military families but expanding the charity to include RAF and Royal Navy families was always top of my list.
It has taken a long time to reach where we are today, lots of lessons been learnt, lots of people who have supported the growth and help make it happen but waking up this morning I had the biggest smile on my face...

WE ARE NOW THE FIRST TRI-SERVICE CHILDRENS CHARITY FOR SERVING UK ARMED FORCES PERSONNEL!!!!!!!!!!
Little Troopers is our new charity name and we look forward to welcoming lots of new Royal Navy and Royal Air Force families to the community as well as the British Army families we already support. Regardless of service, children experience repeated separation and we want to be there to support all the Little Troopers of our British Armed Forces.
Visit our new website: www.littletroopers.net

This has been an amazing journey so far and I am so pleased we have reached this milestone, there are so many people supporting this cause and making this happen....I couldn't do this on my own.
I can't wait to meet lots of you in the coming months, we are holding launch events for RAF and Royal Navy families in early 2016, we have our Snowdon weekend event in April and of course Summer Camp in June!
Thank you from me for the continued support, here's to the next chapter!
Louise xxxxx