A MOTHER of one who set up a charity to help support British Army children has triumphed at a national awards ceremony for ordinary mums who do extraordinary things.
Former soldier Louise Fetigan, 32, from Bovington, Dorset, won the Supportive Mum category at the Tesco Mum of the Year awards at London’s The Savoy hotel after her story was selected ahead of thousands of nominations from all over the UK.
Louise founded My Daddy is a Soldier Adventures in 2011 to support kids with parents serving in the Forces. British Army children – known in the charity as Little Troopers – often face unique challenges, especially when a parent deploys for long periods of time.
When her husband was serving abroad she discovered there was very little support for their daughter Madison, now 11, who was struggling to deal with her father being away.
Louise couldn’t find the support she knew her daughter needed to distract her from the worry of her father being in a war zone, so she organised the My Daddy is a Soldier Trek in 2011 and the charity was born.
The charity helps children cope with the anxiety of having a parent away from the family home by organising events and by supplying vital resources. Members also receive a separation pack which helps to keep the child and soldier connected.
To date, My Daddy is a Soldier Adventures has raised more than £100,000, all of which has gone to the Little Troopers.
To mark the 10th anniversary of the awards, Tesco is donating £5,000 to a charity of each winning mum’s choice. Louise said: “We have our summer camp in June for the British Army children, so the money will go towards this and developing our Little Troopers Treasure initiative.”
Debbie Chernin, Tesco Mum of the Year manager, said: “This unique charity, which helps children whose parents are in active service, is truly wonderful.”
TV and radio presenter Fearne Cotton, ambassador of the Tesco Mum of the Year awards 2015, said: “There are so many inspirational mums out there who don’t know just how special they are. I am very excited to help give these incredible mums the recognition and appreciation they deserve.”