When Jo-Anne Lomax’s husband was away with work commitments, her two young children struggled to understand that this was just part of their daddy’s job. Jo came up with Huggable Heroes – cuddly fabric dolls to help young children get through difficult days. Army&You spoke to Jo to find out more…

JO STARTED to make the cuddly concept for friends and it soon expanded to a Facebook page and a Twitter account. Personalised with your own photographs front and back, the handmade Huggable Heroes make a comforting keepsake.

“The response has been amazing. Children love their daddy cuddles,” explained Jo. “Our Huggable Heroes helped my children enormously. My daughter, Charlotte, takes hers everywhere so daddy doesn’t miss a thing.

HUGGABLEHEROES2“He was there on her first day at pre-school and he’s often seen peeking out of her backpack at her swimming and gymnastics classes.”

Jo realised how much Huggable Heroes could help children with a parent or loved one working away and decided to offer them to any family – not just those in the military.

“It is fantastic to see Huggable Heroes helping children in hospital and those with additional needs,” she said. “I want them to help children from all walks of life.”

Huggable Heroes have also caught the eye of a producer of a successful play at the Edinburgh Fringe which featured Army deployment through the eyes of a ten-year-old girl.

The play has been adapted into a film, A Father’s Promise, and a Huggable Hero has been written into the script.

Jo is proud of what has been achieved so far. “Huggable Heroes help to reinforce family bonds and reduce separation anxiety in our brave children,” she explained. “We’ve even made them for the serving mummy or daddy to take with them when they go away.

“We support three amazing Service charities – Forces Support Charity, My Daddy is a Soldier Adventures and Scotty’s Little Soldiers – and we aim to raise more money for them in the coming years.”

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