Children who have parents serving overseas enjoyed a thrilling treetop adventure over the summer thanks to charity, Little Troopers.

It was the first of many ‘All Together’ events, Little Troopers’ new deployment club that features free residential breaks, adventure days and online sessions to support military children of all ages from all three services who have a loved one deployed.

Meeting others

Eighty youngsters aged 7-14 had a great day high on the ropes at several Go Ape locations across the UK. Brothers Bobby (8) and Stanley (7) said: “It was a brilliant. It was great to meet other people whose parents are in the military and we can’t wait to tell daddy all about it.”

While another treetop trekker, Oakley (7), added: “It was awesome! I was a little scared but I loved the zip line. I want to take mummy there when she gets back.”

Much needed

Louise Fetigan, founder of Little Troopers, explained how the project came about: “Many families were telling us their children and young people were finding deployments hard; that they were struggling with feeling isolated and they felt being with others in a similar situation would be beneficial. As a charity we promise to listen to what’s needed and do our best to meet those needs. Our aim is to reach as many children as possible and to help them feel part of a special community of other little troopers who are going through the same experience.”

Good feedback

Sarah Squire’s husband is deployed for the second time this year. She said: “The children really miss having their dad around and it’s hard for them, particularly in the school holidays when they’re at home more. The Little Troopers event has been absolutely fantastic and it’s been a great opportunity to get the children out, keep them busy and meet others.”

Georgina is another one of the parents whose children took part: “Deployment is so difficult but they all mostly take it in their stride. It’s little rewards like this, for their patience dealing with a parent’s deployment, that makes all the difference.”

Go Ape’s Keri Cairns adds: “We are proud to have helped Little Troopers. None of the children knew each other, so some were a little bit nervous to begin with but before long, they were having a fantastic time. It was great to see their confidence grow as they supported each other through their adventure whilst bonding over their shared experiences.”

The All Together club has been made possible thanks to generous grants from the Veterans’ Foundation, the Prince of Wales Charitable Fund, Greenwich Hospital, The Henry Sale Foundation and HDH Wills.

Coming soon, there’s a residential weekend for teens, a series of online events and lots of activities planned for 2023. Check out littletroopers.net or follow them on social @littletroopers_

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