Christmas programmes for military families: part one
Christmas is a memorable time of year, particularly for children. However some are unable to spend it with central figures. This may be because their parents are serving overseas or have died in the Forces.
Our team look into the inspiring work of military charities that provide comfort to less fortunate children over the Christmas period.
Scotty’s Little Soldiers
Charity Scotty’s Little Soldiers live by the motto ‘help their children smile’, dedicated to supporting bereaved military children. Inspired by Army widow Nikki Scott, the charity was founded in memory of husband and father Corporal Lee Scott.
Understanding the emotional support needed for many children who have lost parents, Scotty’s Little Soldiers provide activities, holidays, gifts and events as well as professional counselling, personal development assistance, family support and educational grants.
Annual Christmas Party
The charity sends gift tokens on memorable dates such as anniversaries, Remembrance Day and birthdays and hosts a festive party at Christmas. The annual event brings together its members at a difficult time of year, helping them to find therapeutic relief in new friendships and extended support.
Find images of last year’s Christmas party at Caythorpe Court here, with a TV show inspired theme featuring a Supermarket Sweep, Deal or No Deal and Masterchef room. Previous venues include Alton Towers, Manchester’s Event City, the London Zoo and Condover Hall Estate.
Little Troopers is a registered charity supporting children with one or both parents serving in the British Armed Forces, regular or reserve. The charity was born following a successful fundraising event.
The fundraiser enabled military children to focus on a sense of community, as well as adventure – something which is replicated in all Little Troopers events. Little Troopers recognises the daily challenges military families face and aims to ease separation periods, whether that’s one month or nine months.
Christmas Smiles Campaign
Each Christmas, Little Troopers support hundreds of families experiencing deployment and, with the help of companies such as Lapland UK and Disney on Ice, provide fun events to children who won’t see their parents over the festive period.
This year, the charity sent their 3000th Separation Pack which aims to connect children to their serving parent and provide context. The pack includes a world map to plot locations and stations, as well as a photo frame and Little Trooper passport.
In the second part of the blog, which can be found here, our Blue Team consider a few acts of kindness for forces families at Christmas as well as vulnerable military personnel who will spend the festive period alone.