Charity teddy bears for military children with serving parents

Children from Windsor with parents deployed overseas with the British Armed Forces were invited to a special event to mark UK Armed Forces Day.

Thanks to the military children’s charity Little Troopers and Build-A-Bear Foundation, twenty-four children visited the recently opened Build-A-Bear Workshop at Windsor Royal Station to make their very own bear to treasure while they are separated from their serving parents.

The children, whose parents serve with the British Army and Royal Air Force, got to experience Build-A-Bear’s hands-on, interactive process, and create their very own personalised furry friends, complete with the brand’s iconic Heart Ceremony.

Chantelle Parker, who attended the event with her two children, said: “My husband has been deployed for the last five months, and it’s been really tough for both of our children since it’s their first long deployment Daddy has done.

The Little Troopers event was incredibly special, and both children absolutely loved it. They said it was the best day ever!”

The event was part of a long-term partnership between Little Troopers and Build-A-Bear Foundation which has provided more than 5,000 teddy bears to military children across the UK since 2020.

Louise Fetigan, Founder of Little Troopers, added: “Having a parent serving away from home for months at a time is one of the hardest things that military children experience.

Sometimes having something as simple as a bear to cuddle when you are feeling sad or are missing your parent can make a real difference and help these children to feel supported.

The bears from Build-A-Bear Foundation have always proved really popular with our families and today was a really special way to mark Armed Forces Day for those children celebrating without their serving parents at home.”

Little Troopers provides a wealth of resources, initiatives and events that military families can tap into, particularly when a parent is serving away or when a child has to move home or school.

This includes residential breaks, adventure days, separation packs and a military children’s newspaper and podcast. The charity also runs a Little Troopers at School programme to provide teachers with dedicated resources to use in the classroom with their service children.