Military Child Wellbeing: Little Troopers charity launches new course for primary schools
Military children’s charity, Little Troopers, has launched a new resource for primary schools to support service children. The Military Child Wellbeing Course is the first of its kind and is designed to encourage children in the military community to explore the unique challenges they experience while their parents are in the armed forces.
The comprehensive pack features all the resources needed for the child-friendly, interactive course, which is made up of seven sessions. Topics covered include how to cope with separation, deployment, house moves and living abroad, as well as the personal themes of belonging, identity and mindfulness.
The course has been created by a group of experts, including a cognitive behavioural therapy specialist, creative arts psychotherapist and play therapists, alongside Little Troopers founder: army veteran and military parent, Louise Fetigan.
There are more than 75,000 children in UK schools who have parents connected to the military.* These children can experience life very differently from their civilian peers due to frequent house and school moves, as well as regular separation from their serving parent (or parents) due to deployments, training exercises and other service commitments. Any separation, however long, can cause children to feel unsettled, anxious or struggling to feel a sense of belonging. The aim of the course is to provide children with the tools to manage these feelings when they arise.
Louise Fetigan explains: “Mental health is a hot topic at the moment and we often hear about the importance of wellbeing in relation to serving personnel and veterans, but we rarely discuss the impact of military life on our British Armed Forces children.
“Of course, many children thrive in the military community and enjoy meeting new friends, travelling around the world and embracing the opportunities that military life can bring, but with the highs can come lows. These same children can be faced with other challenges that their civilian classmates are often not familiar with and find it difficult to relate to.
“The aim of the Military Child Wellbeing Course is to acknowledge that service children do sometimes need additional support and to provide a safe space in which to open up these conversations and help children navigate these challenges in positive ways, be that now or in the future.”
The Little Troopers course has been designed to be delivered to small groups of children ranging from 6 -11 years olds, making the material just as relevant to schools with two service children as to those with 100 or more. Currently there are four schools trialling the course; Wolvey CE Primary School in Leicestershire, Hythehill Primary School in Lossiemouth, Brunei MOD School and St Faith & St Martin CE Junior School in Lincoln.
The course complements the Little Troopers existing Primary Resource Pack. Each school purchasing the course will receive a USB with all of the course materials included so they can be used time and time again. All profits from the course will go back into the Little Troopers fund to continue creating resources, initiatives and events to support military children.