The Covid-19 crisis rumbles on and military families worldwide have experienced uncertainty and upheaval as a result.
One group have experienced more disruption than most after being repatriated to the UK twice in 12 months.
Families based in Kathmandu were back on UK soil for a second time in eight months after the delta variant spread rapidly in Nepal.
Leaving their loved ones behind, the 45 families including 32 children had to be quarantined for two weeks and then put into temporary accommodation at the garrison town of Larkhill near Salisbury.
The team at BFBS set about finding some treats to boost morale among the families and show them how much they are appreciated.
BFBS negotiated free press reader passes so the families could keep up to date with the latest news in the UK and Nepal.
Media company Sky donated Now TV sticks, so that the families with televisions could enjoy movies and entertainment.
Many emails were fired off to a variety of companies to secure donations and that tenacity paid off when curriculum-based products company Educational Advantage donated enough toys for every child to have something fun to play with – these were all STEM-based toys, educational as well as entertaining for the children missing out on school.
BFBS also partnered with a unique charity called Surplus to Supper, to supply care packages containing food, toiletries, children’s books and T-shirts. BFBS events manager Angie Avlianos said:
“Surplus to Supper is a local charity to me. They run a pop up shop every weekend selling surplus food which is donated by local supermarkets and businesses – food and items that would otherwise end up in landfill - all still in date and good condition. It struck me that they might have surplus goods we could pass on to the families to help brighten their day. I approached their operations director Claire Hopkins to ask if they had anything we could give to these families.”
Claire Hopkins, of Surplus to Supper, said:
“When BFBS got in touch about the military families at Larkhill we were delighted to help with a donation of care packages. We know from our work in the local community how much happiness a bag of goodies like this can bring to people. We were really happy to show our appreciation of what the Armed Forces do for us.”
“I got a carload of lovely treats from Surplus to Supper, plus BFBS goodie bags and all the toys we’d had sent to us. I literally couldn’t see out of the back window of the car as every inch of space was filled with stuff. I felt like summer Santa!”
Captain Binod Kerung, of Gurkha Company, who was the welfare officer taking care of the families said:
“I would like to extend hearty regards on behalf of all BGN families/children for the goody bags and toys you delivered to the doors of the families, despite the hot summer afternoon. Thank you for your hard work and your charitable heart.”
The families will be beginning their return to Nepal over the next few weeks to be reunited with their loved ones once again.