Christmas 2018

Armed Forces Children Treated To Santa Meeting

A military charity has taken Armed Forces children on a journey to meet Father Christmas.

A military charity has treated children from ten service families to a visit to LaplandUK.

All the children have family members serving away from home over the festive season, and the trip organised by Little Troopers was intended to show them they are not alone.

The youngsters were treated to a day of crafts, skating, meeting reindeer and of course a visit to see Father Christmas himself.

“I think you deserve some special recognition," Father Christmas told one family.

“And I think you deserve to be made honorary elves!”

The charity's founder Louise Fettigan said they have worked with LaplandUK for five years.

Little Troopers LaplandUK
Forces children were immersed in a winter wonderland for a day of festive activities.

“They’re so supportive of military families... so to come back again this year and give so many amazing memories to some Little Troopers is really special.”

For families with loved ones overseas, the festive holiday can be a challenging time for them.

“[Christmas] is a magical time for children,” said Catherine Ker, whose husband is currently serving on HMS Dragon in the Gulf.

“And not to have their father or their Mum around is really challenging. But we try and make it as special as possible," she added.

Santa gave a Christmas message to the military during the childrens' visit

“To give children a day or a couple of days of excitement and take their minds off their parents being away for Christmas, you can’t really put a price on it,” said Mark Gibbons, whose wife, Claire Gibbons, is a Flight Sergeant.

Ella Briggs' husband is serving in the Coldstream Guards and she said:

“My three children, they found it particularly difficult over Christmas and to do something as special as today as coming to Lapland has been amazing for them,” she said.

“If Dad’s watching this I hope he’s having a good Christmas but I wish he was here too,” said one child.

“One day when you come back I hope you can come here with us,” his sister added.