Children of Bassingbourn troops receive teddy bears for hugs at Christmas

Little Troopers has partnered with the Build-A-Bear Foundation to distribute teddy bears to military families

The military children’s charity Little Troopers has partnered with the Build-A-Bear Foundation to distribute more than 2,000 free teddy bears to military families, including those in Bassingbourn, as part of its Christmas Smiles campaign. - Credit: Little Troopers

Youngsters separated from their military parents - who are based at Bassingbourn Barracks and are deployed on operations - have received a free teddy bear for much-needed hugs this Christmas.

The military children’s charity Little Troopers has partnered with the Build-A-Bear Foundation to distribute more than 2,000 free teddy bears to military families, including those in Bassingbourn, as part of its Christmas Smiles campaign.

The scheme is to bring smiles to the faces of military children over the holidays. 

Louise Fetigan, founder of Little Troopers, said: “Lots of military families experience deployment and separation over Christmas which is why each year, Little Troopers runs our Christmas Smiles campaign to bring smiles to the faces of military children who are missing their parent at this important time of year.  

“The Build-A-Bear Foundation partnership has been such a special part of Christmas Smiles for the last two years.

"It has enabled us to send thousands of much needed bear hugs to military families across the UK. It reminds them we understand how difficult Christmas can be with a parent away from home and that our small charity is always thinking of them."

Major Jon Ryan from the Mission Ready Training Centre at Bassingbourn, added: "The free teddy bears, donated by The Build-A-Bear Foundation partnership with Little Troopers, have been well received by the children of service personnel deployed on operations over the Christmas period.

"This is a difficult time for children whose parent or parents are deployed at a time when they are needed most. Having a small gift such as a teddy to hold on to when they are feeling low or anxious - due to their father or mother being far away - does bring some much-needed comfort. "

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The charity has also organised free cinema screenings and given away pantomime tickets, books and other prizes. 

The charity also has lots of year-round resources that parents and schools can tap into to help support military children including its deployment separation pack, military teen podcast, military child wellbeing course and more. For more information visit www.littletroopers.net