Deployment support for children


Help at hand during deployment

Members of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines deploy more frequently than personnel in other services. These deployments can be a difficult time not only for serving personnel, but for the families they leave behind. 

That's why the Royal Navy has made a special commitment to helping service personnel's parents, spouses, partners and children maintain their physical and emotional wellbeing during times of separation. 

Family and People Support

Supporting children through deployment

Storybook Waves

Storybook Waves

With Storybook Waves from Aggie Weston’s, deployed Royal Navy and Royal Marines personnel can maintain the link with their children by recording a bedtime story for the child to listen to in their absence.

Once the story has been recorded, Aggie Weston’s volunteers add a soundtrack and create a personalised CD for each child so that he or she can listen to the parent’s voice whenever they want.

Recording a story is easy, and there are recording centres in convenient locations throughout the UK. There are also transportable kits so that stories can be recorded even while on deployment.


Children's workbook

Children's workbook

The Royal Navy has produced a special workbook to help the children of Service people make sense of the circumstances around deployment.

The workbook contains fun exercises and messages of support, but also encourages children to consider how they feel about the absence of their parent.

The workbook, titled ‘When a Special Person Goes Away’, is available to download for free at the link below.


Huggable heroes

Huggable heroes

Huggable Heroes are lovingly handmade in Norfolk by Jo Lomax, a mother of two and wife to a Royal Marines Commando. 

Send in a photo of the child's loved one, and Jo will print it onto special fabric before turning it into a perfectly sized huggable toy. 

Huggable Heroes are designed to reduce the separation anxiety that children can experience when a Service parent is away on deployment. The dolls fit perfectly under little arms and are small enough for older children to tuck into school bags. 

Little Troopers

Little troopers

Little Troopers is a charity supporting all children with one or both parents serving in the regular or reserve British Armed Forces.
The charity creates lots of resources and initiatives to support the unique challenges often faced while living military life; deployment resources, a story recording app, separation journals, Crafty Little Troopers activity sheets, Birthday Card scheme and much more can be accessed free from the website.
Little Troopers at School is a project from the charity helping schools and empowering parents with regards to military children in education settings, lots of free resources available such as information sheets and resources for children with additional needs.

Memory Box

Memory Box

During separation children carry on their daily routine and create memories which are good to share with their special person on return from deployment. To assist in this RN FPS have Memory boxes which allows children to have a safe place to store their memories - this could be photos, a momentum from a day out, a piece of school work, etc. These boxes can be decorated too.

Naval Children's Charity

Naval Service Children's Charity

The Naval Children’s Charity provides grants and support to children (up to and including the age of 25) whose parents serve or have served in the Naval Service.

Support ranges from grants in their Emergency Essentials Grant Scheme to larger grants for more complex needs around disability and illness.  Every situation is considered individually by our team of caseworkers and help is given wherever possible as well as guidance, free resources and signposting to other organisations.

To find out how to get help visit our Naval Children's Charity website

email: [email protected] or phone Monday – Friday 0830 – 1600  023 9263 9534

Naval Families Federation

Naval Families Federation (NFF)

Royal Navy and Royal Marines families know that separation is an unavoidable part of our lifestyle. Whether it is saying hello and goodbye for a deployment or as part of a regular pattern of ‘weekending’, it is an ever present element of family life.

In order to inform policy development and decision makers about the effect of non-operational separations (weekending) on family functioning and well-being among Royal Navy and Royal Marines families, the NFF commissioned ground-breaking academic research to understand more.  The report is already informing policy and can be found:

In support of the report the NFF has developed a resource specifically for parents and care-givers, the purpose of which draws together some useful information about parental absence and separation, and provides some strategies to help families thrive: - 


Reading Force

Reading Force

Whether your family is at home together or apart because of deployment, training, or distance, doing Reading Force gets everyone involved and keeps you close. 

Have fun sharing a book with your family and friends. Read it, talk about it, and fill this scrapbook with your thoughts about the book.