Charity gives out teddy bears to HMS Lancaster families this Christmas

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More than 100 Armed Forces families who have a loved one deployed on HMS Lancaster this Christmas have received a free teddy bear.

The military children’s charity Little Troopers has partnered with the Build-A-Bear Foundation to distribute more than 2,200 free teddy bears to military families across the UK as part of its Christmas Smiles campaign, to bring smiles to the faces of military children over the holidays.

Cdr Paul Irving RN, Commanding Officer HMS Lancaster, said: “HMS Lancaster Port Crew have successfully taken the ship from our colleagues in Starboard Crew for the first time and we are ready to continue the success story of the Forward Deployed Type 23 Frigate.

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"The enduring presence of a Royal Navy frigate, established by HMS Montrose and continued by HMS Lancaster, demonstrates the UK’s steadfast commitment to ensuring security and stability in the Gulf region.

One of the charity bears on deployment.One of the charity bears on deployment.
One of the charity bears on deployment.

“The challenges faced by our families back home are particularly acute during the festive period. The work of charities such as Little Troopers and their generous donation of teddy bears for our young children is a kind gesture that shows the support on offer to service families.

“I am extremely proud of the commitment shown by both crews of HMS Lancaster; the amazing support that we receive from our families, friends and charities such as Little Troopers makes being away from home on deployment so much easier.”

Louise Fetigan, founder of Little Troopers, said: “It’s always hard for children to have a parent serving away from home but it can be especially hard at Christmas. That’s why our annual Christmas Smiles campaign is so important as it brings smiles to the faces of military children who are missing their parent at this important time of year.

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“Thanks to the Build-A-Bear Foundation we’ve been able to send a special bear hugs to thousands of military children who are missing their parent this Christmas. It’s our reminder them that our charity is thinking about them and understands what they are going through when they are feeling lonely or sad.”

The teddy bears are just one of many things that Little Troopers is doing to support military children this Christmas. The charity has organised free cinema screenings and online events including a Santa show, elf workshops and a Christmas bake-along.

The charity also has lots of year-round resources that parents and schools can tap into to help support military children including its All Together deployment club, military teen podcast, therapy programme and more. For more information visit