Naval Children to sail coast of UK on the adventure of a lifetime

We’re delighted to announce that we will once again be offering Naval children the opportunity to sail the UK coast, in partnership with the Tall Ships Youth Trust (TSYT).

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Four voyages are available for Naval children. For those aged 12-15 there will be three trips, with another expedition planned for children aged 16-25.

Setting sail from, or ending up in, either Portsmouth or Plymouth, the expedition lasts five days before making port.

Aboard one of TSYT’s iconic 72ft Challenger Yachts, the explorers of tomorrow will be involved in all aspects of sailing from ropework and sail handling to helming.

The crew will also learn valuable transferable skills. Working as a team, developing their communication and leadership skills, these young people will come away with the capability to overcome barriers, and excel in their transition to adulthood.

Naval Children’s Charity CEO, Clare Scherer said: “We are delighted to be able to offer more of these voyages to our children and young people again this year. Those that went on the voyages last year had the most amazing time, forging friendships and bonding with their shared backgrounds from Naval families.“

The voyages will be completely subsidised by the NCC. For families that need extra support, grants are available for travel and kit (means tested). We would like to thank The Gosling Foundation, and The Mordaunt Foundation for their financial support.

There are ten positions available on each expedition. To apply, parents will need to fill out an application form; each child will also be required to supply a short statement on why they would like to take part. Places will be allocated based on the information provided on the expression on interest form, taking into account family circumstances, with a particular focus on the young person’s reasons for applying.

This opportunity is open to the child of any parent or guardian who is serving or is a veteran of the Royal Navy, including Royal Marines, WRNS, QARNNS, Reserves and Royal Fleet Auxiliary. Please provide the service details of the parent or guardian when you enquire.

Details of voyages:

Voyage 1: Tuesday 1st August – Saturday 5th August Age 12-15yrs Portsmouth – Plymouth

Voyage 2: Monday 7th August – Friday 11th August Age 12-15yrs Plymouth – Portsmouth

Voyage 3: Monday 16th October – Friday 20th October Age 16-25yrs Portsmouth – Portsmouth

Voyage 4: Monday 23rd October – Friday 27th October Age 12-15yrs Portsmouth – Portsmouth

The closing date for applications for Voyages 1 and 2 is Friday 30th June

The closing date for applications for Voyages 3 and 4 is Friday 15th September

These voyages expand on the success of NCC and TSYT’s maiden expeditions in the summer of 2022.

Two crews sailed the coastline of Scotland on the Challenger yacht. Both sets of young people achieved their Royal Yachting Association (RYA) certificates, with three of our cohort continuing their RYA training with TSYT.

TSYT’s Director of Youth Development and Outdoor Learning, Kirsty French, said:“We are excited to welcome another cohort of young people aboard one of our Challenger yachts as part of our ongoing partnership with the Naval Children’s Charity.

“Our previous NCC voyages during the Round Britain Adventure really enabled the young people to push themselves beyond their comfort zone, learning to work together to overcome shared challenges. We are looking forward to giving even more young people the opportunity to enjoy this truly transformational experience with Tall Ships Youth Trust.”

One parent from last year’s cohort said: “Before his dad left he was a confident, outgoing boy who had a wide friendship group and loved to make people laugh. Sadly over the last few years he had become withdrawn and nervous. What a difference the voyage has made….he has become much more confident and I’ve got my happy, smiling boy who likes to make people laugh back.”

This initiative furthers the NCC’s commitment to giving Naval children, ‘Life Chances’, expanding the reach of the charity to provide for all members of the community, not just those families in need of financial support.

Scherer added: “Much of our support focuses on families in crisis. However, we want our children and young people to not just survive but also to thrive and for our charitable support to repay a dividend to each of our beneficiaries for life.

“To achieve that we aim to offer them opportunities outside the norm, so that their horizons are wide and distant, and help them to appreciate that anything is within their reach. By providing those chances and showing them what could be possible, we aim to unlock the spirit in every child and help them achieve their full potential in life.

“Our Life Chances programme offers opportunities such as our partnership with the Tall Ships Youth Trust where our Naval young people can go on sponsored voyages experiencing a fantastic adventure as well as enabling them to achieve their RYA Competent Crew Certificate and, if appropriate, contribute towards the Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme. Or the offer from ACE London Irish for budding Rugby players.”

Rest in Peace, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth


The Naval Children’s Charity are deeply saddened by the death of HM The Queen. She first became our Patron as a princess and we were honoured to have her as our Patron for some 75 years. She was an inspiration to us all, steadfast and loyal, dedicated to her people. All those connected to the Royal Navy are proud to have served her. Our heartfelt condolences to her family and the Nation.

In 1945, the then Princess Elizabeth, became Patron of the Royal Navy and Royal Marine’s Children’s Trust. Her Majesty held the position for over 70 years, and has always been a fierce champion for Naval families.

This continued the Royal Family’s years of service to the Royal Navy. Her Majesty’s grandfather, George V, served for 15 years, while her father, George VI was stationed at HMS Collingworth during the First World War.

During the course of her patronage, Her Majesty’s fierce support for the children in our community allowed us to deliver so much, and brought with it some brilliant celebratory moments for Naval children.

In 2009, we were delighted to host a royal reception at St James’ Palace attended by Her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh, where they met many of our beneficiaries and supporters.

To celebrate Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee, Naval children stitched together a very special present: a quilt made of crowns.

In 2016, we were honoured to take part in another of Her Majesty’s landmark celebrations: her 90th birthday. Representatives of the Naval Children’s Charity were invited to a reception of Her Majesty’s charities in The Mall. Later that year, she would step down from her official role as patron.

On behalf of the Naval Children’s Charity, I would like to thank Her Majesty for a lifetime of unwavering support for our cause and the Royal Navy at large. May she rest in peace.

Best wishes,

Clare Scherer, CEO of the Naval Children’s Charity

Made In The Navy – Naval Baby Bibs

MadeInTheNavy Bib

Every year, around 600 babies are born to serving Naval personnel. That’s a lot of new members in our thriving community! 

We wanted to provide Naval families with a little gift for their newest additions, and let the children know there is great support out there for them. 

As our CEO Clare Scherer said on BFBS Radio recently: 

“It’s a really nice thing that you can also keep forever. It’s quite small. It’s quite sweet. And I think it’s something that they’re just gonna love and treasure.” 

To find out how you can claim a bib for your child, please email

We’d love to see as many cute #NavalBaby photos on our website and social media channels, so please tag us on Twitter or Facebook once you have received them. 

You can listen to Clare’s full interview with George Wedlake on BFBS Radio, or read the transcript below. 

MadeInTheNavy Bib

Clare: So we know that around 600 babies are born to serving Naval personnel every year. We wanted to find a way to welcome them to our naval family And really just introduce them to the fact that throughout their child’s life, there is great support for them from both the Naval Children’s Charity and lots of other naval charities. 

So we have created a wonderful little bandana bib with a very simple logo on. It doesn’t say charity on there. It’s just a little image, and we’re sending it out free to our families, when they email us and tell us about their new baby. We’re using the hashtag #NavyBaby and #MadeInTheNavy. It’s just a little welcome. Congratulations. And making them feel part of the whole naval family community,

George: I understand it is a very touching gift. It’s a nice welcome to the Naval community and the Naval world. But how did you nail it down to the specific product? Because as a parent of two children: one is two and the other four months old, I would say the more bibs, the better. Is that kind of the thought process behind it?

Clare: It is and it’s also kind of one size fits all, depending on the age of your baby. We looked at babygros, or those lovely muslin cloths, but actually babygros come in all different sizes. So it seemed like a very simple thing. And actually, it’s a really nice thing that you can also keep forever. It’s quite small. It’s quite sweet. And I think it’s something that they’re just gonna love and treasure. We only launched it a couple of weeks ago, we’ve had about 60 fly out the doors already and lovely pictures coming in of our babies in their bibs, which is just brilliant. 

George: So for any parents who are looking to get one of these, how do they share their interest? How do they share the details with you about their child?

Clare: Well, the details are coming on the website soon. So look on the website, or they email us at and just tell us where they’re serving, tell us the age of your baby and or when you’re expecting your baby. We’re getting mums to be, which is great.

George: And in terms of sharing images of their babies with these bibs, how do they get in touch with those?

Clare: They can email them or they can put them on social media and tag us in it or they can send it to us through Facebook. We have a Twitter handle which is @navalchildren. So if they’re happy to put their baby pictures out there and tag us in it, that would be fantastic.


Naval Children’s Charity Arctic Star Writing Competition

Arctic Star

Arctic Star Short Story Competition

Open to Naval children aged between 8 and 16 yrs old.

In conjunction with Tom Palmer, author of the Arctic Star novel, whilst celebrating and supporting the Month of the Military Child, the Naval Children’s Charity is running a short story competition open to Naval Children.

This includes children of veterans from the Royal Navy, Royal Marines and the Royal Fleet Auxiliary.

Tom’s latest book, Arctic Star, is about three young Naval recruits braving the Arctic Convoys during the Second World War.

The Canadian Naval Memorial Trust has also kindly donated a copy of the graphic novel ”Dusty Dreams & Troubled Water: A story of HMCS Sackville and the Battle of the Atlantic” by Brian Bowman.

This novel follows the journey of a 12-year-old boy and his experiences of Arctic Convoys in the Canadian Navy.

Entry details:
To enter we would like you to write a short story, 500 words maximum, with the inspiration and theme of being a “Military Child”. The rest is up to your imagination.
Winners will have their stories published on our Social Media channels and website.

The competition is open until Monday 25th April 2022, winners will be announced on Friday 29th April 2022 and contacted by email.

Please send in your stories by email to:

Please ensure you state your full name and age with submissions.

The prize for coming first in the competition will be a personalised signed copy of Arctic Star as well as a copy of Dusty Dreams and Troubled Waters, plus a £30 Amazon voucher
Four runners up will each receive personalised signed copies of Arctic Star plus a £15 Amazon voucher

Naval Children’s Charity Board of Trustees announces new Chair

The Board of Trustees of the Naval Children’s Charity (NCC) are delighted to announce that Mr
Christopher Tite will succeed Mr Alistair Sheppard OBE as the new Chair of the Charity when Alistair
completes his five-year term of office 24 th March 2022.
We welcome Mr Tite as our new Chair and look forward to exciting times ahead as we move towards
our 200 th anniversary in 2025. Christopher is a member of the Greenwich Hospital Advisory Board (a
Crown foundation and the Navy's oldest charity) and a trustee of other significant charitable and
private trusts. He was previously a trustee of the Fleet Air Arm Museum and the Tall Ships Youth
On his successor’s appointment, Alistair Sheppard said: "I am delighted that Christopher brings his
extensive experience from the naval charitable sector that will ensure the great work and momentum
of the Naval Children’s Charity continues.”
Mr Sheppard has overseen a period of great success and change in the Naval Children's Charity's
near-200 year history.
During his tenure, the Charity has undergone a change of name and a transition from our long-
serving CEO Monique Bateman to our current chief executive Clare Scherer.
The strategic overview he led during 2019 broadened the scope of the Charity’s services.
NCC now provides support for all Naval children, not just those in distress, with a particular focus on
the development of resources including our children’s books Zoe and The Time Penguin and Henry
and the Time Rabbit.
Over the past five years, the team has grown to five dedicated caseworkers, delivered resources to
thousands of children across the UK and awarded over 5,000 grants to Naval families.
Clare Scherer, Chief Executive, said: “We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Alistair for his outstanding
work as Chair, leading the Charity through a strategic overview, change of name and clear focus on
the future work supporting our Naval Children. I am delighted with the appointment of Mr Tite and
look forward to working with him to develop our support and help to our Naval Children.”
About NCC
The Naval Children’s Charity has been helping Naval Children since 1825, for nearly 200 years. We
help children, up to the age of 25, whose parents have served in the Naval Service (Royal Navy, Royal
Marines, QARNNS, WRNS, Reserves or Royal Fleet Auxiliary).
We help around 2000 children directly each year and many thousands more through our resources
and work with communities and other organisations.
We believe that…to be the child of someone who is, or has been, in the Naval Service should be a
positive and enhancing experience – something to be borne with pride. For those children where life
is more difficult, we are there to help.
For further information or comment, please contact Clare Scherer, CEO on 023 9263 9536 or 07947 691 950

New book for when mums go away, Henry and the Time Penguin

Our new book is here! Henry and the Time Penguin was written especially for mums who have to go away. You can email us for a free copy at Remember to give us your name and address and let us know if you want the Henry book for mums going away or the Zoe book for dads going away.