Does your child have special educational needs?

Does your child live with a disability?

If the answer is yes then it’s very possible that you are feeling worried, overwhelmed, isolated, confused, frustrated…the list could go on and on! Even if everything is currently going well for your child, you may feel that you would like to gain deeper understanding of how to support them or maybe there is an issue where having some different strategies could make life at little easier?

Whatever your situation, no matter what the need or disability, navigating the world of SEND (special educational needs and disability) can feel, at best, challenging, at worst, impossible, so it can help to know where to go for support, information, and guidance.

There is lots of support out there, but it is difficult to know where to go. Every English Local Authority has a duty to publish the services they provide for children with SEND via a Local Offer, so if you google your Local authority and Local Offer you should find this page. As part of their duty the Local Authority also need to provide a SEND information, advice, and support service (SENDIASS). The details for this will also be found on the Local Offer.  There are also many organisations that can provide support with your child’s specific needs or disability or for particular challenges you may be facing however despite all this available help families tell us   it can still be really difficult to know where to start or how to navigate through the system to find the right assistance.

That’s why the Naval Children Charity is partnering with KIDS to offer families support via their KIDS Family Support Online SEND Family Support . Drawing on KIDS experience of supporting children/young people with disabilities and their families for over 50 years, this support is only a phone or video call away.

KIDS Family Support Online provides you with a variety of support options depending on your situation and what you need. Via the website you can book a free initial consultation which allows you the time to talk about your situation and the support you are looking for. A follow-up email, with the detail of the support that can be offered will then be provided. Once you are happy to go ahead, KIDS will make you an online appointment with a member of their specialist team. As part of the partnership offer with Kids, the NCC may be able to support you with the costs of the ongoing specialist support depending on your circumstances, so it is important you let them know you are a Naval family (Serving or Veteran, RN, RM, Reserves or RFA).  They can then refer you to us for assessment for funding.

If you would rather email than speak on the phone you are very welcome to do so via the SEND Family Support.

KIDS are there for whatever your need may be, for example, assistance with benefits applications, working through the complexities of an Educational Health and Care Plan (EHCP) or emotional support relating to one issue or your whole situation. If they cannot help, they will help you find someone who can.  To access SEND family support please contact and quote NCCKIDS010

To find out more about how the Naval Children’s Charity can support you and your child please contact our Neurodiversity Lead, Cheryl Owens


This is how we celebrated MOTMC and a massive thank you to everyone that got involved

April is the Month of the Military Child, this is a wonderful initiative that both celebrates and brings awareness to, the experiences of military children across the UK.

To celebrate this month, we ask our Naval Children to send us in videos telling us about the positive impact being a military child has had on them.

Well, we asked, and you certainly delivered, we had so many wonderful videos sent in that we have made a little montage of our favourite bits. Have a watch…

Thank you so much to all who took part.

Crown fit for a King – Design a Crown Competition

Welcome to the Design a Crown competition, where children get to showcase their creativity and design skills! In honour of the King’s Coronation on 6th May, we’re calling all young artists to join in the fun and participate in this exciting competition.

How it works: We’ve created a design template for you to add your designs to. All you need to do is let your imagination run wild and create your own unique crown design. It’s that simple! Once you’re happy with your design, snap a picture and send it to us with your name, age, and address.

And what’s the best part? Every participant will receive a special commemorative gift for taking part in the competition! It’s our way of thanking you for sharing your creativity and supporting the King’s Coronation.

So what are you waiting for? Grab your pencils, markers, or paints and start designing your crown. We can’t wait to see what you come up with!

How it submit your designs:
Submit your designs to the address below
or submit your designs on our dedicated competition page

Naval Childrens Charity,
311 Twyford Avenue

The MOD have launched a new Service Pupil Support Programme through the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust.

The MOD through their Armed Forces Families Fund (AF3) have launched a new Service Pupil Support Programme through the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust.  Specifically supporting Service pupils aged 4-18 years, this programme will focus on those pupils from currently serving families and will support them along their educational pathways.

Schools, academies sixth form colleges, Further Education colleges and local authorities can apply. Full eligibility details are available at

The programme will award grants of £5,000 to £80,000 to one-year projects that meet one of three priorities.

  • Closing the gap in attainment between Service and non-Service pupils, using data led evidence.
  • Addressing the needs of Service pupils with additional needs through early identification and intervention using a collaborative and coordinated approach.
  • Identifying and addressing the needs of small cohorts of Service pupils within educational settings.

Your project idea should offer good value for money.  This funding is for stand alone, one-year projects. The AFCFT would anticipate that most grants awarded will be around £40,000 or less.

Supporting Service pupils across the UK

Sonia Howe, Director of Policy and Communications at the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust, said: “This programme offers opportunities to access funding for both schools who have large numbers of Service pupils on role, and also those with small numbers. By working together as clusters of schools, those Service pupils based in less military heavy areas can also benefit.”

There are lots of useful resources to our website to help you get started with your application.

The application deadline is 5pm on 31 May 2023 and they’ll expect successful projects to begin from September 2023 in line with the new academic year.

We have been awarded a grant by the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust for our ‘Thriving through childhood and beyond’ project

The Naval Children’s Charity are delighted to have been awarded a grant by the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust for their ‘Thriving through Childhood and Beyond’ project, which will be delivered in partnership with The Service Children’s Progression (SCiP) Alliance to bring tri-Service benefits for all Armed Forces families with children in early years education or higher education.

It builds on the Alliance’s earlier work which developed the Thriving Lives Toolkit; widely used to support improved educational outcomes for Service Pupils in primary and secondary education.  It will develop and share further toolkits for younger and older age groups; and ensure wide reach throughout the UK.  It will develop a coherent quality standard for the entire sector and create a rigorous evidence base for police and practice development.

Clare Scherer, Chief Executive of the Charity said: ‘We are deeply grateful to the AFCFT for their support of this important work.  For children whose parents have made the choice to serve in the Armed Forces there can be a number of challenges.  It is vitally important that we find ways to support them and extending the SCiP Alliance’s Thriving Lives Toolkit to those all-important early years and into further and higher education will strengthen that support significantly.

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).

Download the Flyer


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.”

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