Forces Employment Charity

Identifying your skills, strengths and aspirations.

Forces Employment Charity works with service children aged 16-24 providing tailored one-to-one mentoring support that boosts confidence, widens aspirations, and encourages young people to explore various pathways into employment. A blend of practical assistance, career guidance, and events that help with accessing work and learning opportunities such as volunteering, further/higher education, and apprenticeships, through our network of employer and training partners.

Forces Employment Charity, working in partnership with the Life Chances Programme, helps children from Naval families who embark on adventure training aboard Tall Ships Youth Trust Empowerment Voyages. Forces Employment Charity brings the lived experience of the unique challenges of military life and understands the importance of supporting the whole family with finding fulfilling sustainable careers.

How it works..

The Forces Employment Charity is working with Service children and young people participating in the Tall Ship Empowerment Voyages, as part of the NCC Life Chances Programme.  The team from the charity will board the ship at the end of the voyage to run a variety of engaging activities and workshops, focused on identifying skills, strengths, aspirations, and teamwork, designed to help the children translate their experience into transferrable work-life skills.

After each voyage, every attendee aged over 16, will be invited to register for one-to-one support from the Forces Employment Charity.  The programme offers coaching and mentoring, a range of employability skills including writing a CV and personal statement, how to write a cover letter, what to expect in an interview, how to prepare for one, and how to cope when unsuccessful. Caseworkers are Level 4 Career advice and guidance qualified, (team members are ex-teachers, parents, and military spouses), and skilled in motivating and inspiring young people to believe they can and support them in actionable steps to achieve their goals.

Ongoing support is delivered virtually, using the preferred method agreed between the caseworker and the young person they are working with, which could be online or over the phone and via email. All FEC staff who work with children and young people are enhanced DBS checked and all communication is logged. Should parents wish to meet the caseworker, then a call can be arranged.


If you would like to find out more click here.

Dame Kristin Scott Thomas Announced as New Patron

A warm welcome to Dame Kristin Scott Thomas as our new Patron.

Dame Kristin Scott Thomas has always had a close personal connection to the Royal Navy. Her father, grandfather, stepfather and uncles all served in the Navy. In 2023 she completed work on her directorial debut NORTH STAR, a feature that she co-wrote about an RN family, which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival.

Dame Kristin is the recipient of a BAFTA Award for FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL. A bilingual actress, she received Academy Award and Golden Globe Award nominations for her starring role opposite Ralph Fiennes in Academy Award-winning THE ENGLISH PATIENT.

Among her English language screen credits are DARKEST HOUR and MILITARY WIVES just to name a few.

Dame Kristin Scott Thomas was born in Cornwall. Her father was a Lieutenant Commander in the RN’s Fleet Air Arm, who tragically died in a flying accident when Kristin was at the tender age of five. She is the granddaughter of William Scott Thomas, who commanded HMS Impulsive during World War II.

In 2019 Dame Kristin took part in the series ‘My Grandfather’s War’ telling the story of her grandfather who was in Command of a destroyer and made 8 Arctic convoy voyages. He was also instrumental at Dunkirk, rescuing over a thousand men.

On becoming a Parton for the Naval Children’s Charity, Dame Scott Thomas said:

‘I am delighted to become a Patron of the Naval Children’s Charity.  The work that they do supporting Naval children and young people really resonates with me from my own experiences growing up.  The work of the charity is invaluable, and I am only too pleased to be able to endorse it.’

Having been a Naval child herself, the NCC are over the moon to have Dame Scott Thomas as a patron. CEO Clare Scherer MBE said:

‘We could not be more delighted to welcome our new Patron.  The life experience she brings to us, as a Naval child, and the inspiration she will give to our current children and young people, is amazing.  Having overcome challenges as a Naval child herself she is a fantastic role model to inspire our young people and let them know what great success they too could achieve.’

Photographer Credit: German Larkin @germanlarkin

Month of the Military Child 2024

A Celebration of Military Children.

Did you know the official flower of the military child is the dandelion.

Its seeds are blown far and wide by the wind, but it will always plant roots and blossom wherever it lands. Well-rounded, culturally aware, tolerant, and extremely resilient, military children know that home is where their hearts are and that a good friend can be found in every corner of the world.

April is the Month of the Military Child, a month-long focus on the important role Service children play in the Armed Forces community. It is a time to recognise Armed Forces families and their children for the daily sacrifices they make and the challenges they overcome.

To celebrate this month here at the Naval Children’s Charity we would love to see any artwork, poetry, short stories or the like that your children may create to celebrate this special month. If you are happy for us to share on our social media, please email the works here.

Neurodiversity Celebration Week

This week is Neurodiversity Celebration Week!
A worldwide initiative that challenges stereotypes and misconceptions about neurological differences. It aims to transform how neurodivergent individuals are perceived and recognising the many talents and advantages of being neurodivergent, while creating more inclusive and equitable cultures that celebrate differences and empower every individual. Please watch the accompanying film to find out how the NCC can help you on this journey.

A New Psychological Toolkit for Armed Forces Children

The Naval Children’s Charity are thrilled to be launching ‘Doing Distance’ – a psychological toolkit for armed forces children, to help them navigate the challenges that come with service life, particularly around separation and mobility.

Whether you are a parent of a military child, or a supporting adult from their school or local community, this new psychological toolkit has been specially designed to help support your armed forces children. This toolkit has been compiled with the help from the team at ‘Bear Us In Mind’, a group with over 30 years’ experience working directly with families around separation and loss.

The Naval Children’s Charity’s aim is for these resources to help military children and their supporting adults to navigate the highs and lows of service life. These tools will help with the processing of the challenges experienced by children and young people and enable them hold on to special memories. All these resources will be available to download for free.


Clare Scherer MBE, from the Naval Children’s Charity, said:

”We could not be more grateful to Julie Stokes and the Bear Us In Mind team for their generosity in allowing us to adapt and use this amazing toolkit.  We really think it will bring help and support to lots of our families as they deal with some of the challenges that come with life as a service family.”


The ‘Doing Distance’ toolkit can be found here.

Celebrating International Women’s Day

As International Women’s Day is being celebrated across the globe, here at the Naval Children’s Charity we would like to celebrate things a little closer to home. Last month our Chief Executive Officer, Clare Scherer, went to Buckingham Palace to receive her MBE from The Princess Royal, in recognition of her services to Naval families.

Clare received the award as part of His Majesty Charles III’s inaugural ‘Birthday Honours List’. 

“I am extremely proud and delighted to be the recipient of this award. It truly is an honour and I am deeply grateful to HM The King,” said Ms Scherer.  

First working with the NCC as a consultant in 2008, Clare was appointed CEO in 2018. 

During that time, the charity has undergone a successful re-brand, commissioned extensive research into the stresses on the lives of military children in the UK, and produced a suite of resources that help Naval families cope with deployment, grief and mental health. 

“The [MBE] award is in recognition of my work supporting Naval families and, in reality, the award is for my entire team of staff at the NCC,” says Clare.

“They are the ones who work closely with our families, children and young people, ensuring that their needs are met in a compassionate and meaningful way and I would like to commend them for the dedication and passion they bring to the Charity.” 

At the NCC, 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.  

As such, over the next few years, the NCC is expanding its ‘Life Chances’ programmes; offering all Naval children new experiences which will give them the skills to thrive in their future lives and careers. 

Clare added: “We are excited to be developing our support to all our Naval Children, not just those where there is crisis driven by disability, illness or significant financial hardship.  

“Many of our children and young people are impacted by their parents’ service in the Royal Navy and we look forward to providing them with resources and opportunities to help them cope and enable them to thrive, helping them to be the best they can be.”

Congratulations once again, Clare Scherer MBE.

Youth Crew


Our wonderful friends at Greenwich Hospital and the Royal Naval Sailing Association (RNSA) are delighted to announce the launch of an exciting new project that will provide free sailing opportunities for children of families of personnel serving in the Royal Navy, Royal Marines and Royal Fleet Auxiliary.  The RNSA, the charity that provides the sport of sailing for the Navy, funded by Greenwich Hospital will be offering free RYA start sailing weeks delivered through the Andrew Simpson Foundation (ASF) across the UK.  This is a super exciting chance to support Service families and introduce them to the fun and many benefits of sailing. 

The dedicated courses start this Easter and the aim is to get hundreds of 11-17 year olds sailing in 2024 and beyond.  They will be doing everything they can to make these weeks fully accessible and inclusive with no previous experience needed. The project will include a water safety element to help develop confidence for those less well versed with the sea!  The RNSA team will be reaching out to explain the offer, help with the booking process and guide applicants through the process.  Enquiries should be directed to  and the website will be available for bookings from early March (  Please do get in touch as sailing really is fun and does provide a great vehicle for building a whole range of skills in young people as well as enhancing fitness and well-being.   We will also be looking at follow on pathways to help young people take up ‘Sailing for Life’.

The BIG Debate

We live in a world where the best jobs and best opportunities go to the people who are most articulate, the people who are best at putting their point across. So, learning to debate can be incredibly valuable for young people.

Frequent moves can disrupt a child’s social support network and cause feelings of isolation, as they may have to often adjust to new environments, schools, and peer groups. This can lead to a sense of disconnection and loneliness, as the child may struggle to establish meaningful relationships in their new community.

So, recognising the advantages of debate training and the sometimes-isolated situation for naval children, we at the Naval Children’s Charity, working in partnership with veterans charity Forward Assist and educational charity Parallel Histories, created a new debating programme. A programme for young people from naval families who would both benefit from debate training and enjoy getting to know and sharing experiences with other young people from naval families located in different parts of the country or abroad.

Over a series of online workshops, our young people learnt many valuable skills to take forward in life. They were then invited to take part in a final debate in London, the topic in question? Discuss the Pros and Cons of being a Naval Child.

Joshua Hillis, Deputy Editor of Parallel Histories commented:

‘They were brilliant. They were articulate and debating in a way that really, we’d hope adults would debate, they were engaging respectfully with each other but robustly, and relating their own experiences in an emotionally mature way. The confidence and speaking skills they brought to it was amazing and the ability to engage with questions coming from Ministers and senior figures and also doing that in front of a camera with the lights on them. That was impressive.’

Many thanks to the team at Parallel Histories for all the fantastic work they put into giving our young people a wonderful experience and some fantastic life skills to take forward.


Songs for Naval Children by Naval Children

Last summer we teamed up with Never Such Innocence, the fantastic children’s charity that provide tools for young people to reflect on the realities of war and conflict by nurturing them through the arts.

As a collective, we invited naval children to take part in a series of virtual song writing workshops with singer-songwriter Otto. The purpose was to write a song by naval children, for naval children. It soon became apparent during these workshops that a second song was forming, one specifically for the Submariner families.

After hours of writing, both songs were ready to be recorded. We then invited the young people to join us in London to record the songs at Hackney Studios, allowing a little extra time to see some of the sights!

Katie Salarie, CEO of Never Such Innocence commented on the day of recording:

‘It was amazing just watching nothing become a full entire song. What is great about it, it’s children from across the UK, they can come on zoom, have this experience, get to know one another, and then get to meet. It’s such a special opportunity for them. As they move to different posts, they may even see these friends again. That’s what makes it so special, music and the arts bringing people together.’

The recordings were a fantastic success, and we are over the moon with the finished products that our young people created from scratch. The are both below.

The ‘Navy Song’ and the ‘Submariners Sea Shanty’. We hope that you enjoy listening to them as much as we enjoyed watching them being created!


Polly’s PINK Marathon

Polly Florence decided to do a PINK “Toddlerthlon” to raise lots of pennies for us, as we help to support her and her family in the challenges they face due to Polly’s medical conditions. Polly’s “Toddlerthlon” was a huge challenge, 1 mile walk, 1.5 mile cycle and a whole 1 hour swimming! We are so pleased to say that Polly SMASHED IT!! She also smashed her target of £650 and raised a WHOPPING £1,560!!
Polly’s mum said “We cannot thank the Naval Children’s Charity enough for the support and guidance they have given us. We feel very lucky to be part of the Navy community and have access to such a fantastic charity. We are beyond proud of how resilient and brave Polly is, this shone through during her challenge and she absolutely smashed it! We cannot wait to come up with some more cool fundraising ideas to help the Naval Children’s Charity to continue to support families just like ours. Polly was asked why she was doing her challenge and who for, her response was “for the Naval Children’s Charity” because they look after me” 
Thank you so very much Polly, you are an absolute SUPERSTAR!!!