Our growing team, offering more support

As requests for help and support increase within our community, we are pleased to be able to expand our team to meet the growing needs.

Earlier this year; the fabulous Allison Donnelly joined our Caseworker team, based in Helensburgh, Allison has expanded our physical reach by around 500 miles or so, offering support for Naval Families in and around Helensburgh, Argyll and Bute which is the town closest to HMNB Clyde (Faslane).

Allison herself is a Naval wife, her husband has been serving as a part of the submarine service for over 20 years. She understands first-hand the frustrations and worries families face when their loved ones are deployed.  Life in a “tin can” as its often referred to really does come with its difficulties. It can be difficult for all involved to adapt to long sea deployments, added with the unknown of where they are and when they will be home, often dates can change at the very last minute and extend without notice. Seas Patrols vary in length and type depending on the class of Submarine, with some deploying for nearly a year. Understandably families are often left unsure when they will next see their husband/wife/partner/son/daughter, left behind having to navigate everyday life. It’s important to ensure that families left behind are supported and know who to turn to.  The Naval Children’s Charity understand that emergencies can occur and are on hand to assist families with child related grants, we also have resources aimed at children to make deployments and time apart more bearable.

Based in the Charity Support Hub in Churchill, Allison has been busy engaging with families offering support, guidance, and grant opportunities as per the Naval Children’s Charity’s 5 Pillars of Support (Health, Wellbeing, Security, Education and Life Chances). Working remotely as part of the Casework Team, Allison has vast knowledge of all things Scottish and can offer advice relating to benefits, school systems and relocation should any of our families have any concerns regarding these.  You can contact Allison here

More recently; In fact, just a week ago, we welcomed Karolina Kubica to the NCC family. Karolina graduated in International Relations with specialisation in global security and children in conflict areas. She has gained valuable experience working with the Armed Forces Community throughout her work at SSAFA helping serving personnel, veterans, and their families in a time of need. She is passionate about supporting those with no voice – animals and children, advocating for children with learning difficulties and disabilities. Based in Plymouth, Karolina will be an Outreach Caseworker for the Southwest region, hot desking at both the Gordon Messenger Centre in Lympstone and the China Fleet Club in Saltash.

Ahoy there: We would like to welcome back all our young people that took up our offer and joined a Tall Ships voyage over the summer months. In total 40 of them took to the seas, had an amazing adventure, learnt some valuable life skills and made some lifelong friends. We are over the moon with the feedback we have received so far and are looking forward to doing it again next year. Remember, we offer many opportunities like these, and we will be announcing two new ones in next month’s newsletter.

Celebrating Forces Families Awards: On a final note, if you know of our work and have personal experience of how we help our Naval children, we ask you kindly to spare just a few minutes nominating us for the ‘Military Family Charity of the Year’ Award.  Thank you in advance.

Best wishes,

Clare Scherer MBE
Chief Executive Officer, Naval Children’s Charity

Design a Ship of the Future Competition

Our Talented Winners


Sam Davie

William Almond

Alfie Ward

Our ‘Design a Ship of the Future’ winners have now all received their prizes – Their individual designs transformed into Lego Ships, with thanks to our friend at Bricks by Design. Sam, William and Alfie are all proud as punch, and deservedly so. Thank you to every single child that entered our competition, it was such a hard task to pick only three winners as there were so many truly fabulous, detailed and creative designs.

Once again, huge thanks to our talented friends at Bricks by Design for bringing these creations to life!

Details of our next competition coming soon….

Wavewalker – Breaking Free

Recently we were lucky enough to spend some time with Lady Heywood of Whitehall. As grand as that title may seem, it was fascinating to hear in person Suzanne Heywoods humble beginnings.

Aged just seven, Suzanne set sail with her parents and brother on a three-year voyage around the world. What followed turned instead into a decade-long way of life, storms, shipwrecks and her fight for an education. Suzanne has written a riveting book all about this part of her life called Wavewalker – Breaking Free. It became apparent after reading the book the similarities in themes that Suzanne shares with some of our naval children. With that in mind we have filmed some shorts videos with Suzanne where she offers advice, support, and inspiration.


PART 1 - Parents as Decision Makers

PART 2 - Compromise & Conversation

PART 3 - Education

PART 4 - Education

PART 5 - Resilience & Determination

Not all heroes wear capes – October Newsletter

I would very much like to start this newsletter with some big Thank you’s.

We are so lucky to have some wonderful families, teams and organisations fundraise and volunteer for us, and we are incredibly grateful to everyone for their efforts. Be it knitting Rabbits and Penguins for us to send out to our young people struggling with a parent’s deployment, running the Great South Run or entering the next London to Brighton Bike Ride to raise funds and awareness for our Charity, we genuinely can’t thank you enough.

However, earlier this month one fundraising effort was particularly poignant. One of our beneficiaries, Hector and his family hiked 5 miles to celebrate his 5th birthday. Considering that doctors didn’t expect Hector to be walking by this point due to the extent of his hydrocephalus, the fact that he managed to hike 5 miles along the Cornish Coast path to raise money for us is simply incredible and very humbling. Thank you, Hector!

Strike a Pose: Here at the Naval Children’s Charity we will soon be refreshing our website and with that in mind we are looking to reflect the wonderful diversity of our community visually. We are calling out to all serving and veteran Naval personnel, including our wonderful Marines, Reserves and Royal Fleet Auxiliary, with children and young people aged up to 25 to come to one of our three up-coming photoshoots. These will be taking place in Portsmouth, Plymouth and Scotland.

We’d love to celebrate the children and young people from our community and create some exciting new content for all our communications, so if this is something of interest to you, please contact us

Careers and Apprenticeship: For any of our young people currently undecided on their career path, we have great news. The Forces Employment Charity is hosting a Career Change and Apprenticeship Show next month.

The Forces Employment Charity provides life-long and life-changing support for UK Armed Forces veterans and their families and bridges the gap between this community and employers in the civilian world.  This event is designed to give young people who have parents/carers who have served/are serving, the opportunity to explore the different employment and careers options available to them in Andover and the surrounding areas. You can find more information here.

Helping Hands: For the October half term many eateries are offering some wonderful discounts for families. If you pop along to our Facebook page you will find a list of all the generous restaurants and cafes offering free children’s meals or meals for just £1.

Best wishes,

Clare Scherer MBE
Chief Executive Officer, Naval Children’s Charity