Words by Smiley Team
Any child who has a parent that either is serving, or has served, in the Royal Navy has a support network there to help them up until they’re 25: the Naval Children’s Charity.
The organisation is on a mission to help these children really go into life as adults – and have their best lives. Clare Scherer, Chief Executive of the Naval Children’s Charity, says a lot of their daily work involves families who are in crisis. “They’re really actually finding that life is really hard and as we all know, we’ve all had a really difficult time over the last few years,” she says.
The Naval Children’s Charity has a team of caseworkers that works with children all across the globe. “They work with them, they work out what it is that they’re facing, where the difficulties are on how we can help,” says Clare. “And sometimes that means we get them access to therapies or activities – and sometimes we’re providing advice and support and helping them with debt.”
Families who are supported by the charity are always grateful and amazed for the help, adds Clare. “My team are brilliant and they’re regularly referred to as saints, and they’ve been wonderful,” she adds.
Fundamentally, the charity hopes to alleviate the worry and stress that children may feel. Usually, a family will contact them and they’ll work out what it is that the family really needs. “That will mean looking at what the child’s need is and giving financial support so that the family can cope,” she says.
“We don’t want our families going to food banks. You know, we help them with monthly payments, we buy school uniform, we buy clothing, we help children with their education. You know, we want children to have a great life.”
The charity also has lots of resources for children – they have books to help the children understand their parents going away for long periods of time.
“We have these two lovely books, Zoe in the Time Rabbit and Henry in the Time Penguin, and we have teams of lovely knitters around the UK who knit us wonderful little rabbits and penguins, and they go out with our books for free to any family that wants them,” says Clare.
“And it helps the children understand their feelings about separation.”
The charity has five main areas they really want to help children with: their health, wellbeing, security, education, and life chances. “We want them to really lead their best lives so that they really become the best human beings they can,” she adds.
Watch our interview with Clare in the video above.
SUPPORT: Find out how you can fundraise and support for the Naval Children’s Charity.
DONATE: You can donate to the charity to help them continue operating and supporting children and families.