Soldier's wife wins award for fundraising work

Dorset Echo: FAMILY: Louise with daughter Madison and her husband Tony FAMILY: Louise with daughter Madison and her husband Tony

‘IS DADDY going to die?’ – that was the question that spurred on one Dorset mum to set up a charity to support every British Army child in the UK.

And to recognise her efforts, Louise Fetigan from Bovington was crowned ‘Family Hero for the South West’ at the national 4Children and Take a Break Magazine UK Awards 2013.

The ceremony was hosted by DJ Neil Fox and TV presenter Emma Forbes who presented Louise with her award.

Dedicated army wife Louise set up the charity ‘My Daddy is a Soldier Adventures’ in 2011, after her 10-year-old daughter Madison asked: “Is daddy going to die?” when a classmate said her father might be killed.

The charity, which now operates across the country, provides accessible online activities and events such as football matches and singing contests to help distract the children of serving soldiers.

The family moved to Bovington when Louise’s husband Tony was assigned to the county.

Louise said Madison became deeply affected and withdrawn as her understanding grew about the potential dangers of her dad’s line of work.

It inspired her to set up the organisation to help children. She said: “One afternoon a little girl arrived at a singing event and said: ‘I really miss my daddy’. Later I saw her skipping out of the door.

“For one day, at least, she had forgotten about her worries.”

She added: “Another time, a mum was at an event trying to psych herself up to do an abseil.

“Her daughter said: ‘Mummy close your eyes and think of daddy. That will get you down.’ “Special moments like that are why the charity is so important and I am determined to give deserving families many, many more.”

Her husband Tony, who nominated her for the award, said: “Louise works long hours and makes so many sacrifices to support and grow the charity.

“She is passionate about the cause and feels strongly that children of soldiers face unique, daily challenges due to their parent’s job and that these challenges need to be recognised.

“She deserves recognition for the long hours she puts in to show that her work is truly appreciated. She is creating a legacy for British Army families.”

The couple met in 2000 when Louise was serving in the army as a military clerk.

After spending seven years based in Germany the family have also spent time living in Aldershot and Windsor.

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