Teenagers - who all have parents serving in the British Armed Forces - gathered on Portland for an adventure break.

The weekend, hosted by Portland Outdoor Centre, was part of the charity Little Troopers ‘All Together’ programme.

It aimed to connect young people who have been through similar challenges as part of growing up in the forces community - such as having a parent deployed overseas and having to move house and school frequently.

The 30 teenagers with parents from the three services, the Royal Navy, the British Army and the Royal Air Force, attended the weekend.

None of them knew each other when they arrived but were asked to put away their phones and get to know one another while taking part in a range of outdoor activities including coastal bushcraft, coasteering, stand up paddleboarding, raft building, mackerel gutting and kayaking.

Dorset Echo: Raft buildingRaft building

Dorset Echo: KayakingKayaking

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Harry, aged 13, said: “I was looking forward to coming because my Dad went on a deployment for most of last year and I missed him a lot. So coming here and seeing all these other people who’ve had the exact same experience as me has been really nice and good fun.”

Louise, Fetigan, founder of Little Troopers, said: “Growing up with a parent serving in the British Armed Forces isn’t always easy, especially when your parent is away for long periods of time or you have to move home and school frequently. Our Little Troopers All Together programme is all about recognising these unique challenges and bringing military children together so they can spend time with others who share similar life experiences.

“We have run these residential breaks in several places across the country now and we have had such positive feedback from the young people and their parents who say it has a real impact on their wellbeing. Thank you to the Portland Outdoor Centre for hosting us. It’s been a fantastic weekend by the sea and I’m sure the teens will remember it for many years to come.”

Dorset Echo: Mega SUPMega SUP (Image: Paul Brewer)

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The Little Troopers All Together project was made possible by donations from the Veterans Foundation, the Prince of Wales Charitable Fund, the Henry Sale Foundation, Greenwich Hospital and HDH Wills.

In addition to running teen residential weekends, the Little Troopers All Together project includes a series of online workshops for under 10s and adventure days out for 7–13-year-olds.

Dorset Echo: Military teens on Little Troopers trip on Portland

Dorset Echo: Military teens on Little Troopers trip on Portland

Little Troopers is a registered charity supporting children who have parents serving in the British Armed Forces. As well as supporting military families with online resources and in-person events, the charity also runs a Little Troopers at School programme, offering specific lesson plans, activities, courses and workshops for use in primary and secondary schools that support military children in the classroom.