A four-year-old girl whose dad serves in the Royal Air Force has been awarded a special medal for coping with the challenges of military life.

Darcey Paddington, who lives in Carterton with her family, was named Little Trooper of the Month by military children’s charity, Little Troopers, after she was nominated by her mum Rebecca.

Darcey dad, James, is based at RAF Brize Norton and was deployed overseas earlier this year and has spent much of 2022 away from home, including every school holiday.

READ MORE: Oxford Mail and Oxford City Council create Queen’s Platinum Jubilee exhibition

Darcey is autistic which impacts her understanding of where her Dad is when he is away.

The family also moved house in March which was another big change for Darcey and her younger sister, Niah.

Her dad is due to deploy again in October and will be away over Christmas.

Darcey’s mum explained: “She has really missed her daddy while he has been away and will get upset when we drive past the base, as she wants me to find him for her.

“While it’s been difficult, she has also coped amazingly well, especially given that we have moved house again for the fifth time since Darcey was born.

“She’s settled in really well at her new preschool and is the most caring big sister to Niah. She’s an incredible little girl, navigating the world in her own way and teaching us along the way too. We’re over the moon that she has been recognised by Little Troopers.”

As Little Trooper of the Month, Darcey will receive a Little Troopers medal, certificate and a £50 voucher.

Louise Fetigan, founder of Little Troopers, said: “Having a parent deployed is one of the most challenging things that military children can go through and Darcey has now been through this three times in her four short years, as well as coping with the change of moving home five times too.

Witney Gazette: Darcey's dad is based at RAF Brize NortonDarcey's dad is based at RAF Brize Norton

“We think she deserves to be recognised for coping with these challenges and we hope that her medal brings a smile to her face and makes her proud to be a little trooper.”

Little Troopers is a registered charity supporting children who have parents serving in the British Armed Forces.

The charity has a number of resources that parents can use to support children at home including the Little Troopers Treasures story recording app for military parents to record themselves reading stories for their children to watch while they are away.

Little Troopers also runs a school programme which provides specialist resources, courses and workshops for teachers and service children in school.


Read more from this author

This story was written by Sophie Perry. She joined the team in 2021 as a digital reporter.

You can get in touch with her by emailing: sophie.perry@newsquest.co.uk

Follow her on Twitter @itssophieperry

A message from our Editor

Thank you for reading this story and supporting the Oxford Mail.

If you like what we do please consider getting a subscription for the Oxford Mail and in return we’ll give you unrestricted access with less adverts across our website from the latest news, investigations, features, and sport.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tik Tok for more. 

You can also join the conversation in our Facebook groups: stay ahead of traffic alerts here, keep up to date with the latest from court here, share your favourite memories of Oxford here, get your daily dose of celebrity news here and take some time out with news that will make you smile. 

If you’ve got a story for our reporters, send us your news here. You can also list an event for free here.