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Teenager prepares for big inflatable charity challenge

By Kate Cashmore

A TEENAGER from Gosport has raised more than £1,000 for charity as she prepares to take on the world’s biggest inflatable course in Southampton; which will take place later this month and see hundreds of participants take part.

Fourteen year old Kiki Tautz is set to complete the 10K challenge on July 20 (Saturday) and has chosen to raise money for Little Troopers; who are a military children’s charity and support families of serving personnel at home / school.

Her father has served in the Royal Air Force (RAF) since her birth and often spends long periods away from home on overseas deployments; therefore missing many celebrations such as Christmas, birthdays and Kiki’s first day at secondary school. He is currently on his ninth deployment in fourteen years and won’t return until after the summer holidays.

Kiki has been able to access support from Little Troopers throughout her life and has attended multiple events hosted by the charity; including their All Together adventure days and Christmas Smiles events for service children. She was also able to access the charity’s one-to-one Therapy Programme to help her manage her separation anxiety while her dad was away.

Kiki has been a long-time fundraiser for the charity having previously raised £1,500 by selling her bike, making and selling bracelets and keyrings and completing other physical challenges. She is now hoping to double her current fundraising total by raising £1,500 this July to support other children who are going through similar experiences growing up in the British Armed Forces.

Kiki explains: “I decided to start raising money for Little Troopers because I feel so grateful for their support whenever my dad is away.  I always really miss him when he’s gone and the charity’s events and resources help me feel recognised and supported. I know that any money I raise goes towards helping other children in the same situation. It means a lot to me.”

All donations from this challenge will be used to support multiple projects being undertaken by the charity; which includes its ‘Little Trooper of the Month Award’ scheme, ‘Little Troopers at School’ programme and the annual ‘Christmas Smiles’ initiative for children who have parents deployed over the festive season.

Louise Fetigan, founder of Little Troopers, added: “Kiki shows us that every pound raised can make a difference. We are so touched that Kiki is still supporting our charity and has already raised a huge amount before even setting foot on an inflatable! We know this is going to be a big challenge for Kiki – 10K is a really long distance for anyone – but she’s a determined little trooper and we can’t wait to cheer her over the finish line.”

Readers can sponsor Kiki via this link, whilst further information about Little Troopers can be explored via More details about the event can be seen here.

PICTURED BY LITTLE TROOPERS: Kiki and her father enjoy some quality time together exploring a menu at restaurant.