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Forces Mum Creates Way for Children to Feel Close to Absent Loved Ones

Published: 17th October 2010 18:08

 A Portsmouth mum has created a way for children to feel close to love ones who are far away.

Jo Craig, from Drayton in Portsmouth, comes from a forces family and was used to spending time with only one parent whilst growing up. She went on to join the Royal Navy herself where she met her husband, also in the navy.

Now with children of her own who have to deal with their father being absent for long periods of time, Jo found a way to help the children remember their father from an idea that stemmed from her daughter kissing a photo of him.

Jo said, "Just after my daughter was born, my husband went away for 7½ months. When he left, our daughter couldn't even roll over. When he came back, she was a walking, talking toddler! When we met him on his return, she pointed to him and shouted out 'Daddy'".

Jo and her husband couldn't believe that she recognised him. Whilst he was away, she used to give a goodnight kiss, every night, to a photo of him that was in her bedroom - it was that photo that helped her remember her Dad.

It was later on that her husband went away again that Jo came up with the idea of having a "cuddly" photo of her husband so that the children could have a physical closeness with him too. She came up with the innovative idea of "Love Mini Mine" which means that the children can cuddle up to a

Jo added, "When my husband went away, my daughter and son cuddled their dolls every night to go to sleep. When they thought I wasn't looking, they would run up, give it a cuddly and go off playing again. If they were sad, they cuddled the doll. If they were happy, they told it all about their day! It was lovely to see them be able to be close to their Dad, even though he was hundreds of miles away. They certainly made my life easier; I even had a cuddle with them myself!"

Jo has had so much success in her own family form the Love Mini Mine Cuddly that she has just set up Love Mini Mine as a business and has commissioned an online shop website.

Now you have a chance to win one of the cuddlys to remember someone you love who is far away. Simply, email a photo of your loved one to rachel@morphpr.co.uk and your mini mine will also get a chance to appear on the new website that Jo is creating.

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