For parents in the armed forces one of the hardest things about serving away is not being able to see their families, eat dinner with them – and read that all important bedtime story.

Enter Tom Lloyd. Armed with a children’s story book and a microphone, Tom is part of a special and heart-warming project at RNAS Culdrose.

It is his job to record stories read by mums and dads in the Royal Navy who will be away from home serving on ships. Their voices can then be played back to their children at bedtime.

It is part of a larger, national project run by the naval service welfare charity Aggies, for which Mr Lloyd works at the Helston air station.

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“The largest part of my work is with the story book voice recordings,” he said. “People who are due to go on deployment on ships can choose a book, or bring their own, and I’ll record them reading the story.

“We then send it way and it gets edited – they might put sound effects on – and they get back a CD so that when they are away their children can still get read a bedtime story. I think it’s really special.

“I grew up without a TV and love reading so it’s a great project to be involved with.”

Mr Lloyd, 42 and from Camborne, has now completed more than 150 stories with sailors at RNAS Culdrose.

A former farm worker, he started working at the station four years ago as a contractor before joining Aggies, properly known as Dame Agnes Weston’s Royal Charity for the Naval Service, two years ago.

“So, I am a pastoral worker,” he said. “Sometimes it’s easier to say what I am not; I am not a chaplain, although I am part of the chaplaincy team, I am not a civil servant and I am not a trained counsellor. My job is all about meeting people and just having a talk.

“Some people have some really serious stuff to deal with and they just want to have a conversation, and that’s where I can help. Being approachable is important.

“I have a very strict confidentiality clause in my contract. People often say how pleased they are that there’s somewhere here on base at a low level they can talk to.

“They recognise I can’t solve problems but I can point them in the right direction of someone who can, such as the chaplaincy or the navy’s support team.”