Scotty’s Little Soldiers’ founder, Nikki Scott, was kindly flown out to Washington, D.C recently to spend time with U.S. charity TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors). The trip proved to be a memorable one with Nikki returning to the UK with a number of learnings from TAPS.
Nikki founded Scotty’s Little Soldiers in 2010 after the death of her husband Corporal Lee Scott in Afghanistan. The charity supports children across the UK who have lost a parent while serving in the Armed Forces and has great synergy with TAPS in the US, a charity which offers compassionate care to those grieving the loss of a loved one who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces or as a result of their service.
The purpose of Nikki’s trip was to begin working with TAPS and The Diana Awards on future events, and to bring together bereaved Forces children from the UK and America to bond as one.
Last year she headed to TAPS’ Good Grief Camp, mentoring a young boy named Antonio, and has used the knowledge and experience learnt from her time there to help plan a similar support programme for Scotty’s in the UK – to carry out with bereaved British Forces children once the funds are secured.
Commenting on the trip, Nikki explained: “It was a very powerful trip and very different from last year when I was purely focused on the Good Grief Camp side of the organisation. This year, I was able to meet some incredibly inspiring people and some very powerful people who all give back by supporting TAPS.
“I feel on a personal level I gained knowledge, skills and ideas which will help me within my role at Scotty’s. I was truly inspired by the speakers I listened to and the amazing people I met. Everyone at TAPS is so enthusiastic and driven to make sure the best support is offered to the families of American fallen heroes. My time at TAPS has made me even more determined to make sure the highest level of support is also available to our British bereaved families.”
During her trip Nikki met with several individuals which made a lasting impact:
“During my three days I was honoured to meet and spend some time with General Martin E. Dempsey who recently retired after 41 years of military service. He’d served as the Chief of Staff of the United States Army and then as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. As Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff he was the senior officer in the Armed Forces and the military advisor to the Secretary of Defence and President.
“Since retiring from the forces, General Dempsey has been keeping himself very busy and helping others by teaching at Duke University in public policy and leadership. Among the many other, he sits on the Boards of TAPS and The Bob Woodruff Foundation. I was honoured to watch General Dempsey engage with the bereaved families and give hope and support to so many. He clearly loves the organisation and everything it stands for.”
Nikki also met General Paul Selva, a United States Air Force General who is the 10th Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Selva spoke passionately about the work TAPS does and the American forces.
Nikki added: “He spoke to me about how as a charity, TAPS honours our fallen and offers vital support to their families just like Scotty’s Little Soldiers does in the UK. He told of how ‘the bravery of these families strengthens those who currently wear the uniform.’ It was inspiring to hear a General speak and show his support for an organisation with such passion, understanding and enthusiasm.”
Notes to editors
To speak to a member of the Scotty’s Little Soldiers team, please contact Scotty’s national PR agency: Claire Lomax (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Chris Grayson (email@example.com) 0113 273 7816.
About Scotty’s Little Soldiers
Scotty’s Little Soldiers, founded in 2010, honours Corporal Lee Scott’s memory – both as a loyal soldier and a loving father – and provides a practical yet personal way for the public at large to show their appreciation for those brave individuals who make the ultimate sacrifice in the service of their country. Currently Scotty’s Little Soldiers supports 344 bereaved children and runs a variety of programmes to help children smile again and look forward to a brighter future. You can visit the charity online at http://www.scottyslittlesoldiers.co.uk/