Help Jack Rigby raise funds for charity in his dad’s memory
On 22 May 2013, Royal Fusilier Lee Rigby was murdered on the way to his barracks. His son, Jack Rigby, was just two years old.
Since his dad’s death, Jack, now 12, has been supported by Scotty’s Little Soldiers, the charity for bereaved military children and young people, and to mark the 10th anniversary of Lee Rigby’s death, Jack has set himself a target to raise £10,000 for Scotty’s.
Jack is taking on Scotty’s May Marathon to honour his dad’s memory and wants to raise money for bereaved British Forces children, just like him.
“I want to raise £1000 for every year my dad has been gone and would absolutely love to raise £10,000 for the 10-year anniversary. Scotty’s have done so much for me and just having their support and knowing other people are going through the same kind of stuff makes a big difference,” says Jack.
Making a difference
22 May marks the tenth anniversary of the death of Jack’s dad, Lee Rigby. For 12-year-old Jack, who lives in Halifax, West Yorkshire with his mum Rebecca, taking on Scotty’s May Marathon isn’t only a chance to raise money for a cause close to his heart, but a way to turn his pain into something positive and help other bereaved military children and young people. Scotty’s May Marathon is an annual event in which participants complete 26.2 miles throughout the month of May.
“I feel proud doing the May Marathon in honour of my dad,” says Jack. “It also helps distract me from everything. Going on a long walk is a nice break and reminds me it’s not all bad.”
His mum, Rebecca, 40, says:
“With it coming up to the anniversary, Jack wanted to do something positive in memory of his dad. Jack wants to show how even though he’s grown up without Lee, he’s not forgotten his dad and he will always be part of his life. People sometimes think that, because Jack was only two when his dad was killed, that it doesn’t affect him very much, but that’s not how it works. Just because Jack was young, it doesn’t mean he’s forgotten Lee. Lee has always been such an important part of our lives and always will be.”
“I’m so proud of Jack in everything that he does, and I think that Lee would be as well,” continues Rebecca.
£10,000 for bereaved military children
Jack says: “I want to raise £1000 for every year my dad has been gone and would absolutely love to raise £10,000 for the 10-year anniversary. £10,000 would really help Scotty’s to continue to help me and hundreds of other children just like me.”
“He didn’t even think he’d make £250,” Rebecca adds, “but when the number kept rising and people he didn’t know kept sponsoring him, he started to think about going for even more.”
If you want to help Jack reach his goal, you can donate here.
Paws for a cause
Every day after school, Jack and his mum walk over a mile around a park near their home – but they’re not doing it alone. They’re joined on the journey by their two dogs, one of which is called Scotty. Jack named Scotty himself, chosen because of the charity that supports him.
“Scotty is a black cockapoo,” says Jack. “We got him six years ago. He’s been doing the May Marathon with us and he loves it. He keeps up with us for one lap, but gets a bit tired if we do two.”
“I have a nice stroll while Jack runs back and forth, swapping dogs each time, so he’s actually getting in more miles than we’re logging!”
Jack and Rebecca have been on respite breaks organised by Scotty’s, giving them a much-needed opportunity to take some time away and make new happy memories. They have also attended a number of events, including taking part in the National Service of Remembrance alongside other Scotty members, and Jack has also enjoyed attending Scotty’s annual Christmas parties, which give him an opportunity to meet and have fun with other children who understand what it’s like to experience the death of a parent who served in the British Armed Forces.
“The thing that I’ll always remember is when we went to Buckingham Palace and I met Prince Harry,” says Jack, who visited the palace in 2017, along with other Scotty members, for a garden party honouring children whose military parent died.
“He’d asked if he could meet us, which was a little bit surreal,” says Rebecca. “He was really nice, seemed very genuine and could relate to what Jack was going through, as he’d been through a similar experience himself.”
“I thought Jack’s favourite memory would be the snowball fights at Scotty’s Christmas parties! I think a few people have learnt to keep their distance when he starts making them.”
“I just like to add some excitement to the end of the party,” laughs Jack.
Jack joined Scotty’s Little Soldiers in 2013 and has been supported by the charity ever since, benefitting from Scotty Breaks, grants such as Scotty’s Allowance, Christmas parties with other bereaved military children and the option to access to one-to-one bereavement support.
“For me, Scotty’s is about knowing Jack’s not been forgotten. In the wider world, people seem to think because he was only two-and-a-half when Lee was killed it didn’t affect him, but Scotty’s know that isn’t the case. It gives everyone it supports the chance to speak to others who are in the same position.”
“When we were on the train down from London after the Scotty’s Christmas party a few years ago, we were sat opposite an elderly couple who asked Jack about his Scotty’s t-shirt. Jack then sat there telling them all about Scotty’s for the best part of the journey, about how amazing they are and what they do for all the boys and girls he’d just been throwing snowballs at.”
“Scotty’s makes me feel proud,” says Jack. “It helps to know I’m not the only one in my situation and that there’s people I can reach out and talk to, whenever I need them.”
Scotty’s founder, Nikki Scott, said:
“Jack is an incredible young man. He’s been through so much and we are just glad that Scotty’s has been able to support him. Throughout a child’s life there can be many trigger points where they will need a little extra support with their bereavement so we will continue to be here for him to ensure he knows he’s not alone. We are honoured that Jack is raising funds for Scotty’s to mark the anniversary of his dad’s death and we wish him lots of luck with taking part in the May Marathon.”
Supporting bereaved military children
Scotty’s Little Soldiers is a tri-service charity dedicated to supporting children and young people (0 to 25 years) who have experienced the death of a parent who served in the British Armed Forces.
Inspired by the experience of Army widow Nikki Scott, following the death of her husband Corporal Lee Scott in Afghanistan in 2009, the charity, which was set up in 2010, provides support and guidance to hundreds of bereaved military children and young people throughout their childhood.
Scotty’s currently has over 600 members and services offered include access to child bereavement support, guidance to parents and carers, personal education and learning assistance (including grants), and fun activities such as holiday respite breaks and group events. These are all designed to remind the children and young people supported by Scotty’s that they are not alone.
Please help Jack meet his target and raise £10,000 in honour of his dad Lee Rigby. Click here to show your support: HELP JACK RAISE £10,000 IN HONOUR OF HIS DAD, LEE RIGBY
For more information about Scotty’s Little Soldiers, go to: www.scottyslittlesoldiers.co.uk