Children’s military charity, Scotty’s Little Solders, has been awarded with a £30,000 grant from the Veterans’ Foundation to help provide integral care to children and young people who have lost a parent who served in the British Armed Forces.
The Veterans’ Foundation was set up to help fund charities and other charitable organisations that are helping serving and former members of the Armed Forces, and their dependents, who are in need. Scotty’s Little Soldiers supports hundreds of bereaved British Forces children and young people and the Veterans’ Foundation are acutely aware of the detrimental impact the Coronavirus pandemic is having on Scotty’s beneficiaries. They are amongst some of society’s most vulnerable, with them already dealing with the impact, trauma and challenge of navigating parental less. This generous grant enables Scotty’s Little Soldiers to provide them with much needed support.
Scotty’s Little Soldiers was founded in 2010 by war widow Nikki Scott, a year after her husband, Corporal Lee Scott, was killed in action. Nikki saw the devastating impact on their two young children and wanted to help others in the same situation.
Scotty’s is always there for bereaved British Forces children and young people to remind them they are not alone. This includes offering wellbeing care and providing educational support and grants, respite breaks for families that need to get away, and gifts at extra difficult times of the year. Scotty’s also connects bereaved Forces families with others in the same situation by arranging events and activities to help them to feel part of a supportive community.
Never was the support from Scotty’s been more needed than in 2020, and now in 2021. Whilst the usual face-to-face events haven’t been possible, Scotty’s has arranged a number of virtual events for its beneficiaries including a virtual quiz hosted by TV presenter Alison Hammond, a party on Zoom, a fun-filled virtual festival, a number of competitions, games, special treats such as every family being provided with a subscription to Disney Plus and vouchers for a take-away. Some of Scotty’s members have also enjoyed getting involved in Scotty’s activities such as the charity allowing them to take over their TikTok account for Takeover Tuesday! All the fun interaction has been to remind the young people they aren’t alone.
Of course, it hasn’t all been fun and games, and Scotty’s Head of Support, Bev Townsend, is always on hand to offer families help at particularly challenging times. Regular virtual support groups take place for parents, and Bev is able to access extended support for families when required. There was a large rise in support cases in 2020, highlighting the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic and the need for help going forward into 2021.
For many of the Scotty members, there has been a lot of disruption to their education, but Scotty’s Strides and Springboard Coordinator, Emma Peppercorn, is on hand to offer educational support, assist with their personal development, and act as their advocate to ensure they are well looked after.
As with the majority of businesses, organisations and other charities, Scotty’s Little Soldiers is feeling the financial strain of the current crisis. A large proportion of the charity’s regular fundraising streams such as public events and challenges have been cancelled, meaning grants are vital to being able to continue supporting vulnerable children and young people. The grant from the Veterans’ Foundation is therefore very welcome.
Veterans’ Foundation CEO Major General, David Shaw, said:
“I am delighted the Veterans’ Foundation could support Scotty’s Little Soldiers again. The pandemic has affected us all, individually and as organisations, so while they focus on supporting their children, young adults and families in these troubling times, we have been raising much-needed funds. We thank followers of the Veterans’ Foundation and the Veterans’ Lottery for their loyalty, donations and subscriptions, which enable us to give out grants.”
Nikki Scott, founder of Scotty’s Little Soldiers, said:
“The relationship we have with the Veterans’ Foundation means so much to me and all the team at Scotty’s. They are completely behind us and they continue to show their support and understanding of the work we do with bereaved British Forces children and young people.
Nikki continued: “It’s such a challenging time for everyone and we have seen the devastating impact on children and young people who are already suffering. I’m pleased to say that we have also seen the difference it makes to bereaved military families to know Scotty’s is there them, and I am so grateful to the Veterans’ Foundation for helping us to continue this much needed support.”