Bereaved children’s military charity, Scotty’s Little Solders, has been awarded two grants from the Veterans’ Foundation, totalling £35,766, to help provide support to children and young people who have experienced the death 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 dependants, who are in need. The Veterans’ Foundation raises its money through the Veterans’ Lottery and donations, and has shown continued support for Scotty’s Little Soldiers, having awarded the charity with a number of grants dating back to 2017, and every year since.
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 in Afghanistan. Nikki saw the devastating impact on their two young children and set up the charity to help others in the same situation.
Scotty’s supports its members through four Family Programmes:
- The ‘Smiles’ programme is about fun and community. Gifts and vouchers are sent to Scotty members at extra difficult times of the year. There’s also group events, respite breaks and special experiences – all designed to put a smile on some very brave young faces.
- The ‘Support’ programme helps with the emotional health and wellbeing of members. Scotty’s has an internal support team to provide instant and direct guidance to the families, can help identify their needs and facilitate them getting the relevant support.
- The ‘Strides’ programme assists members with their transition to adulthood. They are provided with access to first class work experience opportunities and mentoring, as well as being offered financial assistance for development related activities ranging from education to sports – all designed to develop self-esteem and build confidence.
- The ‘Springboard’ programme is for 18-25-year olds and focuses on providing guidance and career opportunities around education, vocational training and employment.
The Veterans’ Foundation has provided Scotty’s with a £15,766 grant which will be used to fund Scotty’s ‘Smiles’ programme. This will go towards gifts for Scotty members at difficult times of year such as birthdays, Christmas and the anniversary of their parent’s death, as well as events and activities that help remind the children and young people they aren’t alone.
Additionally, a second grant of £20,000 will be used to fund the salary of Scotty’s Strides and Springboard Programme Co-ordinator, to provide career and development opportunities to young people who have experienced the death of a parent who served. This will be delivered through workshops, training days and mentoring, as well as personal grants to broaden the individual’s skillset.
Scotty Founder, Nikki Scott, said:
“We are so grateful to the Veterans’ Foundation for their continued support. They understand the challenges faced by children and young people who have experienced the death of a parent and can see the difference it makes to them to feel part of a supportive community. We’ve made a promise to be there for the children of our fallen heroes and the Veterans’ Foundation, having awarded us a number of grants over the years, play an important role in helping us to keep that promise. I want to say a huge thank you to the Veterans’ Foundation.”
Veterans’ Foundation CEO Major General, David Shaw, said:
“The Veterans’ Foundation is delighted to support the excellent work of Scotty’s Little Soldiers again. One grant will directly support the young people through the Smiles programme and the other grant helps with salaries. The latter is essential to deliver the good that Scotty’s Little Soldiers delivers. Keep up the good work!”