Today I have invited a guest blogger, Nikki Scott, to share a post with you. Nikki is the founder of Children’s charity Scotty’s Little Soldiers who do some amazing work for forces children who have lost a parent.
Hi everyone, Firstly I want to thank Mandi for letting me speak to you all through her blog about Scotty’s and tell you a bit about us and why we were founded and also share some exciting news with you.
Scotty’s was founded in 2010 following the death of my husband, Corporal Lee Scott, who was killed in Action just one month into his tour of Afghanistan when an IED hit his vehicle. The day I got that knock at my door was the first time I had ever experience true pain, the kind of pain that shatters your world, when you can see nothing but grief, not just for me, but also for my kids.
My initial thoughts were about my kids – how could I ever muster the courage to tell them? How do you even begin to tell a 5 year old and a 7 month old that Daddy was gone and he was never coming back?
The months that followed were extremely painful. But there is only so long that you can stay in that state of grief for. I also knew I had to channel my pain into something worthwhile – something that would help others who had been in the same situation and felt the same agonizing pain.
It was 9 months later, on a family holiday, with the kids when the idea of Scotty’s Little Soldiers came to me. I saw Kai smile for the first time since his Dad’s death. It was amazing. I soon came to realise just how many children must have also lost a parent in the British Armed Forces – and how they probably hadn’t had the chance to laugh or be happy again. So Scotty’s Little Soldiers was born. I wanted to help children realise that even after losing a loved one, they could learn to smile again and it was OK to have fun.
Scotty’s now supports 203 children of the fallen. We send the kids letters, cards, birthday presents, Christmas gifts, vouchers, and helps towards holiday breaks, clubs and activities, as well as offering emotional support.
We know from the MOD that there are hundreds of more kids out there yet to get help from us and we are trying to look for new ways to find them. This brings me nicely to our big and very exciting announcement. Scotty’s will this year have a garden at Hampton Court Flower Show! The garden will be themed around memories and honouring children who have lost a parent. Through our show garden this summer we not only have the chance to remember all the lost parents, but even more people find out about the vital work we carry out. We are also hoping to pick up an award so please vote for us in the People’s Choice Award. If you are visiting the show please come and pay us a visit or watch out for us on all the TV coverage.
Scotty’s has grown massively in the last year, which is creating great opportunities for us such as the garden at Hampton. However, none of this would have been possible without the help of Scotty’s loyal supporters who have been there throughout. Without them, Scotty’s couldn’t have achieved all that it has and for that, I will be forever grateful.
Scotty’s Little Soldiers invites everyone who is passionate about their cause and wants to support their work to get in touch via their website at www.scottyslittlesoldiers.co.uk, find them on Facebook or by calling them on 01553 763 000.