Scotty’s Little Soldiers help support children and young people who have lost a parent whilst serving in the UK Armed Forces. Veterans’ Foundation is proud to support this noble cause.
What do Scotty’s Little Soldiers do?
Scotty’s Little Soldiers understand that losing a parent in any situation is tough on kids. But they also understand that having a parent die whilst serving in the British Armed Forces comes with its own unique set of issues.
Scotty’s Little Soldiers gives bereaved UK Armed Forces children support, guidance and respite through the traumatic experience of losing a parent. They offer support to any child suffering the loss of a UK forces personnel parent up to the age of 18. It does not matter if the parent is killed in action or not, Scotty’s Little Soldiers will be there to offer support when and where it is needed.
In 2016, it was revealed that a five-year-old boy had developed post-traumatic stress disorder after finding out while watching television, that his father had been killed by the Taliban. The youngster, now 11, learned his father had died in a bomb blast as he watched the news on Christmas Eve six years ago.
The traumatic discovery led to the boy becoming withdrawn and he stopped eating, struggled to sleep and refused to go to school. Doctors dismissed his mother’s concerns, saying her son’s symptoms were a result of him playing on too many video games.
After years of suffering, his diagnosis only came when he was referred to a military medic. His mother said: ‘I remember him crying saying, “Can Santa bring my daddy back, I don’t want my presents. I just want my daddy”.
Lance Corporal Tommy Brown, a Paratrooper who served with a Special Forces unit, was killed on foot patrol with Afghan troops in Helmand province in 2009. His wife had been told about his death by the Army but had tried to keep the news secret over Christmas to spare their son’s distress. But on Christmas Eve the youngster saw the news by accident and realised his father was dead.
In 2003, Corporal Dewi Pritchard was killed during a tour of Iraq. His daughter Kira and son Ethan would never see their dad again. The reality of losing a father and a husband was never far away from the family. Kira remembers today how important Scotty’s Little Soldiers was to her and her family while they were growing up. “I can’t thank Nikki and Scotty’s enough for all the help they have provided me and my brother over the years...It was really hard for my mum, with dad not being there. Over the years, they’ve sent us birthday and Christmas gifts, vouchers on Remembrance Day and on the anniversary of dad’s death, so that we can spend time remembering him together as a family.”
Scotty's Little Soldiers is dedicated to supporting the children of men and women killed whilst serving in the British Armed Forces.
Who is Nikki Scott?
Army widow, Nikki Scott, set up the charity in August 2010 to help the children our fallen heroes leave behind after her own husband Corporal Lee Scott was killed in Afghanistan, in July 2009. The charity provides opportunities for the children to smile again by offering holidays at Scotty Lodges, gifts at difficult times of the year, special experiences and an amazing Christmas party. As well as these fun activities, the charity also provides access to professional bereavement counseling and a range of grants to help with the children’s personal development. These grants can cover the cost of music lessons, swimming clubs, after school activities, driving lessons and even University tuition fees. The charity now supports hundreds of bereaved British Forces’ children across the UK, many of whom are still very young and will rely on the activities offered by Scotty’s for years to come.
How Has Veterans’ Foundation Helped Scotty’s Little Soldiers?
The first Veterans’ Foundation grant received in 2018 helped fund the 19-25-year-old’s Springboard program. Scotty’s Little Soldiers realised that even though these bereaved children had grown up, they still needed support. The Springboard Program runs workshops and helps these young adults kickstart careers amongst providing support. This program focuses on providing opportunities for beneficiaries to learn new skills through training courses, workshops and mentoring. It will provide a hub of information for beneficiaries looking to develop their careers as well as offering a support safety net. Members of the Springboard Programme will be encouraged to take up the opportunity to become ‘Peer Buddies’ to younger beneficiaries of the charity, allowing them to share their experience to help others.
How Can You Support Scotty’s Little Soldiers?
Veterans’ Foundation supports over 120 military charities, to date, we have given over £2million to support veterans and families of veterans. We will continue to give to charities large and small who tackle the grassroots of veterans’ issues in the UK. We need your help, please donate, leave a little something in your will or play the National Veterans’ Lottery today and help save our heroes and their families.