How you can help Scotty’s Little Soldiers in Norwich
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
Jessica Lawrence was just a few months old when her dad was killed in Afghanistan.
Army wife Nikki Scott set up Scotty's Little Soldiers in her husband's name after he was killed in Afghanistan. the charity offers a lifeline to hundreds of bereaved children who have lost a parent in the armed forces. Now it needs your help to expand in Norwich.
Her husband's death tore Nikki Scott's world apart. And bringing their two young children through every service family's worst nightmare made her realise those affected need support to help them smile again.
Scotty's Little Soldiers already helps more than 300 children, but Ms Scott predicts there are 1,000 more in the UK who need helps.
Now the charity is looking to expand in Norwich, by recruiting businesses and fund raisers.
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Ms Scott knows how traumatic a parent's death can be for children. In July 2009, she noticed two cars approaching the family home on a Wiltshire army base. One was driven by a man in a suit, the other by a man in combat fatigues.
Her husband Corporal Lee Scott, 26, was serving in Afghanistan in the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment. He was due home in just three weeks' time.
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The couple, from King's Lynn, were living in the garrison town of Tidworth.
'I lived on the end of a cul-de-sac so I knew they were coming to speak to me,' Ms Scott, now 36, said. 'I started crying. I started thinking about what had happened to Lee.'
Cpl Lee Scott had been killed by a roadside bomb in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, robbing five-year-old son Kai and his seven-month-old sister Brooke of their daddy. When Kai came home, she had to break the news.
'I was looking at him thinking: 'I'm about to shatter your whole world,' said Ms Scott. 'I had to be completely straight with him, we never had a death in the family, he didn't even know what heaven was.'
Ms Scott searched online to find more support, but could not find anything for bereaved children.
The idea for Scotty's Little Soldiers was born on a family holiday nine months after Lee's death when after she saw Kai laughing for the first time since his dad died.
She set up her charity from her home in August 2010 and it is now based in King's Lynn with a 10-person team and numerous volunteers. Its warehouse is filled with Scotty's merchandise and fund raising gear and gifts for the 332 children it supports.
How You Can Help
From one young woman's determination to see her two young children smile again, Scotty's Little Soldiers has grown to support more than 150 families who have lost a parent in the armed services.
As well as the children of personnel killed in action, it also provides a lifeline to those who have lost a parent from accident or illness.
There are a number of ways you can help them do it:
• Join the Business Heroes Club – request a free Scotty's Business Heroes pack by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or download here.
• Get Involved – volunteer or fundraise for Scotty's Little Soldiers, find out more here.
• Take part in Bobble Hat Day! – Wear your favourite bobble hat on 8th December and donate by texting BHAT17 £2 to 70070. Find out more here.
To make a donations to Scotty's Little Soldiers
• Text SLSC17 £2 £4 or £5 to 70070
• Click here
• Or call 08000 928571.
Scotty's shopping list
Here's how your money can help the children of our fallen heroes:
£20 A family meal voucher for Pizza Hut
£25 An individually-selected birthday present
£60 Three anniversary vouchers, sent to members at the time of their parent's death to remind them Scotty's is thinking of them
£100 Ten driving lessons for a 17-year-old member
£150 One Scotty member's annual allowance which can cover the cost of music lessons, sports clubs or school trips
£500 A family go on a break to a Scotty Lodge, including their travel expenses
£1,500 A higher-education grant for those about to head off to university
£5,000 A year's worth of family remembrance meal vouchers for 250 children
£10,000 Amazing Christmas presents for 66 members, or 20 family holidays
£50,000 An amazing and magical Christmas party available for all Scotty members to attend
£105,000 A brand new Scotty holiday lodge to be used by children of our fallen heroes