Expansion planned for Scotty's Little Soldiers
PUBLISHED: 06:52 09 May 2019 | UPDATED: 07:54 09 May 2019
Courtesy of Nikki Scott
One of the most poignant legacies of any conflict is the families left behind by those who lost their lives.
Cpl Lee Scott, from King's Lynn, died when his armoured vehicle was caught in a roadside bomb blast in Afghanistan, in July 2009.
The 26-year-old, who was serving in the Royal Tank Regiment, was due to return home to his family in just three weeks' time.
Cpl Scott left wife Nikki, 28 and young children Kai, aged five and Brooke, who was just seven months.
MORE - the story behind Scotty's Little Soldiers
Bringing two young children through every service family's worst nightmare made his widow realise those affected need support to help them smile again.
Ten years after it was founded in his name, Scotty's Little Soldiers helps 370 children of the fallen. Now Ms Scott plans to expand it to help young adults left behind with Springboard - a new programme for 19 - 25-year-olds.
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It comes after what the Lynn-based charity calls a "phenomenal" 2018 which saw it selected by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Harry and Meghan, as one of seven to receive donations from the Royal Wedding, Scotty's has set out its vision to expand the charity, in order to continue to offer a high level of integral support to the growing number of bereaved Forces children across the UK.
Ms Scott said: "We're proud of what the charity has achieved so far but we also know there are still so many gaps in the support available to children and young people who have lost a parent who served in the Armed Forces. This is a forgotten group and Scotty's has become the voice for them nationally.
"We have so many plans in the pipeline to provide more and better support to these families - it's a really exciting time for the charity but more than ever we need the public's support to help us to make it happen."
CEO Stuart Robinson said: "We have a clear vision of what's needed to support our bereaved military families in the UK and what that will mean from an infrastructure point of view for the charity going forward too.
"We see Scotty's as looking very differently internally in the next two to three years. We want to commit to the local area in west Norfolk which has been really supportive of the charity but attracting the people we need to work with us to achieve those goals has been challenging so far.
"We're looking for motivated people, who believe in making a difference and have the skills and experience that will help add value to the charity. As a small charity it's hard to compete financially with more established companies but we hope to offer a better work - life experience.
Ms Scott added: "It's so amazing to come into work every day and know that what we are doing is making a real difference to the lives of some very brave young people. It makes me feel so proud of what we've done so far in Lee's memory."