Brooke Scott gets ready for the festival. Picture: Ian Burt

Young members of Scotty’s Little Soldiers have explained how the added pressures of lockdown have been even more difficult after already losing a parent.

The  North Lynn-based charity and Your Local Paper hope to lift spirits by staging a new Scotty’s Virtual Festival in September.

The online event is aimed at encouraging bereaved youngsters to forget about the worries triggered by the pandemic and have something to look forward to.

Brooke Scott, 11, daughter of charity founder Nikki Scott,  said: “At first I thought lockdown was great because it was quite relaxed at home and I was enjoying the time with my family, but as it went on, I found it hard and felt down because I was bored and really missing my dancing, school and seeing my friends and family. 

“I was scared too. I hated the thought of anyone getting ill and dying, especially because my dad had died, so watching the coronavirus on the TV started to really get to me.”

Brooke’s dad Corporal Lee Scott was killed in a roadside explosion in 2009 while serving in the armed forces in Afghanistan. 

The following year, Ms Scott founded the charity, which is celebrating 10 years.

Brothers Austen and Cooper Hargreaves love a party.

Brooke and other youngsters supported by the national charity said the new virtual events launched by Scotty’s during lockdown have been “brilliant”.

“I get such a buzz after them and mum has to take us out for some fresh air because we are all hyper after them. 

“It’s brilliant to have fun with my family and see my Scotty friends on my screen,” said Brooke.

Austen Hargreaves, of Sheffield, said: “The festival will be amazing, I love parties with music and dancing,” and Molly Reynolds, of Suffolk added: “It gives you something to look forward to and my younger sisters get so excited which is nice to see too.”

YLP and Scotty’s needs to raise £3,500 to pay for fun-filled festival goody bags, which will be posted to families. Festival packs will include a note to acknowledge readers’ support.

Your donations will pay for items such as T-shirts, glow sticks, face paints, glitter tattoos, bunting and banners to create a festival atmosphere at home. The festival will include music, crafts and other activities.

You can donate at www.justgiving.com/campaign/ylpscottysvirtualfestival or text YLPFEST to 70085 to donate £5 (texts are charged at £5 plus one standard rate message).

Send cheques payable to Scotty’s Little Soldiers with the reference YLPFEST on the reverse or call 0800 092 8571.

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