Getting ready for the party – Bear Club members with Alan Taylor, back centre, and Nikki Scott.

Your Local Paper readers have helped a charity bring big smiles to lots of little faces.

North Lynn-based bereaved children’s military charity Scotty’s Little Soldiers, teamed-up with YLP to host a first-time Scotty’s Virtual Festival and charity founder Nikki Scott said Friday’s event “couldn’t have gone any better”.

A total of 94 children, who have all lost a parent who served in the British Armed Forces, joined the 90-minute fun-packed event via Zoom and partied away.

It was hosted by top event organisers Sharky and George, with music from local band Bear Club who performed from King’s Lynn Corn Exchange.

There was magic from Britain’s Got Talent winner Richard Jones, lots of games and dancing and, the young party-goers got creative as they were shown how to make their own juggling balls and a lava lamp.

The charity said none of it would have been possible without the generosity of YLP readers who gave items for special festival bags and donated  £1,585 towards contents of thunder sticks, face paints, whistles, balloons, sweets, bubbles, glow sticks, glasses, Scotty’s branded wrist bands and lots more.

Ms Scott said: “The kids were all laughing and smiling which was so incredible to see and made me feel quite emotional. Obviously virtual events are a new thing for us all, but it was remarkable how much the kids engaged. 

“There was some serious partying going on and they loved the festival packs, which really made it special.”

Laura Lockwood, mum of Bella, 10, and Evie, 8, whose dad died in 2014, said: “The house was full of fun, laughter, dancing and singing. Just what was needed. Thank you to all at Scotty’s for an epic summer festival.”

Caroline Hill, whose son Sebastian, 10, has no memories of his dad who died in 2010, added: “Scotty’s Little Soldiers have done it again! Thanks to our Scotty’s family for organising the Scotty’s Virtual Festival. 

“We loved it. Pure amazing. Love Richard Jones’ magic, George and Sharky team are awesome and the band Bear Club were amazing. 

“We really enjoyed the bog roll boogie, fabulous lava lamp challenge and we loved making juggling balls.”

Mum Sarah Vickers, whose 11-year-old daughter Lily lost her dad when she was a toddler, said: “I have to say that was the best virtual festival ever. I mean, we’ve never been to one before, but it was amazing, thank you so much Scotty’s Little Soldiers for everything you do for our children, you really do have the best ideas.”

Ms Scott said there had been so much positive feedback from the families. 

“Thank you so much to Your Local Paper for getting behind this, to everyone who donated, to Bear Club for their incredible live music, Richard Jones for his astonishing magic, Sharky and George for being amazing hosts, Lynn Corn Exchange for allowing us to use their venue, the Appleton family from West Norfolk who provided a generous selection of gifts for the children and to Morrisons for donating 100 little bags of Haribo sweets.”

YLP managing director Alan Taylor added: “We selected Scotty’s Little Soldiers to be our charity of the year, so in such uncertain times we wanted to do something proactive to help. 

“It’s been amazing to see this all come together and we’re so glad we’ve helped bring joy to children who have been through so much. 

“Thanks to our readers for supporting this worthwhile cause.”