A UK bereavement and veterans’ charity has stepped in to take a big financial weight off the shoulders of Scotty’s Little Soldiers.
Forces Support has pledged to cover the cost of all the North Lynn-based charity’s much-needed family respite breaks for this year which would amount to around £136,500.
And, on top of this, it has pledged to provide funding for the next three years which will mean 100 bereaved families will be able to enjoy respite breaks each year from 2022 to 2024, Scotty’s said.
The generous support also includes purchasing a new lodge for Scotty’s which currently has six.
The breaks, enable children and young people who have lost a parent who served in the armed forces, to spend time with their family.
Scotty’s founder Nikki Scott knows how important a respite break can be. It was when she went on holiday after the death of her husband, Corporal Lee Scott in 2009, she had the idea of setting up the charity.
While on holiday, Ms Scott saw her son Kai, who was five at the time, laugh and smile for the first time since his dad’s death.
Scotty’s Little Soldiers was set up in 2010 and providing respite breaks for bereaved military children and their families was one of its priorities.
More than 10 years later, the charity is supporting hundreds of children and young people with emotional wellbeing care, development opportunities through a range of activity and educational grants, and events which remind families they are not alone.
One of Scotty’s lodges was donated by the Undentable Trust, which also arranges breaks at Center Parcs, Alton Towers and Butlins.
When lockdown restrictions eased for a time last summer, 177 members enjoyed a respite break thanks to the charity.
Ms Scott said: “We are blown away by this hugely generous funding from Forces Support.
“There’s so much to deal with after the death of a loved one and being able to escape your daily life and have quality family time is invaluable. Respite breaks have such a positive impact.
“We really can’t thank Forces Support enough. This financial help not only enables us to ensure bereaved forces families can have much-needed respite breaks, but this funding also elevates a bit of financial pressure for the charity, following a very challenging year, meaning we can support our members in other areas as well.
“This funding will make such a difference.”
Carol Reynolds, chief executive officer of Forces Support, said: “Forces Support is absolutely delighted to be helping fund the wonderful work of Scotty’s Little Soldiers, and to continue this partnership in years to come.
“Their work is extremely close to our hearts, and we are excited to see what they can achieve in the future.”