Nikki’s Blog: My 2016 Highlights
As everyone gets ready to turn off from work for Christmas, I just wanted to say what a fantastic year 2016 has been for Scotty’s and a huge thank you to everyone who has helped bring hundreds of smiles to our members. We couldn’t do our job without you!
This year has been momentous, in more ways than one, so I’ll try and cover as much as I can.
So where to start…
Firstly, I’d like to say a big muddy thank you to all our ‘ROCKSOLID-ERS’ this year, across the two events we raised an amazing £25,000 which is one of our biggest fundraising challenges yet. Seeing everyone in their Scotty’s T-shirts, especially the children, brought me to tears. It’s safe to say, I’m thoroughly looking forward to next year, though I may cheer everyone on from the side lines this time. (Find out more here.)
Our Scotty’s Ball in October raised an incredible £20,000, a big thank you to all of you lovely supporters. It’s amazing what people will donate when you offer to wade through mud as part of the auction! In total, we had 230 guests attend and I’m very much looking forward to getting started on next year’s event which is set to be even bigger and better.
As many of you know, a big part of what we do is bringing happiness to our Members in any way that we can. And here’s just a few ways your support has enabled us to do just that:
- 270 children and young people have enjoyed birthday gifts, Easter eggs, anniversary vouchers and special experiences.
- 163 children were treated to fully expensed family holiday breaks at a Scotty’s Lodge or Centre Parcs
- 235 children received ‘thinking of you’ vouchers at the anniversary of their parent’s death.
Our Strides programme has been bigger than ever. In total, we have provided 95 Scotty’s allowances for activities such as swimming lessons, school trips, sports clubs and music lessons, as well as four driving lesson grants and three super grants for special opportunities and experiences.
Winston’s Wish and Help Heroes have also made a huge difference this year, giving our Scotty Members access to professional bereavement counselling, which I know is important for many of our families.
And finally, I don’t think anything can top Christmas this year. I have to say a heartfelt thank you to all members who helped raise awareness in the Sun’s ‘Smiles at Campaign’, without you the campaign wouldn’t have raised as much as it did. Donations are still coming in, but in total the campaign has raised just over £100,000 for Scotty’s and three other children’s charities. Not only that, but just over a week before Christmas we received a giant truck load of toys from M&S. When the truck arrived with 6,400 toys in tow my first thought was, “I’m glad we moved to a bigger office!”. The Sun and its readers have all been fantastic and I can’t thank them enough.
And I can’t finish without mentioning the Christmas Party. Thank you for all the fantastic feedback, it’s great hear how much the children enjoy it, it certainly was magical. The team at Condover Hall made it the best Christmas Party we’ve ever had……now what to do next year!!!
If you haven’t seen the video, do take a look (click here!).
I think all that leaves me to say is Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. If 2017 is any part as good as 2016 we’re in for a great year.
Love Nikki x
Nikki Scott is the Founder of Scotty’s Little Soldiers, the charity for bereaved British Forces children & young people.