A memory for life…
For Scotty’s members Janick Jackson and Joshua Wade, this summer was one to remember.
The boys were given the unique opportunity to experience the great outdoors with the Outward-Bound Trust, all thanks to funding from the Annington Trust.
11-year-old Janick and 15-year-old Joshua spent a week getting fully immersed in the wilderness returning home with a new-found love for walking and skills from basic camping and hiking to canoeing and rock climbing.
Here, the boys share their Discover Adventure experience, the friends they made and how the trip has given them a huge boost in confidence.
Janick, who joined Scotty’s in September 2015 lost his dad, Bombardier Michael Jackson in March 2014 after he died from a sudden cardiac arrest.
“I made so many friends” said Janick. “When I first arrived, I felt quite nervous as I didn’t know anyone, but the more activities we did the more people I got to speak to.
I’ve never been away from my mum for seven days before, so I was sad at times, but I had such a great time.
My favourite part of the trip was the walking, we climbed to the top of a mountain one day and stayed overnight, I’d never done anything like this before. When I got home I found it much easier to exercise and I think it’s made me feel a lot more confident about starting high school this year. I’m not worried any more about not making friends.”
Janick’s mum Abbé Raeburn said: “He had an absolutely amazing time and wanted to stay longer! He made some brilliant friends who he is keeping in touch with. He did lots of exercise which he normally wouldn’t do and came back wanting to go for walks! Absolutely a memory for life for him.”
Joshua who joined Scotty’s in November 2012 lost his dad Corporal Michael Wade, REME in October 2009. He said: “I had a really fun time and when I was there we took part in lots of fun activities like jog and dip, kayaking, commando crawl, a jetty jump and a trip up a mountain for two days which was good fun. I made a lot of new friends when I was there.”
Pauline, a representative from The Outward-Bound Trust added: “It’s been a pleasure to work with Scotty’s Little Soldiers for the past three years, we’ve heard some inspiring stories from the young people who have visited us.
The young people have really benefitted from those essential life skills such as resilience, confidence and communication that will carry them through from adolescence in to adulthood. We lay the foundations for positive attitudes and behaviours by exposing the young people to new and challenging experiences.”
Since joining Scotty’s Little Soldiers, both Janick and Joshua have benefited from the charity’s smile, support and strides programmes. Thanks to Scotty’s, the boys have had the opportunity to go on holiday and spend time with their family and make new happy memories. They’ve also had the opportunity to attend a number of special events, including the Scotty’s Christmas Party, where they’ve been able to come together with other children who just like them have lost a parent in the Armed Forces, and the very special Party at the Palace hosted by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry at Buckingham Palace.
Scotty’s also send the boys gifts and vouchers when they need it the most including the anniversary of their parent’s death and Remembrance Day, so they can remember their heroes together as a family.
Scotty’s founder, Nikki Scott said: “I am so proud of Janick and Joshua. Both boys have been beneficiaries of Scotty’s for a number of years now and I have had the pleasure in watching them grow. I have heard such amazing things about The Outward-Bound Trust and their courses, so I knew when the boys signed up to take part this year they would love it and really benefit from it.
“At Scotty’s we see so many children who suffer from anxiety and show a lack of confidence after losing a parent at such a young age, so it feels incredible when we see them take on new challenges like this one.”
The Outward-Bound Trust is an educational charity that uses the outdoors to help develop young people from all walks of life. Through the generosity of donors, the trust is able to run adventurous and challenging outdoor learning programmes that equip young people with valuable skills for education, work and life.
Janick and Joshua’s trips were funded by the Annington Foundation.