With Remembrance Day just around the corner, our thoughts turn to those brave men and women who made huge sacrifices for our country. For eight-year-old Brooke Scott from Wisbech in Cambridgeshire, thoughts of her dad, who she never really got to know, are always on her mind.
Brooke lost her dad, Corporal Lee Scott, in 2009 when his vehicle hit an IED in Afghanistan. She was just seven months old when he was killed and is keen to find out more about the hero her daddy was.
“My daddy was kind, funny and handsome” says Brooke. “My mum tells me lots of stories about what he was like. My favourite story is when my mummy and daddy were younger, he tried to impress my mum by riding a scooter but ended up falling off.
“I also love hearing about how he used to pick me up from my cot and the Disneyland holiday he took me on when I just six months old.”
Brooke’s most important memories of her dad are stored in her memory box. Items such as her dad’s favourite grey jumper, her baby book, photos and a CD containing a recording of Lee reading a bedtime story are kept safe and close by so she’s able to look at them when she wants to remember. Brooke said: “I love looking at everything in my memory box because it makes me feel closer to my dad and I just want to know more about him. I look at it a lot, especially when I’m feeling sad.”
Remembrance Day for Brooke and her older brother Kai is always a poignant time of year. She said: “We always do something as a family, last year we had the day off school and went to the war museum. I always cry during the minute silence as I’m thinking about my daddy.”
For Brooke, being a Scotty’s Little Soldiers member is extra special. Founded by her mum, Nikki Scott, in 2010, the charity was set up in memory of Brooke’s father, Corporal Lee Scott to offer vital support to bereaved Forces children across the UK who have lost a parent while serving in the British Armed Forces.
“Scotty’s is really special to me” said Brooke. “Scotty is my dad and my mum was the person who made it come to life which makes me really proud. Everything about the charity is great and without it I think I’d be miserable.
“The best thing about Scotty’s is that they know when you’re sad, they know the anniversary of your parent’s death and always make sure you’re remembered with a special gift.”
One of the most crucial elements of care provided by Scotty’s is a support network of friends that members can turn to at difficult times.
Brooke said: “Because of Scotty’s, I know that there are people out there who can help me and other children who are just like me. I’ve made lots of new friends thanks to Scotty’s and always see them at Scotty’s events, without it I think I’d feel very lonely.
“I know what it’s like to grow up without knowing your dad so for anyone like me, I’d tell them to remember the happy times and if you’re sad just ask your mum to ring Scotty’s and they will be there to make you smile.”
If you know a child or young person like Brooke who has lost a parent serving in the British Armed Forces find out how Scotty’s may be able to help them by clicking here.
If you would like to donate to support the work of Scotty’s with bereaved Forces children please click here.