Scotty’s Little Soldiers Founder Nikki Scott’s original vision for the charity was to provide opportunities for bereaved Forces children to smile again. Since then she has realised that the charity does so much more than this but the Smiles Programme remains core to what we offer our beneficiaries.
Because these activities are available year after year it means we are able to build a trust and a long term relationship with the families we support. This makes it so much easier for them to reach out if they need additional help at any time.
Here are just some of the ways we do our best to #HelpTheirChildrenSmile.
Every Scotty Member has access to at least one holiday break each year. These breaks can take place at either one of the charity’s own Scotty Lodges (located on Haven holiday parks around the UK), at a Center Parcs woodland villa or a theme park resort such as Alton Towers or Legoland. The charity ensures there are no barriers to its beneficiaries’ enjoying a holiday break by paying travel expenses and providing gift cards for food, drink and activities to be used onsite.
These breaks provide a welcome respite from the everyday struggle of bereavement and often result in children opening up more than they would at home. The Scotty Lodges are equipped with everything a family could need so they also provide a stress free break for the child’s surviving parent.
Scotty’s Christmas Party.
Every year Scotty hosts a magical Christmas Party held in a different location each time. It’s a great opportunity for our Scotty Members to come together and make some really special bonds and friendships. There’s no expense spared and overnight accommodation is provided along with travel expenses. Previous Christmas party venues have included Alton Towers Splash Landings resort, a fun fair themed party at Manchester’s Event City, the World famous London Zoo and for 2016 the Condover Hall Estate. You’ll find short films of some of the Christmas parties over on our YouTube channel.
This is another example of a fun filled activity which actually provides some fantastic therapeutic relief. Families come together and are able to provide support to one another and our team is on-hand to provide advice about the different kinds of support which are available.
Vouchers and Gifts at difficult times.
Each year there are certain anniversaries which bring back strong memories and emotions. We like to make sure our Scotty Members know we’re all thinking of them at these difficult times by sending them a little something through the post.
On the anniversary of their parent’s death we send a small gift token and at Remembrance we provide family meal vouchers so they can remember their heroes together as a family.
Every Member receives a birthday gift and at Christmas Scotty always sends out an extra special present.
We receive a great deal of feedback from supported families to say that these simple acts mean so much and to know the British public hasn’t forgotten about them is so important.
We believe our Scotty Members deserve the opportunity to take part in some really special experiences and we are grateful to regularly receive tickets to events such as sports matches, pop concerts or money can’t buy experiences. Many of our Scotty Members have been mascots at rugby or football matches and some have met their idols back stage at music concerts.