King’s Lynn charity launches new appeal to help more families of fallen servicemen

West Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham presents Nikki Scott with a certificate marking the official opening of the new Scotty's Little Soldiers office. Charity Chief Executive Stuart Robinson looks on. ANL-150215-180741009

West Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham presents Nikki Scott with a certificate marking the official opening of the new Scotty's Little Soldiers office. Charity Chief Executive Stuart Robinson looks on. ANL-150215-180741009

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A Lynn-based charity has launched a new campaign to trace more children of servicemen and women who have died while serving their country.

Scotty’s Little Soldiers, which moved into new headquarters on the North Lynn Industrial Estate earlier this year, already supports more than 200 bereaved children and families.

But the charity estimates there could be five times that number which it is currently unable to help.

And officials are now spearheading a fresh initiative via social media to trace more families who may need their support.

Founder Nikki Scott said: “Scotty’s relies on word of mouth and social media to reach out and find the children and their families who are not yet receiving our support.

“This is why we have launched a national campaign and we need the public’s help to find our heroes’ children and let them know all the great activities and opportunities that exist for them.”

While the charity already works with armed forces welfare groups, bosses say the Ministry of Defence cannot share bereaved families’ details with them.

Although this is partly based on confidentiality reasons, officials fear defence chiefs themselves may not have a full picture of an individual serviceman or woman’s family situations, as it is not compulsory for serving personnel to disclose whether they have children or not.

Many service families also move away from a base area following a loved one’s death, meaning contact with support services can be lost.

Scotty’s chief executive Stuart Robinson said: “We do have good communication with many of the Welfare teams so if any new fatalities occur, hopefully information about the charity gets passed on to the family.

“But this doesn’t help the hundreds of children already out there.”

The charity also took the message onto the airwaves this week when Nikki discussed the campaign on ITV’s Lorraine on Wednesday morning.

The campaign is being promoted via the Twitter hashtag, Findourheroeschildren.