It was a night to honour the bravery of our servicemen and women and to celebrate those who have gone above and beyond the call of duty.
Prince Charles and Camilla, Prime Minister David Cameron and a host of celebrities turned out to support The Sun newspaper’s glittering Military Awards on Thursday night.
And among the heroes awarded at London’s Imperial War Museum was none other than the founder of a Lynn-based charity which helps children orphaned by war.
Speaking to the Lynn News on Friday, inspirational mum-of-two Nikki Scott said she was “completely shell shocked” and “humbled” to scoop the Support to the Armed Forces gong for her charity, Scotty’s Little Soldiers.
She said: “It’s so overwhelming and fantastic news for Scotty’s Little Soldiers. I was in the same room as all these military heroes and celebrities, and then there was me, I just couldn’t believe it.
“To be nominated by the widows of some of the children we’ve helped makes it mean even more.”
Nikki, 30, set up the charity after her husband, Corporal Lee Scott, of the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment, was killed by a bomb in Afghanistan three years ago.
The loss does not get any easier for her or their children Kai, eight, and Brooke, nearly four, but Nikki is determined as ever to help make life easier for military widows and their children.
Since the charity was launched in 2010, she and her supporters have raised more than £400,000.
In July they also opened a £105,000 three-bedroom lodge in Great Yarmouth for war widows and their children to enjoy free holidays and a brief respite from the job of raising families alone, and they are currently working on opening a similar home in Blackpool next year.
Nikki’s win was announced on the night with the showing of a video containing messages from those she has helped.
She said: “It was very emotional. I think I did cry but I was trying so hard not to as there was a camera right next to me!
“It was all so overwhelming. I got to meet the Prime Minister in the day and Prince Charles and when I first walked in I saw Ian Wright and David Jason.”
Her award was presented by TV chef Jamie Oliver, and then her children appeared as a surprise, along with other youngsters helped by the charity.
Jamie said: “Listening backstage with Scotty’s Little Soldiers to the tales of their dad, and trying to fight back the tears was one of the hardest things I have done. Nikki is just wonderful.”