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Scotty's Little Soldiers bids to double Armed Forces bereaved children support

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Happy New Year! I know times are tough at the moment, and every time it feels like we are moving forward, a new Covid variant sets us back.

However, I’m determined to begin 2022 on a positive note. At Scotty’s we are really excited about the year ahead and our plans to develop our support to bereaved Forces children and young people.

Last year we supported more than 500 children and I feel incredibly proud to know that Scotty’s is a constant reminder to these brave young people that they aren’t alone in their grief.

Nikki Scott.
Nikki Scott.

As happy as I am that we are supporting these children, I know there are still so many more out there who have experienced the death of a parent who served in the British Armed Forces. We want to reach them and help provide the support they need and deserve.

We have a long-term goal to be supporting 1,000 bereaved Forces children and young people annually by 2030. That’s going to mean doubling the charity’s support services between now and then. To do this we need to double the income to fund those services and we need an infrastructure behind them to ensure they remain robust and sustainable. None of this will happen overnight, but we are gradually developing our support services and growing our team.

This month we are looking forward to welcoming some new team members, who we know will help us to make a big difference. At the end of last year, a young graphic designer joined us as a result of the government’s Kickstart scheme.

It’s great to see him gaining experience and we are lucky to have his help, paid for by the government, so it’s win win! We are hoping to introduce an internship scheme this year.

We’ve loved working from our little office in North Lynn, but we can’t all fit in there now! It’s not a problem at the moment, as many of us are working from home, but we hope we can all get back to the office soon, so we are in search of new premises. If anyone knows of anywhere locally that might be suitable, please get in touch. Whilst some organisations want to continue working from home, we feel we really benefit from having the team together, so here’s hoping we are able to make the move this year!

We are about to launch regular online monthly meet ups for the parents and carers of our members. Charlie on our team is on hand to offer guidance to help the parents to support their children. It also means parents can exchange stories and support one another, as they all know how hard it can be to raise a child who has experienced bereavement.

We’ve suggested a fun exercise to our members as an alternative to making New Year’s Resolutions. A 'Jar of Joy' can be a great way to focus on the year ahead. You simply sit down as a family and write down on lots of small bits of paper, the things you would like to do over the year.

Things like, camp out in your lounge, go for a walk, no electronics for the day, play a board game, or have a baking session. You put the pieces of paper in a jar and each week, select one at random and complete the idea. I’ll be doing it with my family. You might want to give it a try too!

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