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Soldiering On column by Nikki Scott of Scotty's Little Soldiers

It’s been a tough start to the year, hasn’t it? I know I’m not alone when I say that I’m struggling to juggle work and home life.

My brain feels like it’s about to explode. As well as working, I have three children of very different abilities to home school, and a one-year-old who thinks it’s so much fun to empty every cupboard in my house! Plus, I have to find time to clean, tidy and cook.

However, although it’s hard at the moment, I keep reminding myself that it won’t be forever, and I’m learning to make sure I find 10 minutes for myself, even if the only time I can find it is at 1am!

Nikki Scott with her daughters, February 2021 (44248288)
Nikki Scott with her daughters, February 2021 (44248288)

I just sit quietly, think about everything and go through what the priorities are. Then I remind myself I am doing my best and make a deal with myself to start again tomorrow!

Despite it being a busy time, I know I’m one of the lucky ones. I really feel for people who aren’t able to work, those who are lonely and of course those who are unwell or have experienced the death of a loved one.

This pandemic is affecting everyone differently and the important thing is being there for each other.

The families supported by Scotty’s are obviously struggling too, they already have so much to deal with and now this on top, so we are doing everything we can to help.

I am thrilled that last month Lorna Vyse joined the team to help strengthen the support the charity already offers. Lorna brings a wealth of experience in child bereavement and knowledge of the military community, so she is a real asset.

It’s been a strange induction for Lorna though, because the majority of the team are working from home, so she is having to get to know everyone virtually!

It’s strange how this is just the norm now. Thank goodness for technology though, as it means, as a charity, we can still move forward with our plans for 2021 to ensure we are providing bereaved Forces families with the best support possible.

My daughter, Brooke, is at Thomas Clarkson Academy and unbelievably the assistant principle, Mr Siracusano, is ex-military and knew her dad!

It’s great for Brooke because she feels Mr Siracusano has a connection with her now and is looking out for her.

He is also very supportive of Scotty’s Little Soldiers and this month he’s taking on a 1,000 press-ups challenge to raise funds for the charity.

As well as this being great for Scotty’s, he is also doing it to encourage people to stay active, which is good for overall wellbeing. A lot of people who have taken up challenges say that it’s a really great way to focus the mind.

We’ve recently launched a 30-Day Fitness Challenge, which can be completed as an individual, with your household or even with friends over a video call.

If exercise isn’t your thing, perhaps you could try giving something up that you love for six weeks and get the buzz of knowing you are doing it for a good cause.

You can find out more on both of these challenges, as well as other ideas, by going to the Scotty’s Little Soldiers website and looking at the ‘Get Involved’ section.

Finally, I just want to say that I hope everyone is able to find ways to keep positive. We’ll get there!

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