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Scotty’s Little Soldiers West Norfolk charity founder Nikki Scott's son turns 18 in big family day

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This is a big month for my family. My son Kai is turning 18! I can’t believe my baby boy is now officially an adult!

Anyone that reads my column regularly, or supports Scotty’s Little Soldiers, will know that he is the reason Scotty’s Little Soldiers exists. I set up the charity after I saw the devastating impact his dad’s death had on him.

The moment I told Kai Daddy wouldn’t be coming home from Afghanistan will haunt me forever. I watched the lights go out in his eyes. He was only five and his world came crashing down around him.

Nikki Scott and Kai, aged 18.
Nikki Scott and Kai, aged 18.

Kai and I have come on this journey together though. It was Kai and my daughter Brooke, who was seven months old when Lee died, that made me get up in the mornings and that inspired me to set up Scotty’s Little Soldiers.

Happy birthday Kai. Life hasn’t been easy for you, but I’m so proud of your resilience and the amazing young man you have become.

Turning 18 is a huge milestone for any young person. It’s a time for making important life decisions.

At Scotty’s, we have therefore created a podcast, called Aspire, which is specifically for young adults.

It’s hosted by 20-year-old Alex who has been a member of Scotty’s since 2015. He is now a member of Scotty’s Springboard Programme for young people aged 18–25, and the Aspire podcast provides him and other young people with an opportunity to hear from inspiring individuals who have overcome challenges and achieved great things.

In the first episode of the podcast series, Alex speaks to veteran, businessman and entrepreneur, Mike Hamilton OBE, who discusses life in the Army, creating his company Commando Joe’s, and how being rejected on the BBC TV show Dragon’s Den only fuelled his desire to pursue his dreams and make a success of his career. Scotty’s Aspire podcast is available on all streaming platforms. If you know of a young adult between the age of 18-25 I would definitely recommend it.

We’ve also spent lots of time this month preparing Scotty’s annual May Marathon.

The goal is to complete the marathon distance of 26.2 miles over the course of May however you choose.

That could mean walking, running, crawling, cartwheeling or absolutely anything else you can think of!

The distance can be covered in as many trips as you need and it always makes me so happy to see everyone getting involved. I’ve taken part myself, so I know how challenging it can be.

I’m not much of a runner, but I got a real buzz from the experience, and knowing all the effort I put in was helping bereaved children and young people is a feeling that can’t be matched. Anyone can sign up and fundraise at www.scottychallenges.co.uk.

Before I sign off, I just want to say a quick thank you to the Lake Business Centre who let the team at Scotty’s borrow one of their rooms for some training.

Last month I wrote about the challenges we have finding space to accommodate large meetings, so we are very grateful for the support.

I hope you all have a great Easter!

Nikki Scott

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