A Lynn charity has moved to a new headquarters which officials hope will enable them to help even more families across Britain.
North West Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham opened the new offices of Scotty’s Little Soldiers on the North Lynn industrial estate on Friday evening.
And he revealed the charity had a personal resonance for him as his father, Henry senior, was killed in an army training accident in 1959.
He said: “I was four when I lost my father so I can hardly remember him, but the pleasure, the joy, the happiness you bring to so many people is absolutely phenomenal.
“This is now an important national charity and you should be really proud of what you’ve done.”
Since its launch in 2010, the charity, set up in memory of Cpl Lee Scott who was killed in Afghanistan in 2009, has raised almost £2 million to support the families of fallen servicemen and women.
Almost 200 children are now members, but officials believe that as many as four times that number may need support.
Founder Nikki Scott said: “We have got children and families coming forward all the time.
The new site on Bergen Way includes both meeting and office space, as well as a warehouse to store the charity’s clothing range, plus birthday and Christmas gifts for the children it supports.
Until now, stock has been held at the previous office near Lynn’s bus station, which Nikki described as “full to the brim” and a separate garage.
And chief executive Stuart Robinson said: “We need this to keep supporting them. There’s no reason why this can’t be a permanent home for us.”
The charity has signed a six year lease and is benefiting from substantially discounted rents in an agreement with West Norfolk Council.
Plans for a fifth Scotty Lodge holiday home, in Sussex, are currently being developed. It is hoped the property will be ready by the summer.
And the charity has just secured a £20,000 grant from a government covenant fund, which officials plan to use to raise even wider awareness of their work.