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How bereaved children are being helped through their heartache in Great Yarmouth

PUBLISHED: 19:09 20 February 2018 | UPDATED: 19:13 20 February 2018

Scotty's Lodge at Haven Seashore. The unit provides treat trips for bereaved children. Photo: Scotty's Little Soldiers

Scotty's Lodge at Haven Seashore. The unit provides treat trips for bereaved children. Photo: Scotty's Little Soldiers

Scotty's Little Soldiers

A military charity which helps bereaved children to brighten on breaks by the seaside is looking for more support.

Nikki Scott with her late husband Lee Scott. Picture: Nikki Scott Nikki Scott with her late husband Lee Scott. Picture: Nikki Scott

Scotty’s Little Soldiers opened its first holiday home at Haven Seashore in Great Yarmouth in 2012, helping hundreds of children to smile again and make new memories following the death of a serving parent.

The charity was set up by army widow Nikki Scott, 36, of Kings Lynn, after her husband Lee was killed by a roadside bomb in Helmand in 2009.

Inspired by the joy of seeing her own children shake off their grief on holiday she set about helping others in the same position and now has a string of six luxury lodges from Dorset to Devon.

“It really made me wake up,” she said. “Taking them away from the norm really makes them relax and have fun.”

Nikki Scott lost her husband and the father of her two oldest children, Corporal Lee Scott, during a tour to Afghanistan in July 2009. Picture: Courtesy of Nikki Scott Nikki Scott lost her husband and the father of her two oldest children, Corporal Lee Scott, during a tour to Afghanistan in July 2009. Picture: Courtesy of Nikki Scott

MORE: Scotty’s Little Soldiers founder Nikki Scott shares touching story of losing her husband in Afghanistan and breaking the news to her children

As the charity expands she is keen to grow its Yarmouth roots and soon shoppers in the town will be able to state their preference for Scotty’s Little Soldiers as it vies for blue-token votes against two other good causes at Tesco.

And Ms Scott hopes an awareness campaign running alongside the supermarket initiative will help the charity broaden its base.

She said: “We had our first lodge in Yarmouth and it is the one that is nearest our office. It opened in March 2012 and since then we have opened a further five in different locations around the country, all on Haven sites.

“When we first started the charity the idea was to have one holiday home in the UK for families to go to but we soon realised a lot more help was needed.”

Nikki Scott of Scotty's Little Soldiers.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2017 Nikki Scott of Scotty's Little Soldiers. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2017

Knowing that everything had been paid for by well-wishers was lovely for the families, she added.

Fundraising to keep them going never stops and supporting the charity can mean anything from putting up a poster or displaying a collection tin to hosting an event yourself.

The charity has helped over 360 children who have lost a parent in various circumstances with gifts, support, and treat trips away.

For many their loss was compounded by having to move home and school, especially if they were living in a garrison, she added.

To find out more call 0800 0928571 or visit the website by clicking here.

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