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Grant helps Scotty’s Little Soldiers provide supportive community for bereaved military children

A series of outdoor adventure days and creation of an online support hub, mentored by WWTW's Tackling Loneliness Project and run by Scotty’s Little Soldiers, is helping create a vital community for bereaved military children.

The initiative, kindly funded by the Armed Forces Covenant Trust’s Tackling Loneliness Programme, is being used to help bereaved military children and young people have easy access to support, build networks and connect to other young people who have also experienced the death of a military parent.

One project that aims to achieve this is Scotty’s ‘Stronger Together Adventure Day’ for children and young people. Research suggests bereaved young people are at a disadvantage to their peers in a variety of ways, but the Adventure Day will be packed with fun outdoor activities designed to teach them how to analyse, self-reflect and recognise the role that personal and interpersonal skills play in self-development. There will also be a significant focus on teamwork, contributing to a team and personal challenge, plus evening workshops aimed at promoting the importance of a healthy lifestyle – all skills that will benefit members long into adulthood.

The benefit of being outdoors and working as part of a team is widely documented – especially after Covid when many young people have reported feeling isolated and disconnected from their peers. This sense of isolation can be even more pronounced for bereaved military children who, in addition to the loss of a parent, may have also experienced the loss of the military community that was attached to that parent.

By providing opportunities such as this, members can maintain that sense of community, break loneliness barriers and create long-lasting bonds with other young people who truly understand what they’re going through. One Scotty member said: At Scotty’s it’s so easy to make new friends, as there are so many other people in your position at the moment.” 

The charity is also using the funds to create the ‘Scotty Op Zone’ – an online hub for their members to access learning and support resources, virtual journals, take part in group forum discussions and self-refer themselves to Scotty’s services, if required. It’s a direct line between the charity and its members, making interaction simpler than ever before and allowing members to join a supportive, online community who have all experienced the death of a military parent.

Scotty’s Little Soldiers was set up in 2010 by war widow Nikki Scott and offers integral support to children and young people aged 0-25 who have experienced the death of a parent who served in the British Armed Forces. Nikki saw the devastating impact the death of her husband, Corporal Lee Scott, had on their two young children and wanted to help others in the same situation.