A welcome respite when you need it the most
When a parent and loved one passes away, it can often feel as though there is no light at the end of the tunnel. You want more than anything to see your children smile again but being at home can often be a reminder of the much-loved missing presence in your home.
One person who experienced this first-hand was Scotty’s founder Nikki Scott, who, nine months after the death of her husband, Corporal Lee Scott, was persuaded by family members to take her two young children, Kai and Brooke, on holiday.
It was during this break in 2010 that Nikki first had the idea for Scotty’s Little Soldiers. Nikki quickly realised that just getting away from the family home and the everyday routines had a big impact on both her and her children.
She explains: “It was our first time away together as a family without Lee, it was a huge step for me and the kids, but it turned out to be one of the best things I could have done for them. It was on this break that Kai was finally able to relax since the passing of his dad, and the first time in months I’d seen him laugh.
“It was a wake-up call, and in that moment, I started wondering how many other kids, who had lost a parent in the forces, would also benefit from a family break.”
Adding, Nikki said: “Scotty’s was born, initially to help bereaved Armed Forces children smile and the Scotty Breaks have been an integral part of the charity from day one. We now have six incredible lodges, which give families an escape from the everyday struggles of living without a loved one and have the opportunity to build new and happy memories.”
Located at Haven sites across the UK, Scotty’s families can feel safe in the knowledge of 24-hour security and enjoy the site’s huge array of activities and entertainment. Not only that, the Scotty lodges are filled with the home comforts needed to enjoy a relaxing break. Scotty’s also helps with the travel cost, so no family is left out.
It’s therefore no surprise that when surveyed, over 90% of Scotty’s families said that the respite breaks were really beneficial to their family.
Since the release of this year’s breaks three weeks ago, an incredible 165 respite breaks have been booked, which means a whole host of new and happy memories will be created for 271 bereaved Armed Forces children.
Scotty’s has also extended its breaks to Alton Towers, Centre Parcs and Butlin’s, ensuring they can offer even more families the opportunity to take a much-needed break.
To allow as many families as possible to enjoy the breaks the release of breaks is staggered allowing new families to Scotty’s or families who have never experiences a Scotty break to book first.
Scotty’s families have nothing but positive things to say about the Scotty’s breaks, here are just a few:
“Scotty’s is so beneficial in keeping the memory of our loved one alive. The breaks could be a family’s only ever holiday or time away together.”
“Scotty’s has been amazing for my son. We wouldn’t have been able to afford to go on breaks like the ones Scotty’s provide for us and it is amazing to see my little boy smile when we are there. We try to time the breaks on special days that would otherwise be really sad for us.”
“It gives us time away as a family. Holidays aren’t always affordable for some families, so the breaks are fantastic.. It is such a huge help.”
“To have a guaranteed break in the holidays is truly amazing. The home from home experience is wonderful, it’s stressful juggling everything on your own.”
“The breaks are really beneficial as a place that is safe and quiet for a period of family time – away from the outside world to remember and have fun.”