10-year-old Lennon Palin from Mannamead in Plymouth is taking on a challenging 26.2 miles this month for a charity close to his heart.

LITTLE PLYMOUTH SOLDIER TAKES ON MARATHON CHALLENGE TO HONOUR HIS DAD

Lennon has set about running the Month of May Marathon in memory of his dad and to raise crucial funds for national bereaved Armed Forces children’s charity, Scotty’s Little Soldiers – a charity that over the last seven years has supported him and his sister, Ruby 8, throughout the toughest times in their lives.

Lennon and Ruby lost their dad, Corporal Mark Palin, on July 18th, 2011. Corporal Palin was serving in the Army, 1st Rifles division in Afghanistan at the time.

Lennon was just 19 months old when he lost his dad, and since then, both him and his sister Ruby have found comfort in the support network created by Scotty’s Little Soldiers.

The charity, which was founded in 2010 by war widow Nikki Scott, supports hundreds of children, just like Lennon and Ruby, up and down the country, who at such a young age have already gone through so much. During these unprecedented times, Lennon is determined to do what he can to help a charity that has done so much for him and his family while ensuring he follows government guidelines.

Lennon’s mum, Carla Palin, said: “Lennon absolutely loves running, he plays football and every year he takes part in the Plymouth Half Marathon. His school run the last mile and he raised money for Scotty’s last year that way too. In the past we have sold raffle tickets and organised charity football matches in honour of his dad and to fundraise for Scotty’s. Previously we have organised matches where Mark’s civilian friends take on his army friends – it is a lot of fun!

“Lennon just really wants to give back. He has already started on the May Marathon and he’s managing 9-minute miles which is amazing. He will definitely do the May Marathon again. It’s really nice too as my new partner is into running, so it’s great that they have that in common.”

Since joining Scotty’s Little Soldiers, Lennon has benefited from the charity’s support programmes, including receiving Christmas and birthday cards and cards on the anniversary of his dad’s death, attending events, including the recent virtual party event on Zoom, and having the opportunity to meet other children in similar situations to him of the same age.

Carla added: “I first heard of Scotty’s Little soldiers when I saw Nikki win The Sun Military award. When she told her story, I realised she was telling mine, it was the same, just so relatable. I just thought immediately that my kids needed to be a part of this incredible charity.”

Nikki Scott set up Scotty’s Little Soldiers after her husband, Corporal Lee Scott, was killed in Afghanistan the previous year, leaving behind two young children. The charity does lots of things to support its members, including providing access to the very best health and wellbeing care, offering outstanding development opportunities through a range of activity and educational grants, and Scotty’s helps put smiles back on those brave faces by providing respite breaks, organising events, posting them birthday and Christmas presents and remembering the anniversary of their parent’s death.

Usually, at this time of year, Scotty’s would be arranging respite breaks for the families, but sadly this isn’t possible at present. In recent weeks, the charity has had to adapt to the current climate and has been using modern technology and arranging exciting virtual events and activities to engage with its members as well as offering an increased level of emotional support to a great number of families who are struggling to cope with added pressures.

Nikki said: “Lennon is an inspiration, I’m so glad he can do something he enjoys whilst fundraising for us, the donations are much-needed, especially in these unprecedented times. We are so grateful to him. We couldn’t continue to support children like Lennon and Ruby and deliver our integral services without fundraisers, so thank you Lennon, and good luck!”

To donate to Lennon’s fundraiser visit: https://maymarathon2020.everydayhero.com/uk/carla-1

Or to sign up for your own virtual fundraising event or challenge, go to: vf.scottyslittlesoldiers.co.uk

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