The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity provides Scotty’s Little Soldiers with a  grant to help support children throughout the pandemic.

The Royal Navy & Royal Marines Charity provides grant

Scotty’s Little Soldiers has been supporting bereaved British Forces children for ten years, but never have the young people, who face a number of challenges due the loss of their parent, needed help more. With fundraising events cancelled, the charity’s income is under pressure at a time when it is needed the most. The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity has therefore provided a special grant to help Scotty’s deliver much needed support.

Scotty’s Little Soldiers was founded by war widow Nikki Scott in 2010 after her husband, Corporal Lee Scott, was killed in Afghanistan, 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 putting smiles back on those brave faces by providing respite breaks, organising special events, posting them birthday and Christmas presents and remembering the anniversary of their parent’s death.

In recent weeks, Scotty’s Little Soldiers has had to adapt to the current climate because obviously the usual events and holidays can’t happen during this time, yet the support is essential.

The current situation caused by Coronavirus is unfortunately widely acknowledged to have a detrimental impact on mental health and emotional wellbeing for many, and there is concern particularly for children who have had their routine and support mechanisms like school, clubs, friends and extended family unexpectedly and suddenly stripped away, and replaced by an uncertain future, home isolation and scary news reporting. 

There’s an increased likelihood that the pandemic will negatively impact on Scotty’s Little Soldiers’ vulnerable beneficiaries, as they already have many of the recognised early negative life experiences that challenge children’s wellbeing. This includes parental loss, PTSD, financial hardship, educational and familial displacement, and ‘young carer’ responsibilities for surviving parents as well as potentially siblings experiencing similar trauma. If unmitigated this can have the most serious long-term negative impact on self-confidence, relationships, academic attainment and ultimately future life chances.

Scotty’s is using modern technology to arrange exciting virtual events and activities to engage with its members, ensuring them that in uncertain times such as these they are not alone. The children have also all been offered a six-month subscription to Disney+, provided by Scotty’s, to ease the boredom whilst they are isolated at home. The charity is also providing an increased level of emotional support to a great number of families who are struggling to cope with added pressures.

As with the majority of businesses, organisations and other charities, Scotty’s Little Soldiers is feeling the financial strain of the current crisis. A large proportion of the charity’s regular fundraising streams such as public events and challenges have been cancelled, meaning grants are vital to being able to continue supporting vulnerable children.

Scotty’s Little Soldiers currently supports 398 children that have lost a parent who served in the British Armed Forces. 48 of these are children of Royal Navy or Royal Marine service personnel.

The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity is the principal charity of the Royal Navy. It exists to support sailors, Marines and their families, for life. RNRMC has identified the need for Scotty’s to provide additional supported to its beneficiaries during this challenging time and realises that funding is exceptionally low, so has therefore awarded the charity with £5,000 grant.

Mandy Lindley, The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity Director of Relationships and Funding, said: “We are delighted to continue working with Scotty’s Little Soldiers, supporting the delivery of their work to safeguard the emotional well-being and mental health of 48 bereaved Naval children. In addition to the loss these children have already experienced, their routine and support mechanisms such as school, friends, family and clubs have now suddenly and unexpectedly been taken away, to be replaced with home isolation and uncertainty. We are glad that this grant can help Scotty’s deliver virtual support and activities during this difficult time.”

Nikki Scott, Founder of Scotty’s Little Soldiers said: “We are so grateful to The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity for their generous grant and also for their continued support. The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity show a keen interest the work we do and the support we provide. They attend our events and we meet up regularly – a relationship we truly value.”

Nikki continued: “I have seen first-hand how hard it is for children to lose a parent. Grief hits at different times throughout life, which is why Scotty’s Little Soldiers is always there for the children. At difficult times such as these, feelings of despair that might have been in the background can often come to the surface and we want to do everything we can to make life easier for these families.

Much of our funds are usually generated through large events, so with these being cancelled, our income is much lower that we had ever anticipated. This grant from The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity will make such a huge difference in enabling us to provide integral support now and in the future. Thank you.”

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