Celebrity canines raise over £17,000 in three days for bereaved Forces children

Celebrity canines raise over £17,000 in three days for Scotty’s

Influential canine companions, Springer Spaniels, Max, Paddy and Harry, and their owner, Kerry Irving, have raised over £17,000 in just three days, for national bereaved children’s military charity, Scotty’s Little Soldiers.

The trio, who have become famous faces on social media over the last few years, launched the fundraiser to their 157,00 Facebook fans on Remembrance Sunday (9th). The campaign took off immediately, raising an initial £10,000 in just a few hours.

Kerry Irving, who lives in Keswick, set up the fundraiser to mark the birthday of his youngest spaniel companion, Harry, aka Prince Harry, who turns two in November. With his birthday falling during the same month as Remembrance Day, Kerry thought it only fitting to raise money for a charity that looks after the families and children our fallen heroes left behind.

In his blog about the fundraiser, which was launched on social media on Sunday, Kerry said: “Today is Remembrance Sunday, but tomorrow and the day after we must remember them also. We think of the loss that many families have to face, the child that will grow up without their mummy. The daddy that will never get to play football with his son, the daughter that will not have her father to walk her down the aisle or the little boy who will never get to hug his mum before he says goodnight. Lest we forget and the memories fade away.

“November is a month to remember, while also being the month of our Prince Harry’s birthday. And this year, to mark the occasion, while paying tribute to those children for who Remembrance is every day, we’re asking for a small donation, no matter how small, to help a charity that offers integral support to bereaved Forces children at a time when they need it the most.”

As someone who came close to losing everything, Kerry knows only too well what it takes to overcome challenges in life. In 2006, Kerry was involved in a horrific car accident, which left him injured, in chronic pain and close to severe depression.

It was when springer spaniel, Max, came into his life that he started to heal. Since then Kerry has added to his pack with Paddy and most recently young Harry.

Over the last four years, Kerry’s story has become well-known across the world. Since setting up the Facebook page Max Out in the Lake District, his follower numbers and social influence has increased dramatically, with now over 200,000 people following him on Facebook and Instagram combined, and a global reach of 3.1 million.

Over the weekend Max, Paddy and Harry’s social media and animal loving community got behind them to raise a staggering £17,300. With all money raised going to help support children and young people across the UK who have lost a parent who served in the British Armed Forces.

Discussing why he chose to raise money for Scotty’s, Kerry said: “Over the years, I’ve built a large social media following and a large number of my followers are from the military community. I received a huge amount of feedback and messages from military personnel while they were serving oversees, particularly in Afghanistan, who said that watching Max and Paddy gave them some much needed light relief.  So, for me, it was about giving something back – giving something back to those who sacrificed their lives to protect our country, and giving back to help support the children they sadly left behind, and Scotty’s was the perfect way to do that.”

Scotty’s Little Soldiers was founded in 2010 by war widow Nikki Scott, a year after her husband, Corporal Lee Scott, was killed in action. Nikki saw the devastating impact on their two young children and wanted to help others in the same situation. 

The charity arranges for bereaved Forces families to go on respite breaks, organises special events, sends presents to the children at extra difficult times of year, offers wellbeing care, as well as educational support and grants. Being part of the Scotty community reminds hundreds of bereaved Forces children they aren’t alone.

In recent months, the charity has had to adapt to the current climate and has been 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. They’ve also been providing a high volume of wellbeing support to families who are suffering from enhanced anxiety and other problems due to the current health crisis.

Nikki said: “What Kerry and his boys have done is absolutely incredible, what an inspiration he is. I want to give a huge thank you to Kerry and everyone who donated and is still donating, this amount of money, especially in these challenging times, will help immensely. November is such a poignant month for our members but knowing that they are not going through it alone is so important. For us to continue to deliver a high-level of support to these children we need supporters like Kerry to get behind us and help in raising the funds we need.”

To read more about Max, Paddy and Harry on their blog https://www.maxoutinthelakedistrict.co.uk/blog/prince-harrys-birthday-fundraiser-for-scottys-little-soldiers-with-chinook-force

Or to donate to Harry’s birthday fundraiser visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/max-out-in-the-lake-district1

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