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SMILES Programme

Scotty’s Little Soldiers Founder Nikki Scott’s original vision for the charity was to provide opportunities for bereaved Forces children to smile again. All the fun and engaging activities within the Smiles programme have been created to help the children and young people do exactly what it says on the tin, smile!

Because the activities year after year, it means we are able to build a trust and a long term relationship with the families we support. This makes it so much easier for them to reach out if they need additional help at any time.

Here are just some of the ways we do our best to #HelpTheirChildrenSmile.

If you know a child or young person who has experienced the death of a parent who served in the British Armed Forces, they could be eligible for specialist bereavement support from Scotty's Little Soldiers. Hundreds of bereaved military children aren’t getting the support they need but we are here to help.

  • If you are seeking support for a bereaved military child or young person, click here.
  • If you are the parent or carer of a bereaved military child or young person, click here.
  • If you work with bereaved children & young people, click here.
  • If you are a bereaved young person seeking support, click here.

The SMILES programme is all about fun and engagement for bereaved British Forces children and young people. It includes activities, gifts and group events, which have the purpose of making bereaved Forces children and young people smile again and reminds them they aren’t alone and are part of a supportive community.


The SUPPORT programme looks after the emotional health and wellbeing of the bereaved military children and young people we support. It includes information and guidance on childhood bereavement for parents and carers, and 1:1 professional bereavement support for children and young people.


 The STRIDES programme focuses on the education and development needs of bereaved Forces children and young people. This includes promoting a positive attitude to learning and providing opportunities to develop life skills.  It also includes a range of small educational grants.


The SPRINGBOARD programme provides support to young adults ages 18-25 who have experienced the death of a parent who served in the Armed Forces. It assists with opportunities to develop their education and learning, build a career and enhance life skills.

Case Studies

"I wouldn’t change my Scotty’s friends for the world."

Lexie Pallett was 11 years old when her dad, Sergeant Oliver Pallett, died by suicide. He served in the RAF for 22 years, during which time he had completed multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was an accomplished aircraft technician and served on the VC10, Herc, Voyager and A400.  

“My dad was a real aircraft geek and loved everything about them, even working on planes that were retired and taking me and my family with him,” says Lexie, now 15. “He was a kind and caring person. The memories I like to think of most are the holidays we spent away in our caravan every year, driving down tiny country roads with no idea where we were, but he always refused to believe we were lost! He loved to cook, so we would often be concocting something in the kitchen – some things turning out nicer than the others. He died by suicide in February 2020, just before lockdown.”

My journey from bereaved military child to supporting Armed Forces veterans

“When Mum was pregnant with me, my dad used to call her bump ‘daddy’s little angel’, which is where my name, Angel, comes from, which I love. Even though I didn’t get to meet my dad, knowing my name comes from him means I always feel connected to him.”

Angel was born five months after her dad, Major Matthew Titchener, was killed in action while serving in Iraq. Never meeting her military dad has been difficult for Angel, now 20, but with the support of Scotty’s Little Soldiers, the charity for bereaved military children, she is working tirelessly to support the military community that supported her and make her father proud.

Angel and her brother joined Scotty’s in 2016, when she was 12 years old. Since then, she’s completed work experience in the UK Cabinet Office under Johnny Mercer, the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, become part of Scotty’s Council, where she helps guide the direction of the charity’s support programmes, and even volunteered to help at Scotty’s in-person events like our annual Winter Festival – all in an effort to help the military community that has defined so much of her life.

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