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

“Scotty’s has done a lot for me, so when I saw an opening to host the podcast it felt like a chance to give something back.”

20-year-old Alex Thomas was just four when his dad, Major David Thomas, died of cancer. Alex has been supported by Scotty’s Little Soldiers since he was 13 and is now the host our Aspire podcast for 18 to 25-year-olds, where he speaks to inspirational guests who have overcome challenges and achieved great things.

Alex’s dad, Major David Thomas, served in the REME (Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers) and was diagnosed with cancer when Alex was five months old. Despite being told he had only six months to live, David remained by his son’s side for three and a half more years. The reason, he told Alex’s mum, was that he refused to let go until his son was old enough to have memories of him.

Alex wearing his Scotty's Little Soldiers hoodie

“I was terrified of dancing on the stage, but before the curtains went up I thought of my dad and remembered I was dancing for him.”

17-year-old Emily Murphy was just two years old when her dad, Lance Corporal John Murphy, took his own life. Here, Emily talks about how support from Scotty’s Little Soldiers has not only helped her grow in confidence, but enabled her to pursue her dream of dancing on the West End stage.

Emily in her red ballet outfit
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