Army teen to march 100 miles in 100 days for bereaved Forces children
16-year-old, Sian Lewis, from Hereford, has the Armed Forces community firmly at the front of her mind this month as she steps out in her challenge to complete 100 miles in 100 days, all to raise money for a military charity close to her heart.
Sian, whose dad, Mark, previously served in Belize, Bosnia, Germany, Italy, Northern Ireland and The Middle East, is raising money for national bereaved Armed Forces children’s charity, Scotty’s Little Soldiers. The charity offers integral support to children and young people who have experienced the death of a parent in the Armed Forces.
Sian was just seven years old when she first came across Scotty’s Little Soldiers. She first saw the charity on TV when founder, Nikki Scott, was awarded a ‘Millie’ (The Sun Military Awards) in 2012. With her dad also serving in the Armed Forces, Sian immediately felt a connection with the charity and has followed it ever since.
“I have supported Scotty’s for many years and want to do everything I can to help raise money. I hope that my challenge will not only raise money but also raise awareness of the incredible work the team at Scotty’s does to help children following the death of their parent. I have been able to see the charity grow over the years and continue to follow the charity’s journey. From supporting by wearing pretend tattoos on Scotty's Day, to doing a speech both in year 6 and most recently as a part of my GCSE spoken language exam.”
Sian started her 100-mile challenge at the beginning of March and is aiming to complete the distance by 9th June. Her mum, Marie, and dad, Mark will be cheering her on all the way.
“So far, I’ve been keeping local when going out on my walks and fitting it in at weekends and after school. It’s going well and I’m getting the miles in. It’s certainly not easy, but I set myself this distance so that I could challenge myself and encourage as many people as possible to donate. Scotty’s is an amazing charity and I hope I can do them proud.”
Scotty’s Little Soldiers, which was set up in 2010 by war widow Nikki Scott, offers integral support to children and young people who have experienced the death of a parent who served in the Armed Forces.
Nikki saw the devastating impact the death of her husband, Corporal Lee Scott, in 2009 had on their two young children and wanted to help others in the same situation.
The charity is currently providing assistance to hundreds of bereaved Forces children and young people around the UK and services offered include guidance to parents and carers, access to professional child bereavement support, personal education and learning assistance (including grants) and fun activities such as holiday respite breaks and group events. These are all designed to remind the children and young people supported by Scotty’s that they are not alone.
“This is such an incredible challenge from Sian, and I can’t thank her enough for her support over the years. It’s amazing to hear that she has followed and supported from such a young age. The military community are just fantastic, and I know how passionate they are about raising money. Every penny raised will go a long way in helping us deliver a high level of support to hundreds of children and young people who have experienced the death of a parent who served in the Armed Forces. We couldn’t do what we do without people like Sian. From everyone at Scotty’s, we wish her the best of luck.”