Military teen completes her marathon in a day mission for Scotty's Little Soldiers
14-year-old Charlotte Smith, from Yeovil in Somerset, did her military family and community proud this month as she completed a walking marathon in a day while raising much needed funds for hundreds of bereaved Armed Forces children and young people.
Charlotte, whose dad, Warrant Officer Colin Smith, currently serves in the Navy, took to the streets of Yeovil on 13th March to complete the marathon distance (26.2 miles), and all to raise money for Scotty’s Little Soldiers, a national charity which offers integral support to children and young people who have experienced the death of a parent in the Armed Forces.
Growing up in the Forces community, Charlotte herself knows how important charities like Scotty’s are and wanted to help in any way that she could. She had already planned to do a marathon walk as part of her Duke of Edinburgh award, alongside her friend Izzy Short, and decided to raise much needed funds for a worthy cause in the process.
Charlotte’s mum, Gail, was there to cheer her on. She said:
“Charlotte immediately said she wanted to raise money for Scotty’s Little Soldiers. The charity means a lot to us, and with Colin also serving in the Navy, we all know what an important role it plays within the Forces community.
“Charlotte has really enjoyed taking part in the walk, even the practice walks which have taken her almost 12 hours to complete. She’s done incredibly well in drumming up donations, even before the walk she surpassed her fundraising target of £150 and we hope that amount continues to grow.”
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 does lots of things to support its members, including providing access to the very best emotional health and wellbeing care, offering outstanding development opportunities through a range of activity and educational grants, and Scotty’s helps put smiles back on those brave faces by organising events, providing respite breaks, posting them birthday and Christmas presents and remembering the anniversary of their parent’s death.
Over the last year, 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.
“What inspiring young ladies Charlotte and Izzy are. They've both done so well as walking a marathon in one day is no easy task. I can’t thank Charlotte, Izzy and their families enough for getting behind Scotty’s and helping us to raise funds we most desperately need. This year has been especially difficult for our members, they’ve needed our support more than ever before and it’s only because of the amazing efforts people like Charlotte and Izzy go to that we’re able to continue to deliver this support.”