War widow's bereaved children's charity raises £1m

Mascot and Beth Wood, Stephen Murphy, Travis Collins , Joe Howlin, Chris Parker, Jamie Bell & Luke Priestley, Great Yarmouth lodge and Lee, Brooke, Kai and Nikki Scott The money raised by fundraising and corporate sponsorship gives bereaved children treats and holidays

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A woman whose husband died in Afghanistan says the charity she set up in his memory has raised £1m.

Scotty's Little Soldiers, based in King's Lynn, was founded by Nikki Scott, whose husband Cpl Lee Scott was killed by a roadside bomb in 2009.

Mrs Scott, who lives in Cambridgeshire and has two children, aged four and nine, said the charity had a "bigger impact" than she "ever imagined".

It provides gifts and holidays for bereaved children and their families.

Scotty's Little Soldiers' fundraisers

Brooke Scott
  • Kai Scott organised a children's super hero fun run
  • II (AC) Squadron ran, cycled, swam and cross-trained for 100 days
  • Two teams played rugby for almost 25 hours
  • Ian Bruce walked on his knees for nearly 2,640 ft (804m)

Mrs Scott, who lives in Wisbech, said: "When I started I thought if I can help just five kids it's worth it. Now I think it's having a bigger impact than I ever expected on the families.

"I just wanted to raise a smile and to help them with a bit of a break, but the feedback from the mums is that they feel part of something and are not alone any more."

'So comforting'

She added that the bereaved children often lose their homes, schools and friends after their parent is killed, because the families need to move out of military accommodation.

"They're used to living in that bubble and you have to leave," she said. "It's not your choice to leave, so it's a massive, massive change in their lives."

Mrs Scott set up the charity nine months after her husband's death.

She said a holiday with cousins made her realise how long it had been since she had seen her son Kai smiling and laughing.

Cpl Scott called Kai his "little soldier" and that inspired the name of the charity, which has so far helped 112 children.

It has bought two lodges, in Great Yarmouth and Blackpool, to offer families free holidays and plans to buy a third in southern England next year.

The money has been raised through a series of fundraising events, an annual charity ball and corporate partnerships.

Beth Wood, 18, whose father Staff Sgt Glyn Hole died in a traffic accident at Aldershot in 2010, said the charity was like "a family that all understand - it's so comforting".

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