Army veteran asks for charity donations for 83rd birthday

Army veteran asks for charity donations for 83rd birthday

Published by Beth Pridding
8:45am 8th April 2020. (Updated at 1:09pm 8th April 2020)

 

For his 83rd birthday, Norfolk veteran Steve Scott didn't want any presents at all. 

Instead, he's asked his loved ones to donate to Scotty's Little Soldiers, which supports children who have lost parents serving in the Armed Forces. 

Steve, who lives in Feltwell, is in self-isolation for 12 weeks due to underlying health conditions, so couldn't celebrate with his loved ones, but that's not stopped him from doing whatever he can to help good causes. 

Steve's father was killed during World War II when Steve was just four years old.

Steve Scott, 2019, Northampton, fundraising for Scotty's Little Soliders
Steve Scott has been supporting the charity for around eight years

His father Harry Scott was a gunner in the Royal Artillery when the ship he was on was torpedoed with the loss of all hands, leaving just Steve and his mum behind with little support.

His father was a musician before the war, and it was when he started delving into his father's life that he discovered Scotty's Little Soldiers for the first time.

Steve said: 

"I first discovered Scotty's almost 10 years ago. I phoned Scotty's, explained that I was retired and ex-military and had a lot of time on my hands. Before I knew it, three days later, I was volunteering on stalls, tin collections, you name it. It's Nikki and my personal experience that attracted me to the charity. 

"When my dad died there wasn't any support available and a single parent wasn't the norm, even though when the war ended lots of dads didn't come home to their family. When I went to school at eight-years-old, there was no support for children like me. I was a child with no dad as well as having asthma, so I was subject to a lot of bullying. I left school at 15 years-old and joined the Army at 17 where I stayed until I was 40.

"Nikki is less than half my age and she is my inspiration. I raise money for Scotty's Little Soldiers because I love Nikki to bits, she is absolutely wonderful, there are just no words to describe her and the work she does, I get a lump in my throat thinking about her. She is so humble too; she lost her husband but she's still 'the girl next door' - she deserves an MBE or higher in my eyes. The whole team is just brilliant. I can't do as much as I used to on my own as I suffer from COPD so I'm not as active anymore now I'm older, so for the past couple of years I've tried to fundraise as much as I can, because every little helps, especially at times like these when the children need Scotty's the most."

Listen to Steve's interview

Steve started his career in the military as an apprentice in the Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, and completed his service running a garrison workshop.

He spent 17 years serving abroad, spending time in countries like Africa, before leaving the army and starting a new career, followed by retirement in his hometown, Feltwell, Norfolk. 

Nikki with Kids scotty little soldiers happy list
Nikki Scott with her two children, Kai and Brooke

Scotty's Little Soldiers was founded 10 years ago by Nikki Scott, after her husband, Corporal Lee Scott, was killed while serving in Afghanistan.

Nikki was widowed, and the couple's two children, Kai and Brooke, were left without a father after his death. 

The charity was set up to support other children who had lost a parent while serving in the miltary. 

Nikki said: 

"Steve is an absolute legend and it's a true honour to have someone like him as a volunteer fundraising for Scotty's. He's part of our family.

"In the current climate we need supporters like Steve to help us maintain our fundraising, as our members need us now more than ever. Over the last few weeks, we have a changed the way in which we're engaging and supporting our members but we need as many people as possible to help us maintain that level support. Donating your birthday like Steve has done is one incredible way of helping us through these difficult times."

Steve originally set out to raise £150, and said if he did, he'd match the donations himself to make it £300. He's now raised £345. 

To donate to Steve's birthday fundraiser visit: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/stevescott83