Scotty’s Little Soldiers was established by Nikki Clark in 2010 after the death of her husband Corporal Lee Scott in Afghanistan…

The charity supports children across the UK who have lost a parent while serving in the Armed Forces. Scotty’s Little Soldiers has much in common with the US charity TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors) which offers compassionate care to those grieving the loss of a loved one who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.

Nikki recently flew to Washington DC to spend time with those involved with TAPS. The purpose of Nikki’s trip was to begin working with TAPS and The Diana Awards on future events, and to bring together bereaved Forces children from the UK and America.

Commenting on the trip, Nikki explained: “I was able to meet some incredibly inspiring and very powerful people who all give back by supporting TAPS. On a personal level I gained knowledge, skills and ideas which will help me within my role at Scotty’s. I was truly inspired by the speakers and the amazing people I met.

“Everyone at TAPS is so enthusiastic and driven to make sure the best support is offered to the families of American fallen heroes. My time at TAPS has made me even more determined to make sure the highest level of support is also available to our British bereaved families.”

During her trip Nikki met with several individuals, one of whom made a lasting impact: “During my three days I was honoured to meet and spend time with General Martin E. Dempsey who recently retired after 41 years of military service. He’d served as the Chief of Staff of the United States Army and then as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

“In this role he was the senior officer in the Armed Forces and the military advisor to the Secretary of Defence and President. General Dempsey now sits on the Boards of TAPS amongst many other things. I was honoured to watch General Dempsey engage with the bereaved families and give hope and support to so many. He clearly loves the organisation and everything it stands for.”