Military charity Scotty’s Little Soldiers, which supports children and young people who have experienced the death of a parent who served in the armed forces, has re-shaped its Springboard programme for adults aged 18-25 to ensure they get sufficient support.
Scotty’s founder, Nikki Scott, explains: “Turning 18 is a huge milestone in a young person’s life. They may have finished their education journey, they might be joining the workforce, starting training, further education or looking to start a family of their own. Scotty’s wants to be there to support them for their next chapter, particularly as it’s a time where the absence of their parent might feel as apparent as ever.”
The Springboard programme is designed specifically for bereaved young adults with the aim of providing them with life skills and career opportunities, as well as the chance to mentor younger Scotty’s members.
Programme leader, Emma Peppercorn, says: “When a young person turns 18, they legally become an adult, so it feels right we should treat them like an adult too.”
Those joining the programme will be known as ‘Springboarders’ rather than ‘Scotty’s members’ and receive support with securing education placements, help with getting into employment, general information and guidance, access to a range of grants and the opportunity to get to know other bereaved young adults.
Nikki added: “Accessing the Springboard programme is a really positive step. We know how huge the impact the death of a parent is, and we are working hard to ensure we provide the best support.”
Scotty’s also offers support to bereaved forces children through three other family initiatives – the Smiles programme focuses on fun and community, the Support scheme looks after emotional health and wellbeing and the Strides programme helps with education and development.