Leeds company donates thousands to bereaved children who have lost a parent in the Armed Forces
and live on Freeview channel 276
Rothwell-based Cox Automotive donated £1,620 to Scotty's Little Soldiers after an employee had to cancel his fundraising hike because of the pandemic.
Matthew Bamber, 46, an account director at the company, had originally planned this year to raise money for the charity by completing a hike through the Peak District with his fridge strapped to his back.
However, due to the current situation he has postponed his challenge until next summer but the company still agreed to pledge a large donation to help support the charity at a time when they need it the most.
Matthew, who has been at the company for 12 years, said: "I began fundraising for military charities five years ago, raising as much money as I could for Army veterans.
"I raise money by completing long hikes with a fridge strapped to my back, which is approximately the same weight as troops used to carry in their packs during the Falklands.
"A couple of years later I came across Scotty’s Little Soldiers and was blown away by the support they provide for bereaved Armed Forces children.
"Following the birth of my daughter, Scotty’s really struck a chord with me and I began fundraising for Scotty’s Little Soldiers also.
"I’m so pleased that my employers, Cox Automotive, have supported Scotty’s with the incredible donation of £1,620 through the Cox Automotive Community Foundation, which was created to give something back to the important causes in our communities.”
Cox Automotive’s Strategic Account Director and Community Foundation Chairman Gerry Whittington said: “From the application that Matthew put forward, it was clear that Scotty’s was a charity close to his heart.
"The application completely tugged at our heart strings and we knew instantly that we wanted to make a donation.
As a company we couldn’t be prouder to be helping incredible charities within our local communities.
"Scotty’s Little Soldiers is a prime example of a charity that does so much for so many people, and truly deserves our support.
Gerry added: “Two or three times a year, Cox Automotive provides the opportunity for employees to put forward worthwhile charities close to their hearts, to receive donations from the business.
"As a family-owned company, we’re incredibly passionate about ‘doing the right thing’ and making a difference to the people in our local communities. Since 2014 we’ve helped 176 charities and aim to support many more over the coming years."
Using the money donated, three families who have lost a loved one who served in the Armed Forces will be provided with a Scotty’s respite break, allowing them to create new and happy memories together as a family.
Scotty’s Little Soldiers was founded in 2010 by war widow Nikki Scott, a year after her husband, Corporal Lee Scott, was killed in action.
The charity arranges for bereaved Forces families to go on respite breaks, organises special events, sends presents to the children at extra difficult times of year, offers wellbeing care, as well as educational support and grants.
In recent months, 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 well-being support to families who are suffering from enhanced anxiety and other problems due to the current health crisis.
Nikki said: “We cannot thank businesses like Cox Automotive enough for their generous donation which will help us provide integral support to children who have suffered such a devastating loss.
"Matthew has been an incredible supporter of Scotty’s, so we’d like to say a big thank you to him for putting us forward for the donation and we can’t wait to hear more about his fridge hiking challenge next year.
“Respite breaks are so incredibly important in bringing families back together to create memories in a safe place, where they can smile and feel like themselves again. With Cox Automotive’s donation, we’ll be able to send three Scotty’s families on a respite break which they so incredibly deserve.”
To find out more about Scotty’s Little Soldiers, visit: https://www.scottyslittlesoldiers.co.uk/