HUGE crowds turned out to for a fun day in Caerleon to support a charity which helps children whose parents have died while serving in the armed forces.

Around 3,000 people attended the Scotty’s Little Soldiers event at Caerleon Rugby Club on Saturday. There was face painting, a bouncy castle and a children’s military assault course before spectators enjoyed a rugby match between Caerleon Rugby Club and a Scotty’s Little Soldiers team.

The charity's team who won the match was made up of personnel from the armed forces including Dave Allison and Luke Simmonds of the Royal Welsh.

They were playing in memory of Corporal Mike Thacker, from Cwmbran, of the 1st Battalion, The Royal Welsh, who died in Afghanistan in 2012.

The charity was set up by Nikki Scott in 2009 after her husband Corporal Lee Scott was killed in action in Afghanistan. Mrs Scott who has two young children Kai,10, and Brooke, six, wanted to see children who had lost a parent smile again by sending them on holidays.

Paula Black, 42, of Crindau, Newport, is a fundraising co-ordinator for the charity, she said: "We have had such great support from local people in the community. It has been non-stop here all day.

"People have been so generous putting £10 and £20 notes in the buckets."

Ms Black's daughter Tegan Gottc-Black was just 17-months-old when her father Lance Corporal Richard Gottc of the Royal Logistic Corps died while on duty in Germany.

Ms Black said: "He had a heart attack while on duty - it was a big shock. Tegan has no recollection of her father.

"She’s now nine-years-old and has been involved with the charity since 2010. It's a fantastic charity which has been amazing for my daughter and for me.

“The children come together and they all understand what it’s like to have lost a father or mother in the armed forces."

The children receive Christmas and birthday presents as well as food vouchers around remembrance Sunday and vouchers on the day their parent passed away. The charity has holiday homes for the children to use at Haven holiday sites.

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