All posts by natalie

24 hours CPRathon

16 October 2020 marked World Restart a Heart Day; a day that is used to help raise awareness of cardiac arrest. This year, it was also a day that was being used to raise money for SUPPORT OUR PARAS.

The team that make up the Paramedic Society at Anglia Ruskin University in Chelmsford this year held a 24 hour CPRathon. That’s right, they practised CPR for 24 hours in order to raise awareness and funds. Their reason for choosing to support us was very close to their hearts, as they did it in memory of their friend Pte Joe Berry, who died earlier this year.

The team said, “Last year we had the absolute privilege of having multiple individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds come down and ‘muck in’ with the 24 hours of CPR. Among these individuals was our amazing friend Joe Berry who was a serving Private in the Second Battalion Parachute Regiment (2PARA) at the time.

Joe pitching in at the 2019 CPRathon

“Joe had never undertaken prolonged CPR in his life and decided to take part in the ‘who can do the longest stint of CPR’ challenge. He totalled 2 whole hours of extremely high quality, solo-CPR, much to the amazement and clinical concern from ourselves and everyone else present!

“Sadly, Joe passed away earlier this year and left a huge hole in all our lives and hearts. So this year we will be fundraising for SUPPORT OUR PARAS in memory and dedication of our much beloved friend.”

They smashed their original target of £750 and then surpassed their second target of £1,000. To read more about their event and support them towards their new target, please visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/parasoc-aru

Snowdon Challenge

Paras are known for their courage, strength and true grit determination – Dan “Eddy” Edwards is a shining example of that! Eddy has defied all odds after being shot in the head in Afghanistan and learning to walk again. He, with the support of fellow comrades, is now taking on the epic challenge of climbing Snowdon on Saturday 29th August.

Eddy joined the Harrogate Military College in 2007 at the age of 16, before later going to Para Depot, passing P Company and joining 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment in December 2008.

In 2010, 3 weeks into a tour of Afghanistan, Eddy was shot in the head and suffered life changing injuries.

Eddy’s injury has affected every aspect of his life. He was in a coma for 2 months and wheelchair bound for years before learning to walk again. He still has no use of his left arm and hand at all, and minimal use of his left leg.

Eddy, along with a few of his friends, attempted to climb Snowdon last year but with zero training (and a slight hangover!) only managed to get half way up before making the decision to turn back. Since then he has trained hard and prepared himself to try again on August 29th. This time, he wants to raise funds for Support Our Paras.

Please visit their fundraising page and donate here.

Thank you and Good Luck to Eddy and his team!

B Company run to Mt Longdon

B Coy 3 Para are going to commemorate this Battle, accompanied by members of B Coy “the Class of 82”, by doing a virtual run from Colchester to Port Stanley by the 11th June 2020.

A Incredible Total of 7,029 miles (12,761km)!

Described as the “bloodiest battle of the Falklands campaign” the 3rd Battalion of the Parachute Regiment would mount an attack on the Argentine 7th Infantry Regiment and other ad hoc additions. Hand to hand, with bayonet and grenade 3 Para would prevail.

Mount Longdon is a long narrow feature of rocky terrain, running from east to west with two summits. As a result of its geography only one company attacking could advance along it. The plan was that the rifle companies would be led to the start line at the stream, west of Mount Longdon by members of D (Patrol) Company. 

H hour was set for 0001hrs, 12 June 1982. The start line would be known as ‘Free Kick’. With B Coy (4, 5 and 6 Platoons) in the vanguard, 3 Para approached Mount Longdon in the dark.  On the left, one of 4 Platoon’s men, stepped on a mine and the alerted Argentines opened fire at the start of a battle that stretched through to dawn, ten hours later. On the right, 6 Platoon got on to the western summit with little fighting, but a by-passed bunker fired into them as they pushed through ‘Fly Half’, and later, when pinned down, they suffered a number of men killed by mainly sniper fire.

Meanwhile 4 and 5 Platoons, using anti-armour weapons against enemy bunkers, fought their way on to the western end, but as they attempted to move to the east came under heavy automatic fire. 4 Platoon’s Commander was wounded, platoon Sgt McKay took over, and collecting some of his men and Cpl Bailey moved in to knock out a heavy machine gun post. In an action which led to the posthumous award of the Victoria Cross, Sgt McKay and one of the men were killed, but the enemy position was silenced. Now a second heavy machine gun held up B Coy HQ and 5 Platoon. Sgt Fuller was put in charge of 4 Platoon and with support from 5 Platoon, tried to knock out this one, but without success.

Maj Argue now pulled back both 4 and 5 Platoons and called down artillery and naval gunfire on the enemy positions, after which a left flanking attack was put in, making some progress. Before long, they and the rest of B Coy found themselves under fire again, and having taken such heavy casualties, Lt Col Pike brought B Coy to a halt halfway along the Longdon summit ridge. As dawn broke, and with no possibility of exploiting forward, 3 Para started digging in on Mount Longdon to spend the next two days under heavy and accurate artillery fire.

Please support B Coy and donate  http://www.justgiving.com/bcoylongdon

Children Boost Morale to Isolated Veterans

Support Our Paras enlisted the help of local schools to create pieces of artwork and write cheery messages to send to our veterans to let them know they are very much in our thoughts at this very difficult time.

Colchester local schools – Montgomery Junior and Hamilton Primary, pulled out all the stops and were honoured to help the military community.

During the COVID-19 epidemic, when many of our Veterans who are over 70 or with health conditions, are having to self-isolate we wanted to reach out and let them know that we, The Parachute Regiment and Airborne Forces Charity (Support Our Paras) and wider community, are there to help and support and that they are not alone.

Many of our veteran recipients have seen active service in Operational Tours including NI and WW2 and were absolutely delighted with the fabulous pictures and words of comfort and can not thank the children enough for their thoughtful creations.

“Getting something beautiful through the post has really brightened my lockdown. I extend my sincere gratitude to the children for all their hardwork, and have proudly put mine on display” 96yrs- Ardennes/Rhine Crossing.

This week, 18-24 May, is Mental Health Awareness week and theme is Kindness. We are most grateful to all the children who took part, and to those still designing pieces, their acts of kindness have had a lasting impact on those who fought and served their country. Thank you.

If you need any help and support please do get in touch with our Head of Welfare at rwo@parawelfare.org.     Serving Personnel please contact your medical officer (MO).

Charity Merger

On the 1st January 2020 The Parachute Regiment Charity (PRC) and the Airborne Forces Security Fund (AFSF) merged to form The Parachute Regiment and Airborne Forces Charity (PRAFC).

The Charity will continue under the name Support our Paras and registered charity number 1131977.

Please read the joint letter from the Chairmen.