Category Archives: News

Can You Help Us To Help Jon?

At just 24 years old, paratrooper Jon became C4 tetraplegic, with no movement from his neck down, following a road traffic accident. His dreams of joining the SAS and having a full military career like his father, uncle and grandfather were taken away. But now there is a chance for him to lead a more independent life, thanks to a ‘Jaco’ robot arm.

www.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/robotarmforjon

At 16 years old, Jon started his training to become a Paratrooper. He was Champion Recruit at his passing out and joined C Coy 3PARA. In 2003, he did a tour of Iraq. His intention was to join Sniper Company and try for SAS selection.

Jon has no movement below his neck and controls his daily life through a chin-operated joystick on his electric wheelchair

However, in 2003, Jon suffered a catastrophic injury in a Road Traffic Accident and has been C4 tetraplegic ever since: no movement from his neck down; for 18 years, his sole but limited control of his daily life has been through a chin-operated joystick on his electric wheelchair; worlds away from the SAS Sniper life he was working towards.

Jon wants what all of us want, a more active and meaningful life and to be able to make an active contribution to society. He has recently enrolled in an Open University course as a start point. However, his tetraplegia has presented new obstacles even to online learning, as well as daily living.

His family recently became aware of a ‘Jaco’ robotic arm, which could radically transform Jon’s life by allowing him independence and the ability to complete tasks that able-bodied people take for granted, like eating, switching on lights, scratching your own itches and taking a selfie!

A ‘Jaco’ arm would radically improve Jon’s quality of life

As you might expect, this tech doesn’t come cheap. This is where we need your help.

Jon is one of our own and family take care of each other. But there may be other brothers out there who one day may need the same help. Your donations will support Jon and others like him.

Visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/robotarmforjon to help us reach our target.

7 Marathons in 7 Days

Ben Tench has just completed 7 marathons in 7 days. Let that sink in; 7 marathons in 7 days. That’s just under 200 miles in 7 days. His reason? To raise money for us and Pilgrim Bandits Charity.

Not content with just running the distance, Ben chose to TAB this mammoth event carrying an impressive 80lb bergan with him. Ben said, “I wanted to test my endurance with this event and raise money for SUPPORT OUR PARAS and Pilgrim Bandits charity respectively.”

He is almost at his target of £5,000 but needs your help to give him that last push to the finish line. You can donate via his page here.

Pilgrim Vizsla 2021 Fundraiser

Jon Fletcher and his Hungarian Vizsla, Belle, will be running/tabbing 1,200 miles in 2021 to raise money for SUPPORT OUR PARAS.

Jon says, “A recent change of career (which has helped both mentally, medically & personal) has given me time to concentrate on what I do best with my dogs – long distance Mountain running / Tabbing.

“We are lucky during lockdown that we live in an area of South Wales that we can go onto trails straight from our front door to train. If and when lockdown ends, we will hit National Trails and if events ever do continue during 2021 then as part of events.”

Although Jon will mainly be running with Belle, he has a four dog team that will assist when Belle is having a day off. Meet the team:

Otto, Yogi, Ode and Belle

Belle – 19 months old and small for a Vizsla (she was the runt of the litter) but hard as nails and is an all weather dog.

Ode – 4.5 year old Hungarian Vizsla with one eye.  Muscles of the Team and Belle’s older half-brother. Works better in warmer climate and is a tank going up hills & mountains.

Yogi  – 7 year old Husky. Plant pot, a bit of a bluffer and works better in colder weather.

Otto – 12 year old Husky and Senior Tom. Seen it all and only puts a minimal amount in now due to his age but still has it mentally. Works well in all weathers.

You can follow their progress on Facebook, Instagram and Strava. To help them reach their target, you can donate via their fundraising page Pilgrim Vizsla is fundraising for SUPPORT OUR PARAS (justgiving.com)

Charity Snapshot 2020

It has been a challenging year for so many of us and we are all continuing to adapt to this new normal. Fundraising has been affected hugely in 2020 across the charity sector. We had to cancel a number of events, but have been working hard to try virtual and online events instead.

With your support, we were able to continue our work supporting our Airborne family in the way they deserve. Your support helped us do that, so thank you.

On behalf of all of us here at SUPPORT OUR PARAS, we’d like to say a very big thank you, and wish you and yours a safe and happy Christmas.

There are always people around to help, even during the festive period. If you need support or advice, please contact our Head of Welfare, Laura, on HoW@supportourparas.org. Alternatively, there are a number of organisations you can contact to talk to someone. You are not alone.

Christmas Hampers 2020

Christmas is a time of giving and for SUPPORT OUR PARAS, this means the gift of festive cheer.

Every Christmas it has become a tradition for our charity to send a hamper to our veterans in need. These veterans are our Airborne brothers who may have previously been homeless, suffering with their mental health, are lonely and isolated or indeed suffering financially and in need of some support at this time of year, especially in a year of Covid-19.

Every hamper recipient is nominated by local Parachute Regimental Association branches and they include veterans of all ages, as well as a number of Chelsea Pensioners. 

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Pte Geoff Roberts with his hamper

The charity sends out some 450 hampers each year, with each one costing £85. They are packed full of tinned food, biscuits, tea and coffee and many other things to help our veterans enjoy the Christmas period.

This year, we are asking for your support to continue sending these wonderful gifts. 2020 has been a strange year for everyone and we know that many have suffered financially, but any donation towards the cost of these hampers will be most gratefully received. Please visit virginmoneygiving.com/fund/SOPHampers