Category Archives: News

100 Peaks Challenge

On the 23rd May 2017 a Challenge Team embarked on a life defining journey. Their Goal was Simple, the Task, Monumental, the Reason, Inspirational.

Karl Rushen, long time supporter of SUPPORT OUR PARAS, founded The 100 Peaks Challenge a few years ago in memory of his brother Lloyd (Lloydy) who was KIA in Afghanistan 2011.

The Challenge started at Inverness in Scotland, on the 23.05.17, (the day Lloydy deployed on his last tour) and finished on Pen Y Fan on 16.06.17 (the day he was killed).

The Challenge was to run 100 Peaks in the UK, all above 610m (2000ft) – approx. 45 in Scotland, 25 in England (The Lake District), 1 on the Isle of Man and 29 in Wales (Snowdonia & The Brecon Beacons). The team began in Scotland, before heading across to the Isle of Man, crossing the Irish Sea in sea kayaks. They then crossed the Irish Sea for a second time back to the Isle of Whithorn to then cycle on to the Lakes. The final leg in Wales began in Snowdonia and culminated with cycling from Capel Curig to the Brecon Beacons finishing with the ‘Fan Dance’ at the Summit of Pen Y Fan.

The Challenge was a genuine attempt at something quite epic. It encompassed three disciplines that are demanding enough on their own, but are then thrown together in an extreme triathlon. This, with the logistics of attempting to summit 100 Peaks in 4 countries in 25 days, meant it was a first.

The 100 Peaks Challenge is raising money for SUPPORT OUR PARAS and ABF The Soldiers’ Charity.  You can still donate to Karl and his team, please visit their fundraising page.

The Parachute Regiment at Inferno

This summer, a team of 4 Paras will take part in the Inferno Half Marathon in Switzerland. The team are raising money for SUPPORT OUR PARAS and The Alexander Fairey Memorial Fund (AFMF).

At 10.15am on 19th August 2017, the team from The Parachute Regiment will cross the start line in its attempt to complete the Inferno Half Marathon. The route is 13.1 miles long with a gain of 2,175m and must be completed in no more than 4 Hours and 15 minutes. Starting from Lauterbrunnen, 795m the course gains height as it winds its way through the Swiss Alpine villages finishing at the top of the iconic Schilthorn mountain, 2,970m. To make things that more challenging for the team, they will complete the course each carrying a bergen weighing 44lbs, a test of true airborne grit and determination; embodying the Regimental Ethos.

The AFMF was created in memory of Alexander Fairey, a Captain in the Parachute Regiment who served in both 2 and 3 PARA conducting operations in Northern Ireland and training for arctic warfare in Northern Norway. The aim of The Alexander Fairey Memorial Fund (AFMF) is to assist young soldiers and officers from both his former Regiments. The fund extends its reach to young people from Hampshire and the Test Valley in particular to pursue and benefit from the same challenging and character-building activities that Alex enjoyed so much. 2017 marks the 20th anniversary of Alex’s passing, making the event even more poignant.

The Inferno Half Marathon race embodies the adventurous, airborne spirit which both SUPORT OUR PARAS and AFMF seeks to promote. To support the Inferno team, please visit https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/inferno

Operation Corporate 2017

A team of guys from The Bricklayers Arms in Stondon Massey are off to The Falklands to attempt a walk from Port San Carlos to Port Stanley to raise money for SUPPORT OUR PARAS.

The team is led by LCpl Steve Harnden who was with 3 PARA during the Falklands War. Steve was shot and injured at Mt Longdon and never made it to Port Stanley, but this time he will make it.

The team consists of 5 walkers and 2 support team, and each guy will carry everything they need for the 4 day walk, including all camping supplies to pitch their accommodation for the nights.

Show Steve and the team your support by visiting their fundraising page at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/OC2017

Team Breya

On 13 January 2017, 2 year old Breya Ward, daughter of Sgt Ollie Ward and Holly Robinson, was diagnosed with Stage 4 High Risk Neuroblastoma. This very rare and aggressive cancer affects children under the age of 6 and it has grown on Breya’s adrenal gland and consumed her whole stomach; it has also spread to her bones and bone marrow.

Breya is currently undergoing a very intense type of Chemotherapy which will last over 18-20 months as her tumour is currently inoperable.

Devastatingly, 50% of stage 4 Neuroblastoma patients will relapse within 2 years. If this happens, the UK and the NHS does not currently have any treatments or pathways for curing this. This means, that in the case of the cancer returning, the only option Breya has is to travel to the USA for new trial therapies which could save her life. This treatment would cost somewhere in the region of £250,000.

SUPPORT OUR PARAS are appealing to supporters to help raise the necessary funds to support Breya’s treatment. A designated fund will be set up within the charity where all money raised will be held for a period of years so Breya can access the medical treatment she may need in this time. If for any reason the funds raised are in excess of what is required, they will convert into unrestricted funds that SUPPORT OUR PARAS will use to support other Paras and their families.

Please visit https://mydonate.bt.com/events/teambreya/436188 to donate towards the Team Breya fund. An amount of money has already been raised on a personal fundraising page, but there is still a long way to go to reach the target amount.  Donations made through the charity mean we can claim Gift Aid and give that little bit extra towards the cause.  If you are organising an event, please contact the Charity Secretary, Natalie, for help and advice on secretary@supportourparas.org

Wigley Support Fund helps first beneficiary

Pictured above, from left to right, are James Davies, director at The Wigley Group, Robert Wigley, managing director of The Wigley Group, and Lance Corporal Gavin Prue.

Charity has begun at home for a Coventry company which has launched a fund to help soldiers take the first step onto a new career ladder.

The Wigley Support Fund (WSF) has been set up by The Wigley Group to retrain soldiers identified by The Parachute Regiment charity Support Our Paras.

The first beneficiary is Coventry-born Lance Corporal Gavin Prue who is being helped with the cost of studying an access to higher education in computing at the city’s Henley College.

LCpl Prue is leaving the Army in July after 10 years’ service and hopes the course will enable him to study for a degree in computer science at Coventry University and lead to a career in cyber security.

The commercial property company has raised £63,000 from The Wigley Group Golf Open & Gala Dinner over the last four years for Support Our Paras, which supports the welfare of serving and injured soldiers and their families.

Money raised from this year’s event on Wednesday, July 19 at Staverton Park De Vere, near Daventry, will go directly to the Wigley Support Fund to specifically help soldiers towards the cost of training for a new profession.

LCpl Prue, aged 25, who lives in Bedworth, has spent nine years with The Parachute Regiment and served all over the world including active deployment to Helmand in Afghanistan.

He said: “Before joining the Army, I went to Henley College for about three months to do a BTEC course in computing so I am now going back to where I left off.

“Having left school with next to no education, The Wigley Group has been kind enough to fund an access course which will hopefully enable me to go to university and ultimately pursue a career in cyber security.  It’s a fantastic opportunity and I’m immensely grateful.

“The Army is a brilliant career and it can be quite daunting to leave the security of it. The Wigley Support Fund will be invaluable in helping soldiers like myself have a better chance of finding a new path.”

Robert Wigley, managing director of The Wigley Group, said: “We have been a proud supporter of Support Our Paras over the last four years, raising £63,000 to help the charity with the welfare of serving and injured soldiers and their families.

“We have launched this new initiative as a fund in agreement with Support Our Paras which will see the money we raise used specifically to retrain soldiers, equipping them with new skills for a new start.

“As a company we have a corporate social responsibility to support charities and to help our local community to the best of our ability, and we are delighted that the first beneficiary of The Wigley Support Fund is from our area.

“The funding will enable LCpl Prue to follow his dream of a new career in cyber security and we look forward to helping more soldiers like him.”

Former England football player and manager Kevin Keegan OBE will be the special guest and dinner speaker at this year’s Wigley Group Golf Open & Gala Dinner, which attracts around 200 business professionals.

To enter a team or sponsor this year’s event, contact gemma@thewigleygroup.com