Jonny, ex-PARA, is hoping to raise awareness of the importance of looking after our soldiers mental health when he attempts a World Record at The Toughest Footrace on Earth, the Marathon Des Sables this April.
Jonny says, “I will be carrying a weighted vest which weighs 10kg. The reason I will be wearing the weighted vest is because it represents Body Armour. When you go to war you wear Body Armour to protect you against bombs and bullets, but nothing PROTECTS YOUR MIND. I want to make a very clear visual statement about soldiers’ and veterans’ mental health.
“I served in The Parachute Regiment, in all 3 Battalions and deployed on multiple tours of Afghanistan. Over those tours, I was involved in incidents that I struggled to process on my return and with the help of Support Our Paras I was able to find therapy and get my life back on track. I want to raise money for the charity so that others may find help and hopefully I can do it with this crazy challenge!”
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 after the impact of Covid-19.
In 2020, the charity sent out 393 hampers, 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. 2021 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.
There is currently some opportunities available to advertise in Pegasus Journal.
Pegasus is the Journal of The Parachute Regiment and Airborne Forces. In total, Pegasus regularly reaches some 6,000 serving personnel, and our readers also include a large number of former members of the Airborne Forces, including members of the Parachute Regimental Association and other veterans.
The Journal is published annually, with the next edition available early in 2022. If you would like more information on the advertising space available, please email FCM@supportourparas.org
The Parachute Regiment is proud of its Shetland pony mascots, Pegasus and Bruneval. Pegasus, named after the mythical winged horse, symbol of British Airborne Forces since 1942, is the fifth pony to carry the name. He stars alone on parade in his livery but ponies like company at home, so Bruneval named after one of the Regiments World War Two battle honours – is his companion and a reserve if he is taken ill. Bruneval is also the naughtier of the two!
Mascots need a good temperament for parades as they will meet many people, hear shouting and noise, including military vehicles, planes and helicopters. Pegasus V has met anyone from HRH Prince Charles, to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and TV stars Ant and Dec.
Our pony mascots cost about £10,000 a year for food, stabling, shoes, tack, travel and vet bills. This funding comes from our charity Support our Paras (Registered Charity 1131977), which also looks after our wounded soldiers, veterans, widows and families in need and distress. This is where you can help us.
For just £35 you can donate to adopt Pegasus, helping with his feed and bills. Through your generosity to the ponies we can give more assistance to our soldiers and families. In return we will send you an Adoption Pack. Full details can be found at Adopt a Parachute Regiment Pony Mascot – JustGiving
On 3 October 2021, Charlene Steele made her big brother and ex-PARA Kirk McLaughlin proud, as she took part in the Virgin Money London Marathon in his memory.
Kirk joined 3 PARA in 2003 in what Charlene describes as one of the best days of his life. He went on to complete two tours (Northern Ireland and Afghanistan) before sustaining a hip injury during a jump, which led to him being medically discharged. Kirk also suffered from PTSD and bipolar disorder, and without the Army, his illness got worse and he became lost.
Charlene says, “He served for Queen and country for 12 years, he had friendships and love. But when Kirk was on civi street, he suffered; he found it hard to communicate with the outside world, he found it hard to trust and we as a family saw his daily struggles, not just mentally, but also physically. It broke my heart to watch; he couldn’t carry the pain no more, he wanted to be free and wanted to spread his wings.”
“I never thought about running the marathon, but when I see first hand the work that SUPPORT OUR PARAS do, I wrote to them explaining why I would love to run the London Marathon for them. I am truly grateful they have given me the opportunity to fulfil it, so if you can find it in your hearts and help me along the way.”
We are very proud that Charlene ran for us this year. Her fundraising page raised over £3,000 with Gift Aid, which is amazing.
The Parachute Regiment and Airborne Forces Charity