Serving Para is raising funds on UK drag car racing scene

Serving Para Clarke has taken the SUPPORT OUR PARAS name on to the drag car racing scene.  With some much needed upgrades to ensure it can reach the speeds needed on the circuit, the car, called ‘Never Forgotten’, will be raising funds and promoting the charity when it races.

The car’s race number, 453, is a tribute to the number of British soldiers lost in Afghanistan and Clarke hopes the car will become known as a tribute to the fallen.

Clarke Hillyard 'Never Forgotten'The car made its debut outing recently at the end of the UK drag racing season and the car proved to be a popular talking point, with many people asking about the charity as well.  Clarke managed 4 passes and also got a new personal best at 12.7 on the ¼ mile track.  The car will be put through its paces during testing over the next few months, ready to race again when the season begins next year.

Big thanks to Clarke for choosing to give something back and we wish him all the best when the season begins again next year!

Colonel-in-Chief visits The Parachute Regiment Depot

The Parachute Regiment’s Colonel-in-Chief, His Royal Highness Prince Charles of Wales KG, KT, PC, GCB, AK, QSO, ADC(P), visited The Parachute Regiment Depot on 10th September 2015.

Despite a tight schedule The Prince of Wales made time to have a photograph taken with all the training teams before being treated to a Trainasium demonstration by the young recruits. Accompanied by The Regimental Colonel, Lt Col Radbourne, The Prince of Wales also took the time to talk to members from all three Battalions, as well as a selection of recruits, where he was pleased to hear that many in the audience had come in from leave especially.

Wigley Golf Day Raises Funds for our PARAS

The Wigley Group recently hosted a charity golf day in Daventry raising more than £16,000 for the charity.

Over 150 guests attended Staverton Park De Vere for The Wigley Group’s annual golf open and gala dinner in aid of SUPPORT OUR PARAS.  The event was attended by major sports stars including multi world boxing champion Ricky Hatton MBE, who delivered a special address, as well as snooker world champion Stuart Bingham and sports promotor Barry Hearn.

Other VIPs included Jake Wood, also known as Max Branning from EastEnders, boxing stars Micky Cantwell and Spencer Oliver and darts players Wayne Mardle, Steve Beaton and Colin Lloyd.

John McDonald, former Paratrooper and TV sports announcer, hosted the event and guests also heard from injured members of the Parachute Regiment who shared their stories about how the Support Our Paras charity had helped them.

Sports memorabilia including football shirts signed by former Brazilian football player Pelé and former Argentine football player Diego Maradona were auctioned at the event.

Robert Wigley, managing director of The Wigley Group a property, risk and facilities management company based in Coventry, said: “It is the third time we have hosted the event and it has only grown from strength to strength.

“It was an action-packed day with 22 teams teeing off in the morning and then over 150 guests joining us for the evening gala dinner.

“Ricky Hatton was a fantastic guest speaker and entertained us all during a speech about his career and the challenges that followed.

“Guests also had the opportunity to take pictures with the multi-world boxing champion and current world snooker champion Stuart Bingham.

“Current and former members of the Parachute Regiment as well as the Support Our Paras racing team were also in attendance and interacted with guests throughout the event.

“We were overwhelmed by the support and generosity of all those that attended and are delighted to be able to hand over £16, 567 to Support Our Paras which has already helped so many injured paratroopers and their families overcome difficult challenges.”

Paras Racing

Paras Racing hit by double trouble

Support Our Paras Racing and Derek Palmer endured what could best be described as a “character building” weekend in the latest round of the British Touring Car Championship at Knockhill.

Forced to retire in races one and three, and shunted off-track in races one and two, Palmer and his team were left frustrated and reflecting on what might have been.

“This is the first weekend that the pace of the car has been very, very good,” Palmer — whose TENA Men-backed Infiniti Q50 is prepared by injured ex-servicemen from the Parachute Regiment, with all team profits being donated to Support Our Paras, the official Regiment charity — explained.

“The car felt very strong right through the whole weekend. The pace was there, but the frustrating thing was we just couldn’t translate it into a result.

“The boys did an absolutely fantastic job all weekend, and they deserved far more than what we got. The balance of the car was good, and it felt strong; and but for the actions of a couple of other drivers, we’d have delivered some really strong results.”

In the day’s opening race at the 1.27-mile circuit in Fife, Palmer had eased himself up to 19th from 24th on the grid before he was spun on lap nine of the scheduled 24 following contact from the side by the Toyota of Stewart Lines.

The impact pitched Palmer, the 28-year-old Zurich-based Scot from Lesmahagow, into the gravel, and though he managed to rejoin the track he was immediately forced to retire as his car had suffered rear left suspension damage.

In race two, Palmer was denied a potential top 15 result when, again, he was pitched off the track when the Toyota of Robb Holland hit him from behind exiting the Hairpin.

Paras racingThe impact propelled Palmer’s car on to the soggy sloping grassy infield. Beached and unable to gain any traction, the Scot ultimately dropped a lap while marshals pushed his car back on to the track.

“The impact from Robb ruined my race,” Palmer, who eventually finished third-fastest BTCC rookie and 21st overall, explained. “I got beached in the boggy grass on the infield, the car was slithering and sliding about all over the place and I couldn’t get any traction.

“Thankfully the marshals came and pushed me back on to the track, but by that time I’d gone a lap down.

“I’d made a good start, made up about three places and was tucked up right on the rear bumper of Jack Goff, who had Tom Ingram right in front of him.

“I knew they were two good, fast, sensible guys to have in front of me and I knew we’d make progress through the field. The fact Tom went on to finish 13th and Jack 14th shows how far up we potentially could have finished.

“And to rub salt into the wound, it’s not helped by the fact Rob went on to finish 16th!”

To round off a miserable weekend for the team, racing on its home circuit in the BTCC for the first time, Palmer was forced to retire after 15 laps of the final race when his car suffered a broken driveshaft.

“Naturally it’s been disappointing, but in motorsport sometimes you get race weekends like this,” Palmer admitted.

“The main thing is we dust ourselves down and come back out fighting ready to deliver on-track when we head to Rockingham in a fortnight.”

Photos: Copyright Jakob Ebrey

Fern White Show

The Fern White Show

We have been fortunate enough to be selected as one of the chosen charities for The Fern White Show for the last few years.

The show is a horse show, which was established in 2012 to raise funds for The Parachute Regiment Charity and Riding for the Disabled following the death of Fern White.  Fern was a keen horse woman and along with her daughter, her two ponies meant the world to her.  Fern’s father was a PARA back in the day and is currently the Secretary of one of The Parachute Regimental Association Branches, so supporting the Regiment was something that Fern had always been passionate about.

Fern White ShowThe day is jam packed with classes for riders of all ages and a number of different prizes on offer.  This year’s show took place in July and the charity received a generous £700 following the success on the day.

The date for next year has already been announced and will take place on 10 July 2016.  For more information, or to sign up visit The Fern White Show’s website.

The Parachute Regiment Charity