John McDonald Supports Our Paras

John McDonaldJohn McDonald is a former member of the Parachute Regiment and has worked tirelessly to support our Regiment’s charities.

John is currently a Master of Ceremonies for Sky Sports and has often secured the support of Sky darts players and boxers to help raise funds to support our Paras.

This time, John has come up with the fantastic idea to have a pair of boxing gloves on the set of Sky’s show Ringside for a year.  Throughout the year, boxers and other sports personalities who appear as guests on the show will be asked to sign the gloves and show their support for SUPPORT OUR PARAS.  These gloves will be one of a kind and an extremely unique item that will be auctioned off at the end of the year.

We will keep you updated with the names of those who have signed the gloves so far.

PARA Platoon Documentary Shortlisted For Award

In 2014, Forces TV filmed a series entitled ‘PARA Platoon: Earning the Maroon Beret’ which gave people the chance to have a look at what it takes to become a Paratrooper by following recruits through training.

The series, which was filmed at PARA Coy based at Catterick Garrison, has been short listed for the “Best Documentary” award in this year’s EVCOM Screen Awards.  The EVCOM Screen Awards are recognised as the premier mark of excellence for effective business, television, film, video and digital media.  Winning an EVCOM Screen Award brings with it national and international recognition and there is no higher accolade for creativity, originality, production expertise and sheer effectiveness in communication.

The winner’s will be announced at a dinner on 27th March but in the meantime, if you missed it the first time round, check out PARA Platoon here.

Victoria Cross Winner

From Lieutenant General John Lorimer DSO MBE, Colonel Commandant of The Parachute Regiment.

Lance Corporal Josh Leakey, who has been awarded the Victoria Cross for valour on the battlefield in southern Afghanistan, typifies the spirit and ethos of The Parachute Regiment. On the 22nd August 2013, Lance Corporal Leakey deployed as part of a mission into a Taliban stronghold, to disrupt a key insurgent group. Displaying inspirational leadership, well above that expected of his rank, Lance Corporal Leakey’s actions single-handedly regained the initiative and prevented considerable loss of life.

VC winner LCpl J Leakey
Lance Corporal Leakey

His exemplary conduct in the face of heavy and accurate enemy fire epitomises The Parachute Regiment’s watchwords of professionalism, discipline, courage and self-reliance. He is the recipient of the Nation’s highest honour that a soldier can receive and all ranks of The Parachute Regiment and the wider Airborne Forces family are exceptionally proud of him.

On their behalf and as Colonel Commandant of The Parachute Regiment, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Lance Corporal Leakey on this singular and most deserved award.

Lance Corporal Leakey’s valour serves to remind us of the words of Field Marshal The Viscount Montgomery of Alamein in his tribute to British paratroopers after the Second World War:

‘They have shown themselves to be as tenacious and determined in defence as they are courageous in attack. They are, in fact, men apart – every man an Emperor’.

‘Utrinque Paratus – Ready for Anything’.

Read the letter from the Colonel Commandant. Read the Citation from the London Gazette

Letter from Col CmdtVictoria Cross medal

Allianz Park

Saracens Bucket Collection

SaracensOur thanks go to Alex  Macintyre at Saracens for organising for SUPPORT OUR PARAS to bucket collect at the Saracens Home Ground, Alliance Park on Sunday 8th February 2015.

Dom Hill, the Regimental Welfare Officer, along with his two daughters Annabel, Emily, friends Chloe Howard, George Roberts, Tel Reeves, Colin and Sandie Smith turned out to help us.

We were also pleased that Pete Gospel & Warren Learmouth from the Eltham & Chislehurst branch of the PRA turned out to give their support.

Colin and Sandie tried their best but don’t think they made much difference to the total since Annabel and Emily were the stars of the day, coming up with a rap about Saracens and SUPPORT OUR PARAS, which the Saracens supporters appreciated and added to our collection.  Pete and Warren are seasoned bucket collectors and worked tirelessly to raise as much as possible.

Our total for the day was £1,340.  A big thank you goes to all who took part and to Saracens for giving us the opportunity to collect at their home game.

Lord Leycester Hospital

353 Annual Fundraising Dinner

353 Annual BallOn Saturday 7th February 2015, 353 held their annual ball in the magnificent setting of the Lord Leycester  Hospital, Warwick which dates back to 1400.

Tony and Sandi Lewis started the 353 Charity after losing their son Conrad in Afghanistan on the 11th Feb 2011.  There are 3 charities that benefit from their hard work and dedication, one being the SUPPORT OUR PARAS Charity.

The evening was well attended and a great time was had by all. Tony presented our Ops director Colin Smith MBE with a cheque for £20,353 which was gratefully received.

Tony and Sandi work tirelessly throughout the year raising funds by many means to support all three charities.  Tony and Sandi Lewis are very busy individuals but always make time to support our Regiment.

A BIG thank you to both for all you have done over many years.

The Parachute Regiment Charity