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

24 hours CPRathon

16 October 2020 marked World Restart a Heart Day; a day that is used to help raise awareness of cardiac arrest. This year, it was also a day that was being used to raise money for SUPPORT OUR PARAS.

The team that make up the Paramedic Society at Anglia Ruskin University in Chelmsford this year held a 24 hour CPRathon. That’s right, they practised CPR for 24 hours in order to raise awareness and funds. Their reason for choosing to support us was very close to their hearts, as they did it in memory of their friend Pte Joe Berry, who died earlier this year.

The team said, “Last year we had the absolute privilege of having multiple individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds come down and ‘muck in’ with the 24 hours of CPR. Among these individuals was our amazing friend Joe Berry who was a serving Private in the Second Battalion Parachute Regiment (2PARA) at the time.

Joe pitching in at the 2019 CPRathon

“Joe had never undertaken prolonged CPR in his life and decided to take part in the ‘who can do the longest stint of CPR’ challenge. He totalled 2 whole hours of extremely high quality, solo-CPR, much to the amazement and clinical concern from ourselves and everyone else present!

“Sadly, Joe passed away earlier this year and left a huge hole in all our lives and hearts. So this year we will be fundraising for SUPPORT OUR PARAS in memory and dedication of our much beloved friend.”

They smashed their original target of £750 and then surpassed their second target of £1,000. To read more about their event and support them towards their new target, please visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/parasoc-aru

Snowdon Challenge

Paras are known for their courage, strength and true grit determination – Dan “Eddy” Edwards is a shining example of that! Eddy has defied all odds after being shot in the head in Afghanistan and learning to walk again. He, with the support of fellow comrades, is now taking on the epic challenge of climbing Snowdon on Saturday 29th August.

Eddy joined the Harrogate Military College in 2007 at the age of 16, before later going to Para Depot, passing P Company and joining 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment in December 2008.

In 2010, 3 weeks into a tour of Afghanistan, Eddy was shot in the head and suffered life changing injuries.

Eddy’s injury has affected every aspect of his life. He was in a coma for 2 months and wheelchair bound for years before learning to walk again. He still has no use of his left arm and hand at all, and minimal use of his left leg.

Eddy, along with a few of his friends, attempted to climb Snowdon last year but with zero training (and a slight hangover!) only managed to get half way up before making the decision to turn back. Since then he has trained hard and prepared himself to try again on August 29th. This time, he wants to raise funds for Support Our Paras.

Please visit their fundraising page and donate here.

Thank you and Good Luck to Eddy and his team!

The Parachute Regiment and Airborne Forces Charity