July 30th, 2014

The Afghanistan Trust thanks all who attended, some of who have attended year after year. It is only with this continued support that the Summer Ball is such a success.

This year we were pleased to have the Band of The Parachute Regiment who started the evening with professionalism and great music which was a fantastic start to the Ball.  Our guests enjoyed a free-fall display by the Red Devils who made an impressive display across the skies of London.                   reddevilsband



There was a display of weapons and  equipment used by the Para’s during World  War 2.  Our thanks go to The Parachute  Regiment’s Museum for their Participation.




Time to move to the dining room. The evening began with the 4Para’s Colour Party marching into the dining room and posting The Regimental Colours.


After dinner Arnhem veteran Johnny Peters who is over 90 years of age recalled his time as a Glider Veteran during the Battle for Arnhem. He spoke of the war veteran’s pensions and the need for the support that the Afghanistan Trust gives to our soldiers.  We thank Johnny for his attendance and support to the Afghan Trust.  image014Tom Neathway, a wounded soldier from The Regiment took to the stage and spoke candidly about his experiences and explained how The Afghanistan Trust has helped him since he received his injuries. Tom is a member of a team along with some other wounded ex-soldiers of the Regiment.  The audience listened to Tom and Johnny’s stories and showed their appreciation with a fantastic round of applause. image005


Rob Wigley of the Wigley Group Presented the Chairman Col Stuart Tootal with a cheque of £14,500 which was raised at the Wrigley’s Annual Golf and Gala Ball in June.





After the speeches, the auction began. The main item auctioned off was a flight in a Spitfire which drew a bid of £6,800.  Two items were kindly donated by NISSAN which included their VIP Box at The O2 for 18 people, and 2VIP tickets for a British Supper Bike event at Silverstone. We thank NISSAN for their continued support. A Tandem Jump and many other auction items made for a very successful auction.

Now it was time to hit the dance floor, relax and enjoy the rest of the evening. The evening was a great success raising substantial funds for the Trust.



Thank you goes to Bernard Cribbins and his wife Jill for their attendance. Bernard is an ex Para and  attended our St Dunstan’s  Remembrance Service as the main speaker.


We thank all those who attended, supported us and those who made contributions on the evening in many ways.



A final and massive thank you must go to BARCLAYS who sponsored the whole event for a second year. BARCLAYS have been a great supporter of the Afghanistan Trust since its conception and we send our heartfelt appreciation to all at BARCLAYS.       


Please follow this link to see more pictures from the ball:      





July 29th, 2014

at-small-image1 copy 3A Group of Ex Para’s are riding to Arnhem and are trying to follow the flight path of the aircraft that were involved in Operation Market Garden (The battle of Arnhem) This is being led by Matt Hellyer Ex 3 Para Matt has just got over a very serious illness and to do this is an outstanding effort.

You can help Matt, Jord, Steve, Sibbs and Paul raise money for this great cause by donating directly to their fundraising page – JustGiving sends your donation straight to The Parachute Regiment Afghanistan Trust and automatically reclaims Gift Aid if you are a UK taxpayer, so your donation is worth even more.  The route:

This will start on the 17 Sept and will finish on the DZ on the 20 Sept 14.

The 5 ex Para troopers are planning to ride for 3/4 days and will have 1 x support vehicle.

The route for leg 1 should take them from the West down to Whitehall, London where the group has organised a charity bash in a local pub called ‘The Constituition’ in Pimlico on the Wednesday night (17th). This where many of the Chelsea pensioners hang out so the group is hoping the event should be interesting.

Leg 2 on Thursday takes them from Whitehall to Harwich via Colchester and hopefully arrange a bit of publicity with the Battalions support before boarding the ferry to Hook of Holland, Rotterdam.

Leg 3 will then start on Friday morning from the port/ Rotterdam to Arnhem and a huge ride of 120 Miles to reach the  Camp site outside Arnhem.

Leg 4 on Saturday morning will go from the camp site to the DZ  and a well earned beer with the boys.

Please support these paratroopers helping their own. It doesn’t get any better.



July 27th, 2014

pour-deTony Lewis the Father of Conrad who was sadly killed in Afghanistan whilst serving with 3 Para is raising funds  for 4 Charities.

He has organised a  charity cycle event at Mallory Park on August 17th. It’s a cycle challenge for everyone from committed teams to relays or individuals. While 353 need the entrance fee to cover costs  the idea is that people can raise money for their own charities, so if you get people along they can raise funds directly for you but use the fantastic facility that we have for the day. It’s a 7 hour challenge with breaks on a 1.2 mile circuit – a team of 4 should do a combined 353 miles in that time or there abouts! Please follow the link below and support this worthy cause


The Wigley Group Open 2013 and Gala Dinner – A Night of Champions – RAISE £14.5K

June 18th, 2014

On 11 June 2014 The Wigley Group sponsored a Golf Competition and Gala Dinner in support of The Afghanistan Trust. Each competitor in the golf competition was paired with a sports celebrity for the match. A host of celebrities from the sports arena gave up their time and skills to make the day a success. The celebrities came from a wide range of sports including, Darts, Boxing, Golf, Football, Snooker and Cricket. The weather was very different from last year’s Open, with the sun shining during the entire event. The team representing the Paras were Daz Fuller, Gary Boyle and Scott Bourne. Daz Fuller et al

After the golf came the evening festivities and all in attendance were on arrival in awe of the celebrity guests of the Wigley Group and John McDonald of Sky.  The guests of honour Gordon Banks and George Cohen arrived to great applause, two of England’s greatest football players who were members of the 1966 world cup winning team. These two men did not once say no to any of the individuals who asked to have their photo taken with them. Later in the evening they were available to have professional photos taken with anyone that made a donation to the Trust. All monies raised by this photo shoot went towards the evening’s final total. In excess of 200 people sat down to a 3 course meal. The CEO Afghanistan Trust Colin Smith gave a talk about the Trust’s aims and explained how funds raised are used to support our paratroopers. Jaco Van Gass was the evening’s guest speaker and spoke of his injuries and his journey to where he is now. The audience were captured by Jaco and showed their appreciation with resounding applause.gordon banks etc

After dinner the awards for the top three placed Golf teams were presented. and then fundraising began, with an opportunity to play darts with some of the world’s best players. Many took up this challenge but sadly no one was able to defeat these awesome players. All taking part had great fun. Current World Champion Phil Taylor and Ex World Champion Steve Beaton were among the professional darts players who gave their time and talents during the evening. This was followed by an auction conducted by John McDonald. Many items from the world of sports were auctioned which drew many bids.


The Afghanistan Trust sends it’s thanks to the Wigley Group, and to Rob Wigley, who is a great supporter of The Afghanistan Trust. We also thank Rob’s daughter Katie who was on the go all day and evening and I suspect long before the day began. Katie’s hard work and dedication meant the event flowed without a hitch.   thanks

Special thanks go to John McDonald who organised the event with skill and panache. John worked hard to ensure that the evening’s festivities were a success; he also hosted the evening event.   John is a former Paratrooper and is now a Sky Sports Presenter and often calls on sports celebrities to help raise funds for the Trust. John is an avid supporter of The Afghanistan Trust and we are very grateful for his continuing support and fundraising.mcdonald

Our thanks also go to all the celebrities who cave up their time and talents to make the evening such a great success.

Excellent Opportunity in a Volunteer Role at the Imperial War Museum

June 10th, 2014

A fantastic opportunity has arisen at the IWM in Duxford.  They are seeking a volunteer to assist in the Department for Learning.  If you are interested in the role and want to know more, please contact Niki Hughes –

Role Title: Formal Learning Volunteer

Division: IWM:Duxford

Overall Purpose of the Role

Welcome teachers and their students who have booked workshops and offer to guide the morning groups to their first session. Work with IWM staff and volunteers to enhance workshops. This may include becoming familiar with a particular aspect or artefacts from a session and delivering it to small groups of students accompanied by their teacher.


May 23rd, 2014

at-small-image1 copy 3 In October 2013 Justin Burt (Para) completed 200 miles cycling challenge from Huddersfield to Bath and raised £600 whilst completing this endurance ride.  Once again Justin is taking on another a cycling challenge to raise more funds for The Afghanistan Trust.

Amazingly Justin has decided to do an even more challenging ride, this time from Skipton to Bath, 230 miles in one day. This is an arduous challenge to take on and will take place 13 June 14  and I’m sure he will conquer this challenge as he is a very determined individual and a great supporter of the Afghanistan Trust.

Justin deserves all the support he can get and would be grateful for any support you can give him by visiting his just giving page as shown below       “Good luck Justin but you won’t need it”

                                            Para’s supporting Para’s it doesn’t get any better

P Company do Test Week – in 24hrs!

May 22nd, 2014

PCoy24-web-300x166On the 11th June P Coy staff undertook the challenge to complete all eight events which make up PARA Training Test week in 24 hours!

PARA Training Test Week starts with the 10-miler (PARAS’10) in the morning followed by the Trainasium (aerial confidence course) in the afternoon.

The following day the Log race sees eight individuals carrying a 60kg log over a distance of 1.9 miles of undulating terrain. This is followed by the Steeplechase in the afternoon running against the clock over a 1.8-mile cross-country course. The course features a number of ‘water obstacles’ and, having completed the cross-country element, candidates must negotiate an assault course to complete the test. The march must be completed in 19 minutes.

The next day a Two-mile march must be completed in 18 minutes or under.

The next test is an Endurance march conducted over 20 miles of severe terrain. The march must be completed in under 4½ hours.
The following day teams of 16 men carry a 175lbs stretcher over a distance of five miles. No more than four men carry the stretcher at any given time. In the afternoon ‘Milling’ occurs; 60 seconds of ‘controlled physical aggression’ against an opponent of similar height and weight.

On llth June, P Company Staff showed what they were made of and completed the challenge, completing all 8 Pre Parachute Selection tests in 24 hours and all in aid of The Afghanistan Trust and The Parachute Regiment Charity.PCoy4

All 8 tests were completed with full weight and in the specified times! We would like to Thank the P Coy staff for their efforts and for their continuing support. What an amazing achievement!

If you would like to show your support please visit



The Grayburn Tour – cycling to Arnhem

May 22nd, 2014

Fcyclingarnhemour members of Chiltern Rugby Club with a combined age of 233 years cycled 238 miles from Amersham & Chiltern RFC to Arnhem in 3 days to raise funds for The Parachute Regiment Charity and The Afghanistan Trust. They undertook the challenge in remembrance of a former Clubmate Lieutenant John Hollington Grayburn who seventy years ago, was awarded the Victoria Cross (posthumously) in the defence of the bridge at Arnhem during the closing phases of WWII.

The team was made up of Chris Smith, Mark Yeomans, Clive John and Jonathan Moughton . The final member of the team was Chris McCombie who had the job of driving the support vehicle. They had an epic and exciting journey which has raised over £5000 for the two regimental charities. You can read more about it, the club and about Lt Grayburn here and support the team on their JustGiving page.


May 14th, 2014


Traci Duffy will be completing a solo 4000ft parachute jump in July 14. This will be Traci’s first Parachute jump and deciding to do a solo rather than a tandem jump is very brave.

Traci’s has 15 year old triplets Connor, Lauren and Mirran who also wanted to do a parachute jump with her but because of age restrictions they are unable to do so. Not to be the triplets decided to take part in the 3 Peaks Challenge instead to raise funds for the Trust. This is no small challenge for 15 years olds to take on and they all deserve our support. Traci and the triplets are all members of the Army Cadet Force A Company Farnborough. Please follow Traci and the triplets on their giving page:


May 13th, 2014

Please see the flyer for this year’s Summer Ball.  This year will be the last Summer Ball in aid of The Afghanistan Trust.  Our aim is to make this year’s Ball the best ever, to celebrate all the achievements you have helped us achieve. 2014 flyer

There will be a champagne reception, an array of displays, a 3-course meal, guest speakers and an unmissable auction with money-can’t-buy prizes.

In addition to all of the above, we have secured the attendance of the Parachute Regiments Band and hope to add a few more surprises for your entertainment.

Please come and join our celebration and book early to secure your table (each table of 10 – £1950).

The celebrations start at 6:30pm, and will go on until 1am.

For further information contact Colin Smith ( or call 01206 817074

Copyright © 2012 The Afghanistan Trust. Registered Charity Number 1121647. The Parachute Regiment, Merville Barracks, Colchester, Essex, CO2 7UT