On Saturday 30 Nov 2013 we were given permission to carry out bucket collections at The Millennium Stadium Cardiff prior to the Wales V Australia Rugby Match. We needed to find a team of collectors, and so a call went out to the Barclays branches in and around the Cardiff area. We had responses from 19 volunteers and two soldiers from 1 Para. We had around 1hr and 15min to conduct the collection, and during this time we raised a massive £3895.83. The team were very proactive, and it was clear to see that they all enjoyed the experience. The people of Cardiff made our job very easy and gave very generously; their generosity shows in our final total of funds raised. The atmosphere was great and the banter with the public was fun.
A big thank you goes to the management team at The Millennium Stadium, in particular to Julie Thomas who made the day possible, and to the staff at the stadium who did everything they could to help us. A massive thank you must go to the staff at Barclays who came out in force at very short notice to do an excellent job.
The management at the stadium gave us tickets for each of our team members to watch the game. Our seats were in a good position and we settled down to watch the game and have a few well deserved beers. The Barclays members took off their Afghanistan Trust T-shirts and revealed their Welsh rugby shirts, and we all were treated to a very exciting game.
“A big thank you” to all who took part in this event supporting of our wounded Paratroopers and their families.
The ladies of the Redditch ‘Knit and Knatter’ group recently showed their support for the Afghanistan Trust by knitting Poppies for Remembrance Sunday which they then sold on behalf of the charity. They raised a fantastic £170.00 and are already knitting for next year! Thank you ladies!
Did heroism on the battlefield die out in 1945? If you watch British films that is exactly what you would think. There hasn’t been a single British feature film portraying events in a contemporary war. We intend to rectify that with the production of Kajaki and we need your help to do it.
When we announced the project in the summer and began to build up our Facebook community we were inundated with offers to help – people wanting to know what they could do to get this film made – from offers of training the actors, being extras, teaching us how to look the part and finally people wanting to know how they could support the project financially.
With such a groundswell of support, we realised that we could use a platform like Indiegogo to build our fan-base and engage directly with them. The film’s budget is just under £1million, and with a mixture of crowd-funding, tax breaks and private equity we will achieve that.
Your support here will make that happen.
Every pound raised through this crowd funding will be matched with a pound from the film’s income (after costs) to be given to military charities such as the Afghanistan Trust.
Your contribution will:
· Bring this story to the screen
· Pay tribute to the bravery of a new generation of soldiers
· Remind the public of the sacrifices they have made in our name
· Generate income for military charities
· Provide a rallying call for further fund raising
Kajaki tells the compelling true story of what happened to a British Army company stationed at Kajaki Dam in Helmand in September 2006. It’s a story of amazing courage, of ordinary guys in extraordinary circumstances, and of the kind of terrifying situation that the men and women of the modern British Army are finding themselves in. Based on first hand accounts, it’s a story that has yet to be told.
Kajaki Dam, Helmand Province, Afghanistan. 6th September 2006.
A small unit of soldiers is dug into a ridge overlooking the dam. A sniper patrol sets out to disable a Taliban roadblock. In a dried out river bed at the foot of the ridge, a young British sniper detonates a land mine, blowing off his leg and setting into motion a desperate rescue mission. His fellow soldiers come to get him out, only to find themselves trapped in a minefield. With no way out, any movement risks certain injury and possible death.
One by one the hidden enemy takes its toll. KAJAKI the movie follows several British soldiers on one harrowing day during their six-month tour of Afghanistan in 2006. It was the day of days when young men, the lads from next door, discovered levels of bravery and selflessness they never knew they had and ultimately became heroes.
WHY I HAVE TO MAKE THIS FILM – Director, Paul Katis
There’s a particular genre of film called a ‘monster in the house movie’ that keeps you on the edge of your seat to very last frame. Jaws is a shining example or more recently Paranormal Activity. It relies on a hidden enemy that can strike at any time and the desperate ploys of the film’s heroes in trying to escape it. Reading the reports of what happened at Kajaki is just like watching such a movie. Combine this with the fact that is all true and you have a very special story to tell.
But more than that, the setting is a war. Whatever the rights and wrongs of being in Afghanistan, few of us can help but be overwhelmed by the bravery of the young men and women who have responded to the call. If the Americans can celebrate that, why can’t we? I want to see British grit and humour under pressure and hear British banter for once. If you do too, then help us make it happen. Thanks.
THE FILM MAKERS
Paul Katis (Director) and Tom Williams (Writer) have been making low budget films with big ambition for ten years. They share an interest in genre based storytelling that can bring insightful and rewarding stories to a wider audience.
Paul is an extremely versatile award-winning director with extensive experience of a wide range of genres. As well as short films, he has worked in TV & Commercial Film production for over fifteen years and in that time has amassed a wealth of credits and experience.
Tom’s first produced script was the 2011 romantic comedy CHALET GIRL, directed by Phil Traill and starring Felicity Jones, Ed Westwick, Bill Nighy, Brooke Shields and Bill Bailey. He has written scripts on commission for numerous British production companies over the last ten years. As well as KAJAKI, Tom is currently working on an action film for TV star Bear Grylls, a BASE jumping thriller, a big budget romantic comedy and a sitcom.
Gareth Ellis-Unwin is the film’s Executive Producer. Gareth is an Oscar and BAFTA winning producer who brings many years of experience producing award winning films, including the critically-acclaimed THE KINGS SPEECH, winner of seven BAFTAs and four Academy Awards including Best Picture. Gareth has worked closely with both Tom and Paul previously and adds real weight to the production of this important and ambitious film.
If you want to contact the film-making team about being more closely involved in the financing and wish to know more about the EIS opportunities then please call 020 7866 0000 or email email@example.com.
Visit the website for more details and to make your contribution:
A NIGHT TO REMEMBER
We held another Service of Remembrance to music in St Dunstan-in-the-West, Fleet Street on 6th November.
Sgt Allan Jackson Bernard Cribbins OBE CSgt Daz Fuller
Bernard Cribbins OBE and a former member of the Parachute Regiment, read Rudyard Kipling’s poem Tommy; Col Stuart Tootal DSO OBE gave the address and spoke about The Afghanistan Trust and the Right Reverend Jonathan Baker, Bishop of Fulham welcomed everyone to St Dunstan’s.
After a splendid, moving and inspiring service everyone was invited to remain in the church for drinks.
We would like to thank all those who joined us and all those who helped make the evening such a success, Our thanks go to Lt Col Giles Timms MC, CO 4 Para for allowing his Colours to be displayed and for his Officers & Soldiers to assist, we would also like to thank mezzo soprano Fiona Macdonald, founder of Glen Art, who was the event organiser and photographer Alexander Hug.
To date, over £3,000 has been raised in support of our wounded Paratroopers their families and of course the families that have lost their loved ones whilst serving in Afghanistan.
Fiona Macdonald (Right) Nigel Pascoe QC
WO2 RQMS Adam Proud and W02 Gerard Wattam (Son of Mick Wattam ex 1 Para) took on the awesome challenge of completing Ironman Zurich. Ironman is one of the toughest challenges anyone can face and this one was compounded by very high temperatures. They travelled to Zurich by Motorhome covering 800 miles across several national borders; a challenge in itself. The Ironman consists of a 3.8Km swim followed by a 180Km bike ride and in case you need some more pain a full marathon, this is not for the faint hearted. Both men finished the course in 12hrs 24mins, this is a great result and an achievement to be proud of. Adam and Gerard were supported during this event by Steve and Rod who took on the roles of driver and cameraman. Henry Proud and Rebecca Wattam were there to give help and support throughout this awesome trial. A big thank you to all who made this possible and a massive thanks to Adam and Gerard who have raised funds in excess of £7,000 for our wounded Paratroopers and their families through Afghanistan Trust.
Adam and Gerard have written a comprehensive story about their endeavours, please take time to read their story which can be found
This is an outstanding effort of paratroopers raising funds for wounded paratroopers and their families it doesn’t get any better – THANKS
The Colonel Commandant of the Parachute Regiment, Lieutenant General Jacko Page CB OBE and the Commander 16 Air Assault Brigade, Brigadier N. R. M. Borton DSO MBE who represent the present day Airborne Forces invite all those who served in the British 6th Airborne Division during the Normandy Landings to attend the events to mark the 70th anniversary of the Normandy Landings.
The aim of the events marking the 70th Anniversary is to ensure that a grateful nation’s thanks are passed to those who took part in this decisive action and particularly to the memory of those who gave their lives to ensure the success of the landings.
It is important that the focus should be on the surviving veterans as they commemorate their fallen comrades without whom the liberation of Normandy would not have been possible.
The Colonel Commandant has invited Colonels in Chief, members of the Government and senior military officers to attend the commemoration. Due to the rank of the guests and profile of the Regiment it is necessary for people likely to be meeting VVIPs to register with RHQ PARA (Normandy 70th Anniversary Registration Form) and provide details of their party. All guests should ensure that they are in possession of a ticket and valid photo ID when attending ticketed events.
Those veterans wishing to attend the ticketed events should register their names with RHQ PARA and complete the proforma available for download here. The proforma requires Name, Rank Number and Unit details of your service with 6th Airborne Division and will ask you to indicate which of the following you require:
a. Tickets to the Veterans Reception.
b. Tickets to the Veteran seating area at the Ranville Memorial Service.
c. Access to DZ viewing area.
d. A veteran name and unit ID badge.
e. A veteran car pass.
Whilst we are aware that there are many events in the area over the 5/6 June, the following programme has been agreed with the Mayors and local French authorities:
|Wed 4 Jun 14|
|1||1800 – 2030hrs||Memorial Service||Putot En Auge||Military Band, Red Devils, Local Band|
|Thurs 5 Jun 14|
|2||1000- 1200hrs||Unveiling Merville Bty||Merville||VVIP, Col Comdt only|
|3||1000- 1200hrs||PegasusMemorialMuseum||Ranville||Unveiling of a Centurion Tank|
|4||1230–1400hrs||Veteran/VIP Lunch||Ranville||VVIPs, Buffet, Bar, (Ticketed)|
|5||1400-1430hrs||Bust unveiling Watson MC||Ranville||Presentation of the Maj J Watson MC bust|
|6||1500-1630hrs||Parachuting||DZ||Para drop by soldiers of 16 Air Assault Bde|
|7||1700-1730hrs||Memorial Service||Breville Les Monts||Breville X rds|
|8||1730-1900hrs||Vin d’honneur||Breville Les Monts||Band, Red Devils, P&D Band display|
|9||1800–2100hrs||Merville Battery Reception||Merville||Curry and band music|
|Fri 6 Jun 14|
|10||0900-0930hrs||X-rds Wreath laying 13 PARA||Ranville||Col Comdt, Band, veterans|
|11||1000-1100hrs||Mass||Church||Col Comdt, veterans|
|12||1115-1215hrs||Memorial Service||CWGC Ranville||VVIP, Col Comdt, Veterans (Ticketed)|
|13||1230-1330hrs||Vin d’honneur||Ranville||VVIP, Col Comdt, Veterans|
There will be a Veteran Lunch Reception held at 1230hrs on Thursday 5th June 2014 at the Ranville Salle de Fete. It will provide an opportunity to meet with friends, have a buffet lunch and a drink with other veterans and to meet with the VVIP in a reserved area. The invitation is for a veteran and his partner/carer. A band will provide music and the Red Devils Free Fall Team will give a display.
At the Memorial Service on Friday the 6th June 2014 there will be a seated area at the front which will be provided primarily for veterans and their partner/carer. The service will be held in the main body of the Cemetery. As in past years there will be plenty of standing room for anyone who wishes to attend but the ticketed area is designed to give priority to the veteran and disabled visitors.
There will be a Veteran Viewing Area on the DZ close to the parachutist RV location (Thursday 5th June 2014) to enable veterans to meet with the soldiers once they are released from the RV. Although this area will not be ticketed the Gendarmes will only allow access to those with veteran car passes.
The Veteran Car Pass is designed in agreement with the Brigade Territoriale Autonome to enable them to recognise veterans and ease their passage across the Divisional area.
Travel and Accommodation arrangements
Please make your own arrangements. Many will have travel and accommodation reservations already in place, however if not RHQ can recommend Tours International who have supported RHQ at commemorations for a number of years. Tours International can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 01892 515825.
Help with costs.
As a reminder, the following financial assistance is available to veterans wishing to attend this commemoration:
The Airborne Forces Security fund through RHQ will reimburse valid travel costs of £250 each for the veteran, his or her partner and his or her carer if one is required. To get this subsidy please complete the Normandy 70th Anniversary Registration Form and forward a copy of your travel documentation as directed on the proforma. If you travel with Tours International there is no need to apply as they will do it from you and subtract from your bill.
Money is additionally available through Heroes Return, a lottery funded charity which supports veterans returning to commemorative events. You will need to apply separately for the grant as directed at www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/prog_heroes_return
The focus of the commemorations is on the fallen and the surviving veterans so please register your intention to travel to Normandy so that we can provide as much support as possible to make this occasion a success.
The Afghanistan Trust conducted bucket collections at Wembley before and after the Saracens v Toulouse Heineken Cup game. The Parachute Regiment Recruiting Team was given permission to set up on the concourse and was accompanied by 2 WIMIK vehicles making for a great display. As a part of the Regimental Recruiting drive they were assisted by members of 2 & 3 Para.
The Parachute Regiment Museum also setup a Stall with weapons and uniforms from WW 2, all stands drew a great number of people. The CEO his wife daughter and member s of the PRA carried out the bucket collections along the entrance to the stadium. All collectors done a great job, they were polite, unobtrusive and professional which resulted in donations in excess of £2K.
A Soldier took time off and donned the Saracens mascots costume and abseiled from the top of Wembley, it must be said that he looked like he had been doing this for years entertaining the crowd during his decent.
Pte Scott Meenagh 2 Para who after following an IED strike in Afghanistan became a double amputee delivered the game ball to the field and the crowed show their appreciation. Scott came all the way from Scotland to give us his support; I know he enjoyed the experience. Great job Scott.
Saracens gave all those who came to help us on the day tickets to see the game and most took the opportunity, shame about the result but good game.
Our thanks go to all who assisted us on the day; it is without doubt if we didn’t have the participation of the Regiment, our soldiers, the Museum and the PRA we would not be able to achieve the results we do. I would like to thank my wife Sandie for all her help before and during the event including bucket collection along with our daughter Sharon who also helped with the bucket collection .
OUR THANKS GO OUT TO YOU ALL THANKS FOR SUPPORTING OUR WOUNDED PARATROOPERS AND THEIR FAMILIES
AFEX, who are also sponsors of Saracens rugby club, attended the recent season launch hosted by the club at which the Chairman of the Trust, Stuart Tootal presented the strategy of the Trust and its commitment to our wounded Paratroopers.
Rachel Norman, Global Marketing Director for AFEX, confirmed that “Having listened to Stuart’s presentation, it was immediately decided that the Trust should become AFEX’s charity of choice. The work carried out by the Chairman, CEO and all those associated with the Trust makes such an invaluable difference to the lives of soldiers who have been wounded in Afghanistan and of course the families of those who have been killed. We are very proud to be helping the Trust with its work.”
She went on to confirm that AFEX has planned a number of activities to raise funds for the Trust moving forward. Please keep a look out for updates on our website.
AFEX is a global payment and risk management specialist that has pioneered personalised foreign exchange since 1979 and is now a trusted partner to more than 17,000 corporate and private clients around the world. More information about AFEX and their services can be seen HERE.
Our thanks go to Martin Barber and Harry Abdy-Collins took on a full Ironman challenge Italy on Sunday 29 Sept 13. The challenge consisted of a 2,4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride and a full 26 mile marathon. These events make up the Ironman challenge and all events immediately follow the other.
As the Ironman event started a storm set in, the winner of the event would normally take around 9-9.5 house because of the storm the winner came in at 10.5hrs. Martin and Harry were not deterred and even thou during the swimming event they could not see the 2m buoy markers due to the size of the waves the managed a respectable 1hr 31 finish. During the bike ride Martin suffered 2 punctures, a broken bike pump and lighting hitting the side of the mountain. In Martins words it made for an exciting and wet experience finishing in 8hrs.46. The next challenge was the run martin describes it as a nice flat course but it was a case of just putting one leg in front of the other finishing in 4hrs 48.Martin and Harry would like to thank all who sponsored him and Harry for this event; they have raised around £6,000.
Martin has been a great supporter of The Afghanistan Trust and has undertaken many challenges to raise funds for the Trust. He even gave AT Wrist Bands as favours at his wedding, awesome man.
STUART TOOTAL TALK ON “WHAT MANNER OF MEN”
Dick Goodwin a member of the Parachute Regiment Association has organised a talk by Stuart Tootal which covers a part of the invasion operations conducted by The 9th Parachute Battalion prior to the D day invasion of Normandy. All proceeds will split between the Afghan Trust & the London Taxi Charity. This will take place at Barclays Canary Wharf on the 4th November starting at 6.30pm please see below for further details:
The tickets re only £10 which you can order from Dick Goodwin on 07941 772264 or mail: email@example.com
MANY THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT