On Friday, 10th June 2016, Clever Digit Media representative Neil White handed over a cheque for £2,000 to John Laity and Lt Col (Retd) James Harris, the Co-Founders of charity Flying for Freedom, outside their microlight hanger at RAF Kemble. Clever Digit Media runs Forces War Records, a military genealogist specialist website, alongside Forces Reunited, one of the largest British Armed Forces communities on the internet, with over a million members. The generous donation was amassed from contributions made by you, the great British public, via the Forces Reunited website.
Forces Reunited chose to support Flying for Freedom as this amazing charity demonstrates what it is possible for severely disabled veterans to achieve. Wounded or injured service personnel from our Armed Forces are supported through Microlight flying training post-recovery, and past trainees have overwhelmingly reported that they have gained substantial benefits from the new-found freedom of flying. Learning a wide range of skills rebuilds the veterans’ confidence and provides an exciting post-rehabilitation activity.
Proud to be supporting such a worthy cause
Flying For Freedom graduates have flown around the UK a number of times, and are currently mounting their most daring expedition yet, in partnership with Help for Heroes. Eight wounded and injured veterans plan to show their abilities, rather than their disabilities, by flying Microlights to the South Pole. This South Pole attempt has been five years in the planning, with the charities running extensive training and testing with the support of their sponsors. Such a feat has never been attempted before, even by an able-bodied pilots in conventional aircraft, so it will be a serious challenge for both the participants and the Microlight aircraft, which have been modified to help them withstand the rigors of the coldest place on earth.
The eight injured veterans from Flying For Freedom will fly from McMurdo Station up the Great Ice Road, then onto Union Glacier. The expedition is designed to bring to the attention of the Britain public and British businesses the urgent need for self-sustaining activities that get our injured service personnel back into work and daily life. Details of the trip can be found on the Flying For Freedom website.
You can help them and others.
By donating to and supporting Flying For Freedom, you are helping create a legacy for all British service personnel who have been wounded in the field. The Microlight aircraft the charity uses are specially adapted to cope with a wide range of disabilities, and many beneficiaries have already completed their Assistant Flying Instructor training. Thus, the injured veterans are able to pass their skills and knowledge to other veterans by teaching them to fly.
The target for fundraising is £1.2 million, which will allow Flying For Freedom to successfully complete the expedition to the South Pole and raise the required investment to create flying rehabilitation centres around the country.
Text ‘WINGS’ to 70900 to donate £3 to Flying for Freedom
(You will be charged £3 plus your standard network rate. The £3 goes directly to Help for Heroes Flying for Freedom. Telephone help line: 01494 750500.)
Alternatively, if you wish to make a donation of £10 or more, visit the special expedition JustGiving page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/flyingforfreedom
Please keep an eye out for more updates about our work with Flying For Freedom in the future. If you would like to learn more about the charity’s team, go to the Flying For Freedom website.