As a Veteran of the 4th Royal Tank Regiment, I am passionate about our armed forces and the care and support my fellow comrades receive during, and following, their service to our country. I am also aware of national and international strife. In previous missions those veterans, supporters and organisations who share this view have demonstrated their commitment by holding challenges in Scotland and England. In 2019 we will move to Wales. In addition, we are including an additional international challenge. This fits in with our overall mission statement that with each event we will reach out further and help the wider community.
In 2016, our first fund-raising challenge was devised- a trek across the Scottish Highlands with all proceeds donated to charities and causes associated with the armed forces.
We were astounded by the dedication and tenacity of our volunteers who worked together to trek 89 kilometres across the Highlands from the West coast to Inverness is just 24 hours, raising a fantastic £18,000.
The effort made those involved in this first event did not go unnoticed, and Blue Flash UK was presented with the Best Fundraiser 2017 award by the charity Scotty’s Little Soldiers.
Following from this incredible success, we organised another Highlands trek in 2017. For this challenge, myself and Keith Dunlop completed a 110 kilometre trek, whilst the soldiers of the Royal Tank Regiment, REME and Serco completed 80 kilometres and 40 kilometres respectively. This second challenge raised another large sum and demonstrated the fantastic accomplishments working together as communities, friends and businesses can achieve.
In recognition of this endeavour Blue Flash Group UK received the bronze award from the Armed Forces Covenant Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS).
The ERS recognise the commitment and support from UK employers for defence personnel and have thanked Blue Flash UK for our statement of intent to support defence personnel. The scheme is headed by the Secretary of State and Chief of Defence and offers awards to employers who support those who serve or have served in the armed forces, and their families.
With the success of the previous challenges, Blue Flash Group UK went on to hold their 2018 Hadrian’s Wall Challenge.
Together with support of Regimental and Battalions Associations, and Newcastle Council, Blue Flash Group UK carried out a trek along Hadrian’s Wall. This was coordinated with an event to bring people together to recognise and celebrate the work of the armed forces. A total in excess of £6100 was raised for Scotty’s Little Soldiers and the Royal British Legion. Money was also raised to purchase rugby strips for Catterick school.
Money is but one facet of charity and of care. Now we are broadening our horizons and move on to develop even better ways to help those who most need it.
In 2019 and beyond we will place our trust in the compass and decide who needs our help most, but first we will serve our own at home. We will then set forth to research and deliver in far off shores. This mission will provide good things for those most in need and update ministers a new way of delivering resource to where it is needed quickly.
We have set out our promise, to help and support the armed forces in the best way we can, and we will continue to work to achieve this.
Director Blue Flash Group UK.