Families from Ipswich and Kesgrave helped by children's hospice invited to visit airfield with royal links
PUBLISHED: 20:45 30 May 2018 | UPDATED: 20:45 30 May 2018
Two Suffolk families supported by a children's hospice charity have enjoyed a very special visit to an airfield with royal connections.
Members of Prince Harry’s former regiment at Wattisham Airfield welcomed Liam Covey, 14, from Kesgrave, and Alexander Loosemore-Enfield, 12, from Ipswich, along with some of their parents and siblings.
The families, supported by East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH), had a tour of helicopters, a fire engine and specialist vehicles at the west Suffolk base – where Prince Harry served between 2011 and 2014.
Army staff also presented a cheque to EACH for £5,276.40 – raised by 32 servicemen who ran the Colchester Half Marathon in March.
Staff Sergeant Shaun North, who organised the fundraising, ran the Barcelona Marathon just two weeks before the Colchester race.
He said: “It’s an honour to have been able to plan and facilitate fundraising for such a worthy local charity who provide not only excellent facilities, but amazing staff who provide much-needed support to families.
“I’m immensely proud of all the volunteers from the squadron who have taken the time to train, fundraise and subsequently run the half marathon. The selfless commitment, team work and determination shown from all have been incredible.
“Today’s event was the pinnacle of our fundraising, giving the soldiers a chance to meet some of the wonderful children and families EACH assist.
“I’m hopeful it’ll remain a memorable day for all those who came, although I think the fire engine and its water cannon may have stolen the show, proving to be a more popular display than our Apache helicopter.
“From the OC and all ranks within 663 Squadron, I’d finally like to thank EACH for everything they have done and continue to do.”
Natasha Brame, EACH Suffolk community fundraiser, said: “I was there at the Colchester Half Marathon to cheer on the servicemen of Wattisham Airfield and it was great to see them all crossing the finish line.
“They’ve now laid on a really fantastic morning for two of our families as well. A massive thank you to them for all their efforts and the fantastic amount raised. We need to generate almost £6 million a year to fund our vital service, so support from communities across Suffolk is crucial.”