Family 'overwhelmed' by response to 'Jamie's SSAFA Fun Day' in memory of soldier dad
PUBLISHED: 11:20 10 May 2018 | UPDATED: 11:20 10 May 2018
A Suffolk mother and son have been left “humbled” by the support shown to their attempts to turn personal tragedy into a way of helping others.
Nine-year-old Jamie Small, from Wickham Market, lost his father in November 2016 when he took his own life after struggling to cope after leaving the Army following 21 years of service.
With help from his mother, Mandy Small, Jamie has been organising a fun day at Wickham Market Primary School to raise funds for the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA) as thanks for the help it gave the family in its time of need.
Since announcing the fun day earlier this year, Mandy and Jamie say they have been “overwhelmed” by the “huge” support they have received from businesses and the wider community. “I am humbled by the way the community has reacted and the generous donations from people countrywide,” Mandy added. “To see people join together for such an important cause is amazing.”
Jamie, who came up with the idea while watching last year’s Pride of Britain Awards, is said to be “unbelievably excited” for the event, which takes place on Saturday June 2. He has been busy organising tombola prizes, putting posters up around the local villages and spreading the word.
The event, which runs from noon-4pm, has secured a wide range of entertainment. Recent additions include the Suffolk Vehicle Enthusiasts, Suffolk Triumph Owners Club, Mr Bean Entertainment and the RAF Honnington Band. Framlingham Cadets will also be in attendance along with Chloe’s School of Dance and music from the Mirage Mobile Disco. There will also be a raffle, with prizes donated, a barbecue and refreshments.
Speaking previously about her son’s determination, Mandy said: “After everything Jamie has been through he has grown into an inspirational young man, full of love and ambition to help and protect others,” she said. “Every day he makes me proud.”
She said SSAFA had been “huge support during a horrendous time” when it provided financial help and emotional support.
Sponsors include Glen Rose Landscaping, Roland Plastics, Saxon Vets and D A Elias Builders, without whom Mandy said the event “would not be possible”.
Visit “Jamie’s SSAFA Fun Day” on Facebook for updates.