Letter from the Colonel Commandant on the formation of the "Support Our Paras" Charity, November 2014.


Earlier this year, the Regimental Council and Trustees of the Afghanistan Trust decided to merge two of our charities, The Parachute Regiment Charity and The Parachute Regiment Afghanistan Trust. From tst January 2015, they will become one Regimental charity, under the banner  'SUPPORT OUR PARAS'.

The Trustees of both charities and the Charity Commission have now given their approval for the merger. The Afghanistan Trust, which was founded by Stuart Tootal in 2009, has done a tremendous job rallying support for our wounded and the families of our soldiers who have been killed in action during recent operations. It has raised over £3m for its charitable purposes. We are hugely indebted to Stuart and his team for their commitment and achievement. The significant money the Trust has raised will now be administered from a Restricted Fund, within the new charity, according to the Trust's original objects and Charity Commission rules. Meanwhile the Airborne Forces Security Fund will continue in its best traditions since 1946, supporting the retired members of our Regimental and wider Airborne Forces family.

'SUPPORT OUR PARAS' will continue the work of its two predecessors in a winning combination to provide a single charitable focus. Operation HERRICK may be over shortly, but the vital role of the Regimental charities endures. Increasingly, public monies will not be available to fund the needs of the Regiment in sustaining our welfare and benevolence policy; in assisting those who are leaving the Army and transitioning to civilian life; in maintaining our unique ethos; and in looking after our heritage. Those funds must come from our own charities.

We have to maintain the tempo of our fundraising. We owe it to our soldiers and we have a responsibility to the Regiment. With your active support, we will sustain and develop our fundraising events and programmes. 'SUPPORT OUR PARAS' is our charity and it must be your charity of choice. Whilst it will be a relatively small player in a crowded market, there is no reason why it cannot meet and surpass our financial requirements. But this requires the whole-hearted support of the entire Regiment - both serving and retired - pulling together behind one cause. I know that you will support me in this important endeavour.

Utrinque Paratus.

John Lorimer

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