RAF Pilot’s Run 17 Marathons In Memory Of The Fallen

F868EAA6_5056_A318_A8D307107C309AD4Three pilots from RAF Brize Norton will attempt to run 448 miles in 17 days in memory of the servicemen and women who have lost their lives in the Afghanistan conflict. The run will take place during 14th – 30th April 2014.

Flight Lieutenant’s Rob Platt (37), Tom Mountney (31) and Graeme Hunt (38) will run just over the equivalent of 17 marathons in 17 days, marking one mile for every British serviceperson who has died in the Afghanistan conflict.

The Hercules pilots, who are a part of the RAF’s tactical air transport fleet, are hoping to raise money for Help for Heroes and a number of other military and civilian charities including the John Thornton Young Achievers Foundation.

The gruelling run will start at RAF Brize Norton on the 14th April and take them all the way down to the south coast; visiting Yeovilton and Poole before heading back up the country past Stonehenge, through the Royal Military Acedemy Sandhurst and back into Brize Norton for the final leg.

Officer Commanding 47 Squadron, Wing Commander Garbutt (37) said:

‘’This is a mammoth undertaking and a fitting memorial to the British Servicemen and Women who have lost their lives in Afghanistan. Rob, Graeme and Tom have all trained hard in order to mentally and physically prepare for the arduous challenge ahead.’’

The experienced pilots have spent over four years away on operations between them, and in some cases have lost friends as a result of the conflict. A sad personal experience that led them to organise this event.

Officer Commanding 30 Squadron, Wing Commander Gault (44) said:

‘’ I cannot begin to imagine the physical demands on the body such a sustained ordeal will present. The motivation of supporting such a worthy causes will ensure they rises to the challenge.’’

Flight Lieutenant Tom Mountney said:

“We felt that this was a fitting tribute to the service men and women who have not returned from Afghanistan, some of these people were our close friends and colleagues. Between the three of us, we’ve spent a large portion of our flying careers in Afghanistan, going for a run every day to raise some money is the least we could do.

We’re raising funds for a number of military charities which we have a personal connection with. These charities have been set up as a result of the Afghan conflict, to either support returning service personnel or in memory of service personnel who have died. We hope the money will go some way to continue the outstanding work which these charities are doing on a daily basis.”

RAF Brize Norton personnel are well known for raising incredible amounts of money for charity. The recently disbanded 216 Squadron has raised £60,000 over the last year alone. The runners are hoping to raise £10,000 that will be split between their chosen charities.

Station Commander for RAF Brize Norton said:

‘’I am very proud of the runners who have put in a significant amount of time and effort to organise such a venture. It is a very poignant way to mark the number of Service personnel who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their Country.’’

For those who wish to support them on their route, they will be setting off at 9am each day from their respective accommodation at military establishments along way. For more information or, if you wish to donate, please visit their website http://www.444run.co.uk/.

(L-R) Flt Lt Graeme Hunt, Flt Lt Tom Mountney and Flt Lt Robert Platt. RAF/MOD Crown Copyright 2014

(L-R) Flt Lt Graeme Hunt, Flt Lt Tom Mountney and Flt Lt Robert Platt.
RAF/MOD Crown Copyright 2014

First Ever Easter Eggstravaganza at West Midland Safari Park

10170897_631229913624103_53360760250238517_nMore than 50 giant decorated eggs can be seen at West Midland Safari Park this Easter, as the Park stages its first ever Easter Eggstravaganza.

The eggs, which have been decorated in a variety of guises based on some of the most popular animals seen at the Safari Park, form the basis of the new seasonal trail. Each egg is over a metre tall and has been hand painted by the Park’s Creative Team.

Creative Designer, David Powner, said,

“For the past few weeks we have been working on all manner of ideas to fit in with this new event. Thankfully, the weather has been mild, allowing the paint finishes on the eggs to harden in good time. This is quite different from any other project that we have worked on and thankfully all the theming has been delivered on time.

It really has been a great team effort and we are all very proud of what has been achieved. It seems a pity to have to put the eggs away on 28th April when the event has finished, but we’re sure they will reappear next Easter”.

Children will be encouraged to follow the giant egg trail and crack a special Easter password to win a chocolate creme egg. The Easter Eggstravaganza also includes competitions, specially themed shows, animal encounters and all kinds of hands-on Easter inspired crafts and activities. There is almost £3000 worth of prizes to be won during the two week long Easter holiday, that include an iPad Air, Adopt a Buddy Pack and VIP tickets to the Park’s annual Firework Festival.

The ‘Easter Eggstravaganza’ at West Midland Safari Park starts on Saturday 12th and runs every day until Sunday, 27th April. The event is included in the standard admission price.

Stay Safe With Staffordshire Fire and Resuce Summer Fire Safety Campaign

grass_fires_2011_iconsGrass fires take up a large amount of our Firefighters’ time from Easter through to September. On average we attend 1200 grass fires a year. Almost half of them are during school holidays and more than 85% are started deliberately. Our crews could be putting out these avoidable grass fires when they should be helping someone whose life may be in danger at a house fire or road traffic collision.

Working with our partners we are trying to reduce the amount of grass fires that occur this Summer with our Summer Fire Safety campaign.

Remember the following when out in the countryside to help us:

Put out cigarettes and other materials before you leave your vehicle.
Never throw cigarette ends out of car windows – they could start a fire and ruin the surrounding country.
If you see a fire in the countryside report it immediately.
Don’t attempt to tackle fires that can’t be put out with a bucket of water – leave the area as soon as possible.
Don’t leave bottles or glass in woodlands. Sunlight shining through glass can start a fire.
Lots of grass fires are started by children – educate yours about the dangers of grass fires.

Damage caused by small fires can cost up to £8 million per year! Just think what you could do with that money! The financial cost isn’t the only consequence. Check out there flyer for more information.

Warning ‘Heartbleed Bug’ – Public Urged To Reset All Passwords

OpenSSL-HeartBleed-BugA flaw has been discovered in an encryption method used on about two-thirds of all websites, including Google, Amazon, Yahoo and Facebook, potentially exposing web traffic, user data and stored content to cyber criminals.

The “heartbleed bug” was found in the OpenSSL software by a team of security engineers last week, leaving technology companies scrambling to fix their systems before it was announced on Monday night.
A newly discovered bug in widely used Web encryption technology has made data on many of the world’s major websites vulnerable to theft by hackers in what experts say is one of the most serious security flaws uncovered in recent years.

Bugs in single software or library come and go and are fixed by new versions. However this bug has left large amount of private keys and other secrets exposed to the Internet. Considering the long exposure, ease of exploitation and attacks leaving no trace this exposure should be taken seriously.

Updates are already available to address the vulnerability in OpenSSL, which could enable remote attackers to access sensitive data including passwords and secret keys that can decode traffic as it travels across the Internet. Computer security experts warned that means victims cannot tell if their data has been accessed which is troubling because the bug has existed for about two years.

Google said it had fixed the flaw in key Google services and Facebook said it had added protections before the issue was publicly disclosed. Amazon Web Services, whose clients include sites from Netflix to Unilever, said it had applied “mitigations” so customers did not need to act. Yahoo said it had “made the appropriate corrections” to its main properties and was working to fix its other sites.

But even those who fix the software cannot necessarily see if a hacker has already used the vulnerability to access their systems. Netcraft, which monitors what code is used in each site, said more than half a million trusted websites were vulnerable to the bug.

You can read more about Heartbleed Bug on there website >> Heartbleed.com

Wear Your Football Shirt To Work Friday For Bobby Moore Charity

Show your passion for your team or country, unleash that vintage classic, brave the challenge of wearing a rival shirt or represent your local side!

Join Cancer Research UK on Football Shirt Friday as everyone raise’s money to kick bowel cancer for good. Can’t make the 11th? Then pick any Friday in April.

Here’s how:

  1. Take part as a dream team or go solo
  2. Make your donation
  3. Pick your football shirt and wear it with pride!

Rally up your workmates, teammates, family and friends! If you’re taking part in Football Shirt Friday as a team, then why not collect your money together?

You can do this very easily with JustGiving. It only takes a few minutes to set up a fundraising page and donations can be made online. Best of all, the money is sent directly to us – easy!

If you’re a bit more old school and would prefer to collect donations in a bucket or a large envelope, then download a money return form here and send this in with your cheques or pay it in online.

Shirts at the ready! To help tell everyone your plans for 11th April, download our handy poster and watch the excitement and banter build!

Download a poster

If you’re leading the field, then we have two easy ways for you to make your donation. Donate online using a debit or credit card or by text message.

To text your donation, just text GOAL00 followed by the amount you want to donate to 70070. If you’d like to donate £2, text GOAL002 to 70070*.

*You can donate £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10. For example to donate £10, text GOAL0010 to 70070. You can give up to a maximum of £30 per day. 100% of your donation will go to Cancer Research UK’s Bobby Moore Fund. UK residents aged 16+ only. Read the T’s and C’s here

Click to find out how to donate on line

Click – To set up a fundraising page for yourself or your team

The Bobby Moore Fund for Cancer Research UK is committed to beating bowel cancer in memory of the legendary footballer Bobby Moore.

Bowel cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in the UK. Every step we make toward finding a cure relies on every pound raised. One day research will beat this disease and that is why we fund the pioneering work of world-class scientists. With your help we can make that day come sooner.

Bowel cancer. It’s big. United we’re bigger.




South Western Ambulance Service Staff Recognised For Personal Bravery and Professionalism

lisaAt an awards ceremony held at St Mellion International Resort on Thursday 3 April, two members of staff were recognised for their personal bravery and professionalism when attending an incident near Kingsbridge last August.

A 999 call was received by South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT), reporting that a male had either fallen or jumped from a cliff at Thurlestone near Kingsbridge.

In order to access the patient the attending crew, Lisa Forsyth and Martin Ford, had to travel to the base of the cliff in an independent lifeboat inshore rigid-hulled inflatable boat (RIB). Due to the choppy conditions and rocky outcrops preventing the boat getting alongside, they then had to wade in knee-deep water carrying their kit. They carried out first-class management of the time critical patient including a range of clinical interventions, whilst under extremely in-hospitable environmental conditions.

The patient was safely transferred into the lifeboat but in order for the crew to do this they had to enter the choppy sea conditions to assist the transfer alongside their coastguard and lifeboat counterparts. Whilst doing this Martin’s buoyancy aid inflated and he scrambled back to the rocks while Lisa was hauled onto the RIB and then winched into the helicopter, continuing to provide care for the patient en route to Derriford Hospital.

Ken Wenman, SWASFT Chief Executive said:

“Our staff can be called to any kind of incident so are always prepared for anything but the bravery they displayed during this incident, for the benefit of their patient, was truly deserving of the award they received.

Lisa Forsyth, from Totnes ambulance station, said:

“As soon as we arrived we knew this would be a difficult job but everything we do is always in the best interest of our patient and that is exactly what we did on this occasion. Even though I’m not usually very good with heights, sometimes you just have to get on and do it.”

Martin Ford, from Kingsbridge ambulance station, said:

“Working with our coastguard and lifeboat colleagues is absolutely critical during an incident like this and it was the joint working that ensured this difficult case went as well as could be expected.”

Ken Wenman added:

“Our staff do amazing work every day which I am extremely proud to be able to say, but our awards ceremonies are a fantastic opportunity to recognise those who really have gone above and beyond the call of duty in the name of patient care.”

Police and Fire Service Move Into Worcestershire’s First Joint Emergency Services Station

Broms4.jpgfThe new joint police and fire station on Slideslow Drive, Bromsgrove has replaced outdated police and fire stations in the town.

The station is the first project delivered under the Worcestershire Capital Asset Pathfinder initiative, which looks at how a partnership approach to public services (for example combining police and fire and rescue services in one location) can lead to better local services, increased value for money and efficiencies through shared services. The project has been funded by the police, with the fire service committed to a 25 year tenancy agreement.

The new site replaces two old police and fire stations which required extensive refurbishment, were expensive to run and would incur increasing costs in the future to maintain. By joining forces, the police and fire brigade have saved an estimated 20% on building costs. The building has been installed with solar panels to contribute to heating and electricity, lighting sensors, heating control system and a sprinkler system, harvesting rain water which provides filtered water to the building. These installations are expected to cut annual running costs by 25%.

Superintendent Kevin Purcell, North Worcestershire Commander said:

“There have been many occasions in recent months including floods and serious fires, where I have had the privilege of working closely with fire and rescue colleagues. They are undoubtedly a top performing service and this new venture cements our already close working relationship.”

Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Barrie Sheldon said:

“Ensuring value for money for residents in Bromsgrove while maintaining high quality, accessible services is very important. Sharing this building with the fire service is a great example of how the force is embracing new ways of working smarter with its partners.”

Group Commander Mick Cadman of Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service said:

“We are delighted to be moving our firefighters into this new station – we’re extremely pleased that we will be implementing a new innovative crewing system for our staff at this station.

“We have a very close working relationship with West Mercia Police and look forward to jointly continuing to provide the best possible service to our communities.”

The official opening of the Bromsgrove Police and Fire Station will take place later in the year.


St Richard’s Hospice 30th Annual Malvern Hills Charity Walk

Experience the magic of the Malvern Hills.
St Richard’s Hospice is holding its 30th Annual Malvern Hills Walk, with three routes available 2, 5 and 11 miles. This walk is perfect for all the family, why not bring a picnic and enjoy the stunning views?

There is no registration fee but we ask all walkers to raise as much sponsorship money as possible.

2 mile meeting point – 10.30am, Blackhills Car park WR13 6DW
5 mile meeting point – 10am, Blackhills Car park WR13 6DW
11 mile meeting point – 9am, North Quarry Car park WR14 4LX

CLICK – Come ​and ​experience ​the ​magic ​of ​the ​Malvern ​Hills ​with ​a ​choice ​of ​2, ​5 ​or ​11 ​mile ​routes ​kindly ​sponsored ​by ​RCA ​Regeneration



Mickey Rooney Dies Aged 93

MickeyHeadshotcolorMickey Rooney (born Joseph Yule, Jr September 23, 1920 – April 6, 2014) was an American film actor and entertainer whose film, television, and stage appearances spanned nearly his entire lifetime.

He received multiple awards, including a Juvenile Academy Award, an Honorary Academy Award, two Golden Globes and an Emmy Award. Working as a performer since he was a child, he was a superstar as a teenager for the films in which he played Andy Hardy, and he had one of the longest careers of any actor, spanning 92 years actively making films in ten decades, from the 1920s to the 2010s. For a younger generation of fans, he gained international fame for his leading role as Henry Dailey in The Family Channel’s The Adventures of the Black Stallion.

Until his death in April 2014, Rooney was one of the last surviving stars who worked in the silent film era. He was also the last surviving cast member of several films in which he appeared during the 1930s and 1940s.

In 1944, Rooney enlisted in the United States Army. He served more than 21 months, until shortly after the end of World War II. During and after the war he helped entertain the troops in America and Europe, and spent part of the time as a radio personality on the American Forces Network and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for entertaining troops in combat zones. In addition to the Bronze Star Medal, Rooney also received the Army Good Conduct Medal, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, and World War II Victory Medal for his military service.

Rooney was married eight times. In the 1950s and 1960s, he was often the subject of comedians’ jokes for his alleged inability to stay married. At the time of his death, he was married to Jan Chamberlin, although they were then separated. He had a total of nine children, as well as 19 grandchildren and several great-grandchildren. In May 2013, Rooney sold his house of many years, separated from his wife Jan Rooney and split the proceeds.

Rooney died surrounded by his family at his home in North Hollywood, Los Angeles, California on April 6, 2014, at the age of 93. Rooney was survived by his wife of 37 years, Jan Chamberlain, as well as eight surviving children, two stepchildren, nineteen grandchildren and several great-grandchildren

Happy 65th Birthday Daddy

Happy 65th Birthday Daddy xxx Love and miss you lots

Happy 65th Birthday Daddy xxx Love and miss you lots

We cannot send a birthday card,
Your hand we cannot touch,
But God will take our greetings
To my dad who I miss and love so much.

It broke our hearts to lose you,
But to stay only brought you pain,
Tears of love will never wake you,
God bless you, Daddy, till we meet again.

Dad I Miss You So Much

God Only Takes the Very Best


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