2018 has started with the usual commitment with events and fund raisers, keeping the branch busy.
In support of RM Colin Reynolds pledge to raise £2000 for a place in the London Marathon, running for RM Charities, we held a Cycle Challenge in Wilkos, Barnstaple. With support of the staff of the store in 7.5 hours we completed 259Km and raised £817 for Colin Reynolds Marathon pledge. Through our contacts the branch generated over £1500 towards his total. Thanks to the team who helped on the day.
The Chairman and WO2 Jacko Jackson gave presentations and demos about training to become a Royal Marine to 2 disadvantaged Youth Groups from Bridging the Gap, 1 in Barnstaple and 1 in Ilfracombe. All the kids enjoyed the experience, tried some rations and handled some personal kit that Royal Marines carry into the field.
Our next outing was another first for us. Through branch members Roger and Jenny Staines we have established contact with an Ex RM fighter pilot, Christopher Darwin, who flew jets off aircraft carriers (when we had jets!!) who now runs events at race tracks. The idea is that Christopher persuades a group of “Petrol Heads” to pay a sum of money to bring their very fast cars to a race circuit and drive at great speed as many times as they can around the track. The money raised is donated to a couple of military chosen charities. Roger and Jenny introduced Christopher to the work of the RMA and he immediately offered to open one of the days to the branch. We set into getting a variety of serving and retired military. Representatives of the RMA, Brigadiers Mike Ellis and Richard Spencer came along with their sons. In the end our group pretty much covered every area of the Corps Family. We got to go in a variety of cars as passengers and a great day was had by all. A cheque for £1200 was presented to the RMA. Good news - it looks like this could become an annual event with different groups from the Corps taking up the service places!
Our last mission was our annual outing to RHS Rosemoor in support of their “Wilderness Weekend”. A group of serving RM’s and branch members spent 2 days talking to the public. Branch member Roli Jones and his Oppo Pete gave demos on field craft. We had a weapons stand there and WO2 Jacko Jackson and Smudge Smith brought their filed kit for some hands on. We took the RMA Shop as well. Although not a fund raiser we took £113 in donations and £118 in the sale of merchandise from the shop.