Southbourne and Westbourne back Help for Heroes

Pupils from Southbourne  with their cheque for Help for Heroes. Picture by Kate Shemilt C130955-1
Pupils from Southbourne with their cheque for Help for Heroes. Picture by Kate Shemilt C130955-1

AN ‘AMAZING amount’ has been donated to Help for Heroes in memory of a husband, father and soldier.

Events at Southbourne Infant School and the Cricketers Pub, Westbourne, raised £2,114 and £4,385 respectively for the charity supporting wounded servicemen and women and their families.

Sue and her children present the cheque to Sgt Mgr Will Linton, Bdr Andrew Saines and Sgt Major Ian Beaton from the 47 Regiment Royal Artilery. Picture by Kate Shemilt C130955-3

Sue and her children present the cheque to Sgt Mgr Will Linton, Bdr Andrew Saines and Sgt Major Ian Beaton from the 47 Regiment Royal Artilery. Picture by Kate Shemilt C130955-3

Both events were held in memory of Dave Sinclair, a soldier for 22 years and staunch supporter of Help for Heroes.

His wife, Sue, thanked everyone who had helped to raise the funds, explaining why she thought the charity was so special: “They support the families, the people who are left behind when their sons, or their husbands, or their brothers are injured or killed.

“They support the soldiers themselves if they are left with a disability through serving their country.”

Southbourne Infant School

Sue is a teaching assistant at Southbourne Infant School, in New Road, Southbourne.

Following his sudden death in April, pupils and parents at the school decided they wanted to raise funds for the charity in his memory.

The children took part in a sponsored 20 laps around the school’s playing field and playground, with each class being ticked off on a giant Help for Heroes medal as they passed.

The event raised £2,114 through sponsorship and, earlier this month, troops from Thorney Island visited the school to receive a cheque from Sue and her children, Donna, 26, and David, 24.

Speaking about the donation and grand total, 50-year-old Sue said: “We didn’t have a target in mind. I was a little bit taken aback really because it was all in memory of my husband.

“They raised a massive amount and I was very proud of all the children and the support from the parents.”

Sue said both she and her children had been touched by how much had been raised and the presence of the troops from Thorney Island: “It was just lovely, all the support.”

Fundraising

The barracks was one of the places Dave had been posted during his time in the Army and his funeral service was held at the Thorney Island church.

During his 22 years in the Armed Forces, Dave served around the world, receiving medals for his dedication.

“He had been a soldier since he was 16 so he spent most of his adult life in the forces,” said Sue.

After leaving the army, Dave worked as a driving instructor, something which led him to have ‘a lot to do with the community’.

For the past three years he organised a fundraising day for Help for Heroes at the Cricketers pub.

This year, Sue, her children and a small group of friends thought holding the event again would be a fitting way to remember him.

On Saturday, they held a family fun day, including a hog roast, raffle and live music, at the pub to raise a further £4,385 after ‘massive support’ from everyone involved.

“Because of his passing we thought we would organise the event as a group,” said Sue.

Money raised at both events has been added to a donation page set up in Dave’s memory following his death.

“The funds have all gone to my husband’s webpage, at the moment we have about £7,500 on there. We didn’t ask for flowers for his funeral, just donations.”

The family would like Dave’s website to remain private but anyone who would like to donate to Help for Heroes directly can visit www.helpforheroes.org.uk.