Students Plan Extraordinary Feats to Remember 10 Years in Afghanistan

Monday, June 14, 2010

A national appeal to raise over £350,000 for those affected by the war in Afghanistan is to be led by an ambitious team of students from the Universities of Exeter and Plymouth. Preparation is now well underway for ‘DecAid: Honouring 10 Years in Afghanistan’, with the appeal’s imminent website launch on Wednesday the 2nd June 2010.

Patrons Lieutenant General Sir Nicholas Parker KCB CBE, Deputy Commander of NATO Forces in Afghanistanand Hamish Clark  of ‘Monarch of the Glen’ have confirmed their commitment to the project , and plans for a documentary to be filmed and shown on national television seeks to raise maximum awareness and funds.

DecAid proceedings will dominate the Summer/Autumn of 2011 and help raise awareness of the contribution of British Armed Forces in a coordinated national ten-week campaign. The opening ceremony, a spectacular ‘Mass Pipes and Drums’ event, on 26th June, will see 2,011 musicians march along the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, in conjunction with the Armed Forces Day events.  A concluding Memorial Event, ‘Light for Life’, will publicly mark the 10th Anniversary of the War in Afghanistan on 2nd October. A candle will be lit for every British soldier who has lost their life in Afghanistan.

The appeal will also organise a series of extreme physical challenges which will involve several thousand people throughout the UK, including ex-servicemen, family and friends. The challenges include; The ‘Munro Mission’, which aims to conquer 283 mountains in 45 days, with the team climbing the height of Mount Everest every three days;  ‘The Ride 2 Remember’ mass cycle ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats involving up to 250 people;  ‘The Big Tow’, in which 10 vehicles, will be towed around a well-known race track in a tri-service competition; and ‘Stretched to the Limit’ where 30 teams will attempt the arduous trek up Snowdon, the highest mountain in England and Wales, carrying a heavy stretcher.

The DecAid enterprise, which will donate to three service charities; ‘Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association’ (SSAFA); ‘The British Ex-Servicemen Association’ (BLESMA); and ‘Talking  2 Minds’,  is the brainchild of Rupert Laing, aged 23, who graduated last year from The University of Exeter with a 2:1 degree in Politics.

Laing comments “we feel passionately about the cause and we hope to raise awareness for the physically wounded, the psychologically wounded and their bereaved families.”

Laing leads the inspirational DecAid Team which is made up of current or former members of the Exeter University Officer Training Corps (EUOTC), who are all under the age of 25. The team will encourage the participation of the 90,000 strong UOTCs and Cadet Forces in its national campaign. DecAid endeavour to have over 5000 people directly involved in its programme.

Further information and details of how to get involved and donate to the charities can be found DecAid website www.decaid.co.uk

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