THE Prime Minister has given his support to a nationwide Heroes Day which was inspired by the death of a young marine.
Teacher Danny Glavin was so moved by his friend Marine Richard Hollington’s tragic death he decided to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in his memory.
To raise the cash he persuaded schools in the area to hold Hero Days where pupils dressed up as their idols – from David Beckham to the Queen.
In just a few months Mr Glavin has raised £5,600 and Mne Hollington’s father, Robin, was so impressed he decided to take it further and asked David Cameron if he would support a national Heroes Day for schools.
The Prime Minister has now given his full support to an annual Heroes Day on October 21, Trafalgar Day.
Mr Glavin said: ‘I’m just delighted, it’s absolutely fantastic.
‘It all started out with me just wanting to do something to honour Rich and it snowballed from there.’
Mr Hollington, from Petersfield, said: ‘Heroes Day is a simple idea. So simple that I think, and no-one has yet disagreed, that it’s brilliant.
‘I only wish I could claim the credit. With very little effort Danny managed to persuade schools to pilot the concept demonstrating it’s a popular idea with a winning formula.
‘Since discussing rolling it out nationally, I’ve received overwhelming support and people who never even knew Richard are embracing the idea.
‘I am really excited to be championing a day that elevates and recognises the extraordinary people who are willing to risk their lives to keep our country safe and protect what we believe in.
‘This day offers a chance for everyone – young and old, to show that we appreciate their sacrifice.’
Mne Hollington, who had played for Fareham Town FC, became the 300th serviceman to be killed as a result of the conflict in Afghanistan.
He was fatally injured by a roadside bomb when on patrol in Helmand a year ago in June.
In a letter to Mr Hollington, Mr Cameron said he thought a Heroes Day was an excellent idea.
‘I fully endorse any project or idea that encourages community participation and increases knowledge and support of our service personnel,’ Mr Cameron said.
‘I see the idea of a National Heroes Day as having the potential to increase awareness as well as benefiting a wide range of charities and organisations in Big Society terms.’
The prime minister concluded his letter by stating: ‘Mr Hollington’s idea is the type that is simple but effective in raising the bar and I applaud his efforts to date.’
Each child will pay £1 to dress up and Mr Hollington hopes schools will hold special assemblies exploring what it means to be a hero.
Twenty-four schools in the area have already held a Heroes Day and another seven are taking place over the coming months.
Anyone who would like to take part in Heroes Day can register their interest at heroesday.org.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org.