IT’S a chance for everyone to be a hero – and today The News calls on readers to back an extraordinary fundraising event.
We want schools, busineses and individuals to get behind Heroes Day – a fun charity fundraiser inspired by the memory of Royal Marine Richard Hollington.
Heroes Day, on October 21, will see people across our area – and all over the country – raise cash for Help for Heroes.
The idea is simple – dress up as your hero for the day. In return for the privilege you pay £1.
The proceeds will help the scores of young men and women left injured by war.
The money-spinner was thought up by Danny Glavin, a friend of Mne Hollington, who died after he was fatally wounded by a blast in Afghanistan.
He has already held a pilot Heroes Day which raised more than £5,000 by getting local schoolchildren to dress up as their idols.
Now the concept has snowballed, with Prime Minister David Cameron giving his support for a national Heroes Day on October 21 – Trafalgar Day.
Children at Titchfield Primary School dressed as their heroes yesterday to promote the fundraiser.
The heroes included firefighters from 9/11, women’s suffragettes and Winston Churchill – and some children even dressed as their parents or grandparents.
Danny, 24, who plans to dress up as a marine on the day, said: ‘It gives everyone the chance to celebrate their own heroes in their own lives and it’s a fantastic chance to raise money for all the hard work our armed forces do on a daily basis.
‘It started off quite local but it’s got bigger and bigger, to the extent that it’s now a National Day and I’m very proud of that.’
Mne Hollington’s father Robin, from Petersfield, said: ‘It’s appropriate for one day of the year for the nation to come together and recognise their personal hero.
‘That’s not necessarily a military hero, it could be anyone. It could be your grandparent. It could be the school crossing lady. Unashamedly, it’s about fundraising.
‘We can’t do anything but remember the good times about Richard. What we can do is to help those who have survived.
‘That’s what it’s about. You look at how Richard was as a guy – a team player.
‘He’s been subbed and we are going to treat the ones who are still playing.’
Mr Hollington, who has already helped to raise more than £130,000 for Help for Heroes in memory of his son, said more cash was still needed to help injured troops and their families.
He said: ‘These are people who five years ago would not have survived. In 2007 there was one triple amputee to survive. In 2008 there were 12, and in 2009 there were 26.
‘These are people who are going to have a life expectancy of 60 to 80 years. I don’t think anyone realises how much support they are going to need.’
On the day, Mr Hollington says he plans to wear a T-shirt with his son’s picture, as well as dressing as his hero Nelson Mandela.
GUTSY Danny Glavin went to great lengths for charity – climbing 19,341 feet.
But all you have to do is pay £1 and dress up as your hero.
Mr Glavin was so moved by the death of his friend Marine Richard Hollington that he decided to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania in his memory.
It was while raising money for this epic climb that he came up with the idea of Heroes Day.
Mr Glavin, of North Wallington, Fareham, said: ‘It was absolutely amazing, a brilliant experience – just fantastic.
‘The best bit was not actually getting to the top, although I was obviously relieved.
‘The summit night was very difficult. We had to leave with head torches at midnight and go right the way through the night. The altitude went up quite dramatically. There were numerous ones that did not make it up.’
For more information about Heroes Day check out heroesday.org.uk where there
is a pack for primary schools to download.
To register to take part send an email to email@example.com, sending details of the organisation and contact details.
The News would also like to hear from any organisation who wants to take part.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Jeff Travis on (023) 9249 2444.
You can also get involved through Twitter. Use the hashtag #heroesday to let us know what you’ll be doing.