New domestic abuse charity Free to Fly celebrates take off with The Red Arrows

A NEW charity that has been set up to help new and expectant mums escape domestic abuse marked its official launch with some special guests.

Tuesday, 28th September 2021, 11:55 am
From left, Wing Commander David Montgomery OBE, Emily Ball, Free to Fly chair of trustees Nikki Tapley and Squadron Leader Adam Collins

Charity Free to Fly, based in Whiteley, was joined by The Red Arrows as they held an informal launch celebration at the annual Bournemouth Air Festival earlier this month.

The event was supported by a group of Portsmouth-based business owners, to mark Free to Fly’s recent registration and official launch as a charity with the Charity Commission.

Founder and chair of trustees, Nikki Tapley, was delighted when two senior pilots from The Red Arrows David Montgomery and Adam Collins met with their party while on a short break between the RAF aerobatic team’s displays at the festival.

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The pilots expressed support for the charity’s cause, which is to help pregnant women to access practical, flexible help, when they need it, to ensure they can leave and stay free from relationships where they are being subjected to domestic abuse, at a time when both mother and child are most vulnerable.

Nikki said: ‘We were thrilled to meet David and Adam! It meant so much to have their support and we look forward to an ongoing relationship with the Red Arrows team.

‘I’m so thankful on behalf of the charity, for the kind donations and support of those who attended and supported the event, for their help to get us off the ground.

‘Launching at the Bournemouth Air Festival seemed a very appropriate way to start to our fundraising given our name at Free to Fly.

‘We’re now looking for other events where we can raise awareness of our mission and raise essential funds for our local project.’

The charity is hoping to commence activities soon and is currently fundraising for the help it needs to be able to offer services and develop referral pathways in collaboration with other organisations, agencies and domestic abuse services.

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