Everyone can be a hero for a day to help out our brave forces

HEROES Northern Parade Primary School in Portsmouth took part in Heroes Day 2011. Inset, Richard Hollington
HEROES Northern Parade Primary School in Portsmouth took part in Heroes Day 2011. Inset, Richard Hollington

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IT’S time to step up and be a hero for the day.

Whether it be Winston Churchill, Madonna, Christopher Columbus or your gran, this is one day of the year when it’s the thought that counts.

Marine Richard Hollington

Marine Richard Hollington

People across the area are being invited to sign up to Heroes Day, which will take place on October 21, Trafalgar Day.

Last year, 141 primary schools and 13 secondary schools took part in the event, as well as scores of businesses and organisations.

Organiser Danny Glavin, a teacher from Wallington, Fareham, is keen to get as many schools signed up before the summer holidays.

As previously reported in The News, the 25-year-old developed the idea last year when he climbed Mount Kilimanjaro for Help for Heroes in memory of his pal Marine Richard Hollington, from Petersfield, who died after a bomb blast in Afghanistan in 2010.

Rather than just ask people to sponsor him, he invited schools to allow their pupils to honour their heroes by coming to lessons dressed as their hero for one day in lieu of school uniform. The concept snowballed, even attracting the praise of David Cameron, until a National Heroes Day took place on Trafalgar Day last October.

Supported by The News, participation was strongest in the Portsmouth area as this is where the concept started.

More than £50,000 was raised for Help for Heroes, which helps service personnel who are injured in conflict.

This year they hope to make the event even bigger and raise more money, said Danny.

‘This year we hope to build on the success of last year’s event which involved superb support from across the region,’ he said.

‘We are inviting as many schools as possible to participate in the fundraising.

‘If your school took part last year, it would be fantastic if you would support the cause again this year.

‘This year Heroes Day falls on a Sunday, so we anticipate schools to participate during the preceding week, however, this will depend solely on the convenience of each individual school. The support for this worthy cause would not only be greatly appreciated, but will benefit the lives of so many injured heroes and their families.’

As well as supporting charity, Heroes Day is a fun day that gets everyone talking about what it is to be a hero.

Last year many schools used the day to discuss the difference between celebrity and heroism.

Danny said: ‘I experienced the success of Heroes Day first hand in the primary school I taught in, and was thrilled with the amount of work and thought the children put into the day. Pupils came dressed as their grandads proudly displaying old war medals, they dressed as their mums and dads in police uniforms, nurse gowns and as construction workers.

‘There was Albert Einstein, Admiral Lord Nelson, suffragettes and even superhero outfits. It proved to be a truly fun and engaging way of raising money for such a worthy cause, while also providing lots of educational value.’

Register your participation at heroesday.org.uk Questions can be emailed to nationalheroesday@aol.com