D-Day fundraising and commemorative parachute drop with ex-para Frank Fletcher
13 May 2019 (Last updated: 15 May 2019 10:13)
Oral and facial surgery speciality born out of treating war injuries teams up with Saving Faces charity to hold D-Day fundraising and commemorative parachute drop with ex-para Frank Fletcher. Sponsor Frank Fletcher
A commemorative parachute drop* on the 75th anniversary of D-Day (6 June 1944) is set to raise essential funds for the National Facial, Oral and Oculoplastic Research Centre (NFORC), funded by research charity Saving Faces and partner the British Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (BAOMS). The drop takes place near Caen in Normandy on D-Day (5 June) and another near Arnhem in the Netherlands on 17 September. As in 1944 the jumps will take place from Dakota aircraft.
BAOMS President Sat Parmar, Consultant Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, said that working in Birmingham with the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine meant he was only too familiar with the injuries our forces can sustain:
“Our speciality was born out of treating the injuries sustained during the conflict from two world wars, and this is an amazing opportunity to raise funds to continue essential research to reduce the incidence of facial injuries, disorders and diseases such as oral cancer.
“This is a chance for all of us in BAOMS to unite in an important fundraising activity and sponsor the ex-paratrooper Frank Fletcher who will make the parachute drops.”
Ex-paratrooper Frank Fletcher has volunteered to fundraise for research charity Saving Faces and Special Forces veterans charity Pilgrim Bandits by making sponsored parachute drops over Caen in Normandy and later Arnhem in the Netherlands: “I wanted to make the two jumps as a mark of respect for my former colleagues and to commemorate what they achieved. I have seen facial wounds as a result of conflict, and the work of maxillofacial surgeons and the support both charities give is amazing – and that’s why it’s important to raise awareness and money to continue the work they do,” Frank Fletcher commented.
Frank Fletcher will make the drop from one of the more than 30 Dakota aircraft that will make an epic cross-channel flight on 5 June. The flights are part of the Imperial War Museum’s (IWM) D-Day75 anniversary week of events Daks Over Duxford. Over two days there will be mass parachute jumps and flight displays ahead of the cross-channel flight to Normandy.
BAOMS has partnered the charity Saving Faces for many years on projects. In 2012 late BAOMS President Barrie Evans set up NFORC as the BAOMS Clinical Research Centre: “This further cemented our partnership,” Sat Parmar explained, “while Saving Faces continues to research into the causes and treatments of facial injuries and head and neck cancer.
“It would be fantastic if serving and past armed forces colleagues as well as all BAOMS Fellows, members and trainees could spread the word widely and support these two worthy charities.”
On D-Day 24,000 paratroopers and glider- borne soldiers dropped into Normandy spearheading the beach landings that started the liberation of Western Europe. Since World War Two the UK Parachute Regiment has served in many areas of conflict from Greece, the Persian Gulf, Cyprus to the Falkland Islands. Later on it served in Northern Ireland, Balkans, Sierra Leone, Iraq and Afghanistan. Many service personnel who have left the Parachute Regiment still require physical and mental support through charities such as Pilgrim Bandits.
“We urge you to support both these worthwhile charities who have been linked as described above and any donations that are gratefully received will be shared between the two charities, Pilgrim Bandits and Saving Faces,” Sat Parmar said.
THIS IS HOW YOU CAN SPONSOR
For further information and interviews contact: Siân Evans on 020 8674 8921 / 07752 414433 or BAOMS
Saving Faces or call on: 020 8223 8049 /
Notes to editors
The British Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (BAOMS) promotes the advancement of education, research and the development of oral and maxillofacial Surgery in Great Britain, and encourages and assists postgraduate education, study and research.
Saving Faces, the Facial Surgery Research Foundation, was launched in 2000 by Consultant Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon, Professor Iain Hutchison. It is the only charity in the UK dedicated to education to reduce the incidence of facial injuries, disorders and diseases including oral cancer. Its mission is to enable research carried out by over 40 of the UK’s top facial surgeons. With this collaborative approach the charity can answer vital research questions more rapidly than even the most famous of single institutions. It has two unique resources that provide their services free of charge - the surgeons and the patients. These people decide on the important studies we conduct. Saving Faces provides the research staff to make this data collection and the clinical trials happen, and funds nine researchers working alongside the surgeons across the UK. www.savingfaces.co.uk
The first at Duxford on 4 June is a practice jump. The main event is the second jump into Normandy around 2pm on 5 June*.
For the Arnhem jump on 17 September there will also be Polish Airborne Forces who participated in the original battle in 1944.
More information about the Daks Over Normandy events
More information about the D-Day anniversary events being organised by the Imperial War Museum over 4 June to 5 June 2019
Royal Centre for Defence Medicine, University Hospitals Birmingham provides medical support to members of the armed forces.
Pilgrim Bandits Charity was established by a small group of Special Forces veterans to use their unique training and experience to help and inspire injured personnel to live life to the full
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