Announcement

Airmen's Afghan Christmas charity run

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Members of the Royal Air Force currently serving in Afghanistan have donned their santa suits to recreate the annual British Heart Foundation (BHF)'s Cardiff Santa Jog.

Eleven members of the Mechanical Engineering Flight, part of 904 Expeditionary Air Wing, together with their Wing Commander, donned the santa suits which were sent to them by the British Heart Foundation in Wales, so that they could participate in the charity’s Santa Jog.

Sergeant Mark Turner who co-ordinated the event in Kandahar said:

We successfully ran our BHF Santa Run in Afghanistan and we all thoroughly enjoyed it. It was really cold here - below zero - and we had to run at daybreak before our day shift started.

The idea came to me when I realised that I would miss this year’s BHF Cardiff Santa Jog which my family has supported and fundraised for in the past.

We were sorry to hear that the Santa Jog in Cardiff earlier this month had to be postponed due to icy conditions on the course, but want to urge all the thousand people who had already signed up to turn up to the ‘Cardiff Santa Jog - Take 2’ to take part when it is rescheduled on 23 January.

From left: Corporal 'Shep' Shepherd, Senior Aircraftman (Technician) 'Noddy' Holder, Wing Commander Andy Gilbert, Senior Aircraftman (Technician) Matt Edwards, Chief Technician Kemal Ozficici, Senior Aircraftman Ricki Saunders, Corporals Dave Blackhall, S
From left: Corporal 'Shep' Shepherd, Senior Aircraftman (Technician) 'Noddy' Holder, Wing Commander Andy Gilbert, Senior Aircraftman (Technician) Matt Edwards, Chief Technician Kemal Ozficici, Senior Aircraftman Ricki Saunders, Corporals Dave Blackhall, Stewart Cameron, Senior Aircraftman (Technician) Matt Bellamy and Sergeant Don Turner [Picture: Squadron Leader Nicola Wood, Crown Copyright/MOD 2010]

Sergeant Turner continued:

We have also raised some funds by giving some of my airman the chance to cause me, their Sergeant, some pain by waxing areas of my chest and back and a few other stunts to raise funds should bring in some money to help the British Heart Foundation with their lifesaving work.

Mark’s wife and daughter Diana and Sian who live in Sarn said:

It’s great to see these pictures of Mark and his fellow airmen obviously enjoying a welcome festive break to raise funds for the British Heart foundation.

We as a family did the event in Cardiff last year and had so much fun and it was fantastic to hear that the suits had arrived so that they could take part in Afghanistan.

We will now have to wait until the re-scheduled event in Cardiff takes place on Sunday 23 January but in the meantime look forward to seeing Mark back home with us after Christmas.