Felix Fund receives CDS Commendation

DMC-14-082Chief of Defence Staff General Sir Nick Houghton presenting CDS Commendation to Holly Davies, founder of Felix Fund, thFelix Fund has been awarded a Commendation from the Chief of The Defence Staff, the professional head of the British Armed Forces, in a ceremony at MOD Main Building in Whitehall.

CDS commendations, part of The Armed Forces Covenant, recognise “outstanding support and commitment of a rare and exceptionally high standard by non-military individuals or organisations to the Armed Forces community.”

Felix Fund is one of only two charities to receive a CDS commendation since the inaugural awards in 2012.

Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir Nick Houghton, said:

“Felix Fund is a charity that significantly improves the lives of soldiers returning from operations through the generous provision of breaks, grants and peer support. Their work wholly complements our own efforts and is worthy of special recognition.”

Holly Davies, Felix Fund’s Chief Executive, said:

“Everyone at Felix Fund is thrilled. It’s very reassuring to have formal confirmation that our work for the military bomb disposal community has been good and useful.”

Qinetiq sponsors our Fundraising Cup

Qinetiq-cup-logo-V2QinetiQ, the defence, aerospace and security experts, are sponsoring Felix Fund’s annual inter-unit fundraising competition.

The QinetiQ Cup will be awarded to the military or police unit that raises the largest sum for Felix Fund over a 12-month period starting 5 November each year. The winning unit will also receive £1,000 prize money to spend on adventure training or welfare activities.

‘The QinetiQ Cup’ will be officially launched at Lambeth Palace on 5 November 2013, as part of the BigBlast! drinks reception and fireworks.

John Anderson, Managing Director of QinetiQ’s Weapons Division, says, “QinetiQ is very proud to sponsor this competition. We hope it will harness healthy inter-unit rivalry for the benefit of the whole EOD & Search community.”

Felix Fund Chief Executive, Holly Davies says, “We are very grateful indeed to QinetiQ for all their on-going support of Felix Fund.”

For further details, or to enter your unit for The QinetiQ Cup, please email enquiries@felixfund.org.uk

Bishopsgate Dinner raises £115,000

A dinner to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Bishopsgate Bombing in the City of London raised £115,000 for Felix Fund.

Sponsored by Handelsbanken, Hiscox, Qinetiq and Thomas Miller, the event was held at The Merchant Taylors’ Hall, near the scene of the blast.

When the large PIRA truck bomb exploded on 24 April 1993, it killed one person and injured 34 others. The resulting crater was 36 feet in diameter and 15 feet deep; window damage extended over half a mile and costs were estimated at £1 billion.

David Williams, the Met police explosives officer who attended the scene said: “When I arrived the City Police were doing an excellent job of evacuating the area, but by the time the cordon had reached a reasonable distance it was too late to make any kind of approach to the vehicle, it was within minutes of exploding. The IRA tacticians had got it exactly right.”

Other guests at the dinner included Major General Colin Boag CBE, W02 Gareth Wood MC and the cast of Bluestone 42, the BBC comedy series based on a bomb disposal team in Afghanistan. The charity auction was conducted by Lord Harry Dalmeny.

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11 EOD Rgt 621 Sqn receive the Alford Challenge Plate for fundraising
The auctioneer was Lord Harry Dalmeny
Bishopsgate Dinner guests
The Merchant Taylors' Hall was beautifully prepared
The menu
David and Christine Williams
Kelly Adams (‘The Padre’ in Bluestone 42) and Felix Fund Trustee Maj Karl Frankland
Major General Colin Boag, CBE


Felix Fund to receive Libor funds

Felix Fund is to receive money from fines imposed on banks for their involvement in the Libor rate-fixing scandal, Chancellor George Osborne has announced.

Felix Fund is one of three charities to receive a share of the £1.3m Libor Fund, along with Tickets for Troops and Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association.

Mr Osborne told the BBC: “I wanted to take money that was paid in fines by people who, frankly, demonstrated the worst of the values in our society and help support those who demonstrate the very best values in our society – and those are the soldiers and sailors and airmen who fight on our behalf.”


Our Baz carries torch for Felix

Baz in Nottingham with the Olympic torch

Among those carrying the Olympic Torch through Nottingham on 28 June was bomb disposal expert Cpl Daniel Whittingham, of 11 EOD Regiment RLC. His selection as Olympic torchbearer reflects both his strength in adversity and his charity work, including his fundraising for Felix Fund.

Holly Davies, chief executive of Felix Fund, said: “We are enormously grateful to Cpl Whittingham – or ‘Baz’ as many know him. It was fantastic to see his inspirational work for Felix Fund recognised in this way.”

Cpl Daniel Whittingham was seriously injured in 2009 whilst serving in Afghanistan when the vehicle he was travelling in hit an improvised explosive device (IED). His injuries included two shattered legs, and after 18 months of treatment he had an elected amputation on his left leg below the knee. Cpl Whittingham benefited from a Felix Fund Normalisation break shortly after.

The 26-year-old former Team GB para canoeist is a member of Notts Troop 721 Squadron 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Regiment, Royal Logistics Corps, based at Chetwynd Barracks in Chilwell.

Last April, Cpl Whittingham helped to raise £60,000 at a dinner in London to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Baltic Exchange Bombing. His ongoing fundraising for Felix Fund includes a sponsored descent into Titan, the deepest natural cave in Europe.

Baltic dinner raises £60,000

A dinner and auction to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the bombing of the Baltic Exchange in the City of London raised £60,000 for the Felix Fund.

Sponsored by the Hiscox insurance group, the event was held on the top floor of 30 St Mary Axe (The Gherkin), adjacent to the present home of the Baltic Exchange, and the building that replaced the historic but severely damaged previous home of the Exchange.

When the large truck bomb was detonated on 10 April 1992 it killed three people and 99 others were injured. It caused £800 millions in damage – £200 million more than the total financial cost of all the other previous explosion relating to the Troubles in Northern Ireland up to that point.

Hiscox group chairman, Robert Hiscox said: “The City must never forget what we owe to the extreme bravery and selflessness of the bomb disposal experts. Felix Fund needs our help to support them in their continuing fight against terrorism.”

Guests at the dinner included: Major Peter Norton GC, WO2 Karl Ley GM (who holds the record for the volume of devices dealt with), and Cpl Daniel Whittingham, the Afghan-amputee bomb disposal expert who later this year will carry the Olympic torch in his home town of Nottingham.

Also present were Ann Marie Nice, widow of Metropolitan Police explosives officer Nick Nice, who attended the 1992 blast, together with Brigadier Mike Hickson, Director of The Royal Logistic Corps, Brigadier Miles Wade, Head of Army Media and Communications, Lord Archer and Lord Daventry.

WO2 Karl Ley

WO2 Karl Ley GM

Cpl Daniel Whittingham

Cpl Daniel Whittingham

Major Peter Norton GC

Major Peter Norton GC

Hiscox group chairman, Robert Hiscox

Hiscox group chairman, Robert Hiscox

Brigadier Mike Hickson

Brigadier Mike Hickson

Anne Marie Nice

Anne Marie Nice

Lord Archer

Lord Archer

Hiscox sponsors Baltic Exchange dinner

Hiscox Insurance is generously sponsoring a dinner to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the bomb which destroyed The Baltic Exchange in the City of London. The dinner, organised by Felix Fund, will take place at the top of 30 St Mary Axe (‘The Gherkin’) on Thursday April 12th.

Lord (Jeffrey) Archer will conduct a charity auction during the dinner, to raise funds for bomb disposal experts who continue to combat Northern Irish terrorism.

On 10 April 1992 a large truck bomb exploded outside the Baltic Exchange. It killed three people and injured 99 others. It also caused £800 million worth of damage – £200 million more than the total financial cost of all the previous explosions relating to the troubles in Northern Ireland up to that point. Swiss Re commissioned the building, known as ‘The Gherkin,’ which now stands on the site of the former Grade 11* listed Baltic Exchange.

Ball In Memory of Brett Linley raises £5,500

Anne Linley and family friend Trisha Flynn have raised £5,500 for Felix Fund with a ball in memory of Anne’s son, Brett.

SSgt Brett Linley GM, of 11 EOD Regiment RLC, died while trying to clear improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in Nahr-e-Saraj in July 2010. He was posthumously awarded the George Medal in November this year.

The dinner and ball, held in Birmingham, was attended by over 100 family, friends and members of the wider bomb disposal community.

Felix Fund is delighted to welcome Anne and Trisha as fundraising co-ordinators for West Midlands area.

Supporters in Mallorca raise €5,000

Felix Fund supporters Elaine Macnamara, Susan Worthington and Sally Luxmoore  (pictured with Felix Fund Trustee Major Karl Frankland) have raised €5,000 for Felix Fund with a gala dinner in Mallorca. The funds will pay travel expenses for bomb disposal experts and their families visiting Mallorca for RnR breaks donated by the island’s residents.