Military cash drive for troops

Memorial: Christopher Bridge.
Memorial: Christopher Bridge.
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TWO military-themed fundraising events are taking place at the weekend to help causes including the appeal for a war memorial in Shiregreen Cemetery, wounded troops’ charity Help for Heroes, and Rotherham Hospice.

Dean Staniland, aged 20, has organised a sponsored skating event at iceSheffield, in Attercliffe, on Saturday afternoon, where the participants are aiming to skate 6,400 laps of the ice - with each lap representing a mile. It is the equivalent of the distance to Afghanistan and back.

He is raising money for family friend Nicolette Williams, whose son, Senior Aircraftsman Christopher Bridge, aged 20, was killed in Afghanistan, in 2007.

Nicolette has been campaigning to raise money for a war memorial in Shiregreen Cemetery, where Christopher is buried - as it is the only burial ground in Sheffield without one.

She has so far raised £31,000 and needs another £4,000 to make her plan a reality.

Recent fundraising has included collections around city centre bars and Nicolette has also received a donation from Brightside and Hillsborough MP David Blunkett.

Nicolette said: “It’s a great idea which I was happy to be a part of. There will be at least 42 skaters taking part, who will be doing 100 laps each. I’m having a go myself and aim to do at least 10 laps, and my younger son Jamie, who is 17, is also having a go.

“Hopefully, I’ll be able to complete my laps - I haven’t skated in years!”

The group will be wearing T-shirts printed with Christopher’s photograph, and camouflage on their faces.

Meanwhile, also on Saturday afternoon, soldier brothers Kyle and Christopher Unwin, from Kiveton Park, have organised a charity football match at the Outokumpu Sports and Social Club, on Bawtry Road, Tinsley.

Kyle, aged 25, and Christopher, 28, both corporals in the Royal Signals and Rifles, will be captaining teams made up of friends and soldiers, who are playing in Sheffield Wednesday and United strips.

The match is in aid of Help for Heroes and Rotherham Hospice.

Kyle Unwin, captain of the honorary Sheffield United team, said: “As brothers who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, we’ve both seen what Help for Heroes is up against and wanted to show our personal support by helping to raise much needed funds. We also selected Rotherham Hospice for personal reasons after experiencing the fantastic work they do.

“The football match means a great deal to both of us and the rest of the guys playing.

“To be able to get our friends and fellow soldiers together for a friendly but very competitive game is a great way to raise money for such worthy causes.

“We hope that anyone who attends digs deep and of course, enjoys the match.”