Belfast Telegraph

Kilcooley people help the heroes

by Natalie Irvine

Kilcooley residents have been commended for their efforts to support British troops wounded in the line of duty.

Last Friday, September 17, Kilcooley Forum presented a cheque for £2,700 to senior naval officer for Northern Ireland, commander Donald Crosbie, on behalf of the Help for Heroes charity.

Mark Gordon, community development manager at Kilcooley Community Forum said: “There was a ground swell in the local community to raise money for this charity. There are quite a few people in this area suffering from post traumatic stress disorder as a direct result of their time in service, as well as those who have sustained physical injuries.

“Local people have watched the planes bringing the bodies of soldiers back, and although they don’t live in England, many people from Bangor are their relatives.

“The community wanted to show their support and do something positive for them — also a lot of the troops who have just been deployed to Afghanistan this month come from this area.

“Over the summer numerous individuals and groups organised different events to help raise money for Help for Heroes.

“The events included cake sales, hair shaving / waxing, bric-a-brac stalls, door to door collections, card sales and much more.

“People of all ages and ilks have been involved in this. Kilcooley Primary School raised money and it was great to see some of the pupils attend the presentation. We also received many individual and church group donations to be added to the final sum.

“We haven’t finished collecting all the money yet, there is a parachute jump among other things yet to take happen — I feel we will get the same figure in again after these events.

“We really appreciate the work of Help for heroes and communities need to do what they can to help support this charity because of the excellent work they undertake for our troops returning home with injuries, be they mental or physical.

“But there is also a need for Help for Heroes to do more locally to ensure local heroes can also get the help and support they need. However, the responsibility falls on the government to ensure troops returning from service receive the support they need.

Commander Donald Crosbie spoke to the audience about the work of the armed services and thanked Help for Heroes for their work and paid tribute to the people of Kilcooley who had generously supported the charity.

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