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SSAFA Race Day Expands on Success of 2015 Angela Nettlefold Memorial Race By Julian Nettlefold

ssafaThe success of the Angela Nettlefold memorial race at Chepstow last year which raised several thousand pounds for SSAFA has resulted in the 20126 SSAFA Race day at Chepstow with companies sponsoring each race coupled with a lunch and raffle in aid of SSAFA.

Last year’s race was won by Kingswell Theatre owned by John Murray and trained by Michael Scudamore. This was a particularly good result as the winner was trained by Michael Scudamore who is the uncle of my godson Simon Kershaw’s wife Becks who judged best turned out horse!

race001_2nd_november_chepstow-28-002The origins of the Angela Nettlefold Memorial Race date back to the day, aged 85, my mother asked me to arrange an Old Age Pension for her it was typical of her to forget for 25 years! The reason for this was to give her more money to heat her five bedroomed house where she lived alone as my father was in a Care Home.

After a lot of calls to various Government Departments, I was told she was not eligible for one as she had not paid her Stamp! Her Carer’s Allowance was paid via my father’s pension! Eventually she was given £1500 in War Widow’s Allowance when he died after 63 years of unstinting care!

When my mother was 85 she asked me to check to see if she could obtain an Old Age Pension, On Christmas Day 2011 she was taken back to her home. I could not contact her for three days from Scotland and asked my brother who lived next door to go over. She was found face down on the floor of her bedroom where she had fallen over on the floor in the freezing cold and lay there for three days kept alive by her darling terrier Toby who lay on her back; she had forgotten to put on her emergency wrist alarm.

She survived and spent three months in hospital and went to live in a Care Home, she never went back home again to the family home where our family had lived for 60 years. My father died in 2012 and she received £1300 War Widow’s Contribution.

She did not adjust to living in the home and died on September 12th 2013. She said to me one week before she died that she didn’t think she had done enough for my father.

My mother’s plight is certainly not unique. The above gives a snapshot of what carers face in their work for disabled people across the UK. From the date my father was wounded until the day he died was 69 years, that is what we will all have to consider when we look at the care required for those wounded in all wars and how we support their carers. SSAFA and other military charities work stingingly to help the wounded and their carers and indeed provide respite for those carers who simply cannot cope any more. Put that into context, a soldier wounded in Afghanistan in 2003 will need care until at least 2072, the war did not end for those brave men and women in 2014.

My mother never asked for help in all those years but when my father got dementia and through no fault of his own did not recognise her in the Care Home and verbally abused her on occasions, she could not cope and died just over a year after he did.

SSAFA Race Day 2016 Sponsors


BATTLESPACE Publications

BATTLESPACE has been fundraising for SSAFA since the inception of our publication, we see supporting the nation’s soldiers as key to the success of the armed forces. BATTLESPACE Publications cover the whole spectrum of the battlespace, from sensor to shooter. Our news coverage and readership is truly international, contacting the main decision makers in the worldwide defence industry.  We aim to provide our readers with the latest developments in the complex and ever changing world of C4ISTAR and the Global Battlespace.  Our coverage is unique in its breadth of topics in the International C4ISTAR arena from airborne sensors and UAVs, fast jets and military transports, rotorcraft, airborne communications, radar and avionics, thru specialist naval systems and communications to land-based communications, EW, infantry equipment and armoured vehicles, trucks and unmanned robots.


Clarion Defence & Security


Clarion Defence & Security organises sector leading events that enable government officials, industry leaders and technical experts to share ideas, develop partnerships, conduct business, network and access export and growth markets.


Within the UK, DSEI is one of the top three events and Clarion’s flagship product.  The last edition of the Event in 2015 brought together 34,038 visitors and 1,683 exhibitors. It is the World Leading Defence and Security event and is fully supported by the UK MOD, Royal Navy, Royal Air Force, British Army, Joint Forces Command & Joint Helicopter Command, as well as attended by many overseas MODs.


Throughout its history DSEI has raised over £100,000 for SSAFA through charitable donations and event guide donations. DSEI looks forward to further engagement with SSAFA through the following activities:


  • Chosen Charity for DSEI. We are delighted that SSAFA will again be the chosen charity partner for DSEI.  This will be formally announced at the SSAFA Corporate Friends Reception on Wednesday 2nd November 2016 by the SSAFA Chairman, General Sir Kevin O’Donoghue – just under one year out from DSEI 2017.  General Sir Gordon Messenger, Vice Chief of the Defence Staff, will deliver the Keynote address.  We look forward to working with the SSAFA team at DSEI 2017.


  • DSEI 2017 – Official Opening Night Reception. SSAFA will be hosting the official opening night reception at DSEI.  The reception will be a quintessentially British event, themed along the lines of a Royal Garden Party with canapés and beverages, backed by an accompaniment of military bands.


  • SSAFA Corporate Friends Breakfast Receptions at DSEI 2017. SSAFA is planning to hold a Corporate Friends Breakfast Reception during DSEI where SSAFA will be hosting friends and colleagues from the Defence Industry on the exhibition floor.  The guest speaker will be announced in due course.  There will be a limited amount of sponsorship opportunity for this premium event at DSEI.


The SSAFA Corporate Friends Scheme is an invaluable opportunity for companies and individual donors from the Defence Industry to show their support for the British Armed Forces and their families.  Through the scheme SSAFA delivers something back for the donations and support they have received.


DSEI 2017 takes place 12-15 September 2017 at ExCeL, London. For more information on this event please visit www.dsei.co.uk


Qioptiq – a charitable work


Qioptiq, an Excelitas Technologies Company, do a lot of good work for charity mate – as Smashie and Nicey might say – the two DJs from the 90s TV sketch show Harry Enfield’s Television Programme. Mother Teresa said “It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” Qioptiq put a lot of love into their giving. That said since 2008, at our North Wales facility, we have donated over £250,000 to various charities. This has been raised by dedicated employees and through our corporate social responsibility. If it can be sponsored we’ve probably done it.


We, along with many other defence contractors, support many national charities including Children in Need, Macmillan, Mencap, Comic Relief and RNIB but also local ones and individuals in need. Dale Morris undertook the Chester Half Marathon in aid of a local family, others have cycled, swam, climbed, parachuted and worked in the community, all for good causes.


When one of our key Optical Designers, Giles Sheppard, was looking for a new challenge he settled on the idea of an Ironman Competition. Little did he know what he was letting himself in for. IRONMAN Wales consists of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and 26.2 mile run, achieving a distance of 140.6 miles on this tough course. Giles successfully completed the challenge in 16:15:39, with 45 minutes left before the time limit, raising over £1220 for Cancer Research UK.


But being a defence supplier the charities supporting our armed forces are close to our hearts. Charities like The British Red Cross, Help for Heroes and of course SSAFA, the forces and families charity. Two of our senior managers, Chris Bigwood and Peter White, recently took part in the gruelling all-terrain Alpine challenge at Millbrook proving ground – known as the MAD 5K. Not only did they complete the course they did so dressed as the 118 118 characters, raising funds for H4H.


But we also give in other ways. Our Forces do a great deal on our behalf as we frequently ask these brave men and women to risk their lives in extreme circumstances. At home, we rely on the Forces to respond during times of need such as during the floods as well as being on hand to help with events such as the 2012 Olympics.


Sport makes a tangible difference to many of these ordinary serving men & women by promoting teamwork and sporting excellence as well as helping with the rehabilitation of injured soldiers. To this end Qioptiq sponsor Team Army, a registered charity.


Team Army is endorsed by the UK Ministry of Defence’s Army Board (ECAB). They work in partnership with the Army Sport Control Board, which regulates all sport played in the Army, removing the significant administrative burden from Army sports associations. The Foundation provides the most effective route to ensure that financial support will directly contribute to the well-being of British soldiers. Qioptiq have been working with ‘Team Army’ since its inception, the sponsorship is used to support our chosen portfolio of sports within the Army including, very importantly, the sports for disabled soldiers.


Forces sports range from high media interest, national level disciplines to minority interest activities, with proportionate requirements for funding. The Qioptiq sponsorship of Team Army enables access for serving and wounded soldiers to sporting events they may not normally be able to attend. This means that, through Qioptiq and other sponsors, all soldiers who are keen to pursue a sporting interest can do so – whatever their ability.


Our sponsorship also means that the best service athletes can compete internationally to represent their Service (Army vs Royal Air Force vs Royal Navy). By supporting Team Army we are giving support to these service men and women. Our Qioptiq family are proud to support all the good causes we get involved with as Theodore Roosevelt said “there is not a man of us who does not at times need a helping hand”.




Supacat supports a number of military charities. Building on our firm foundation and three decades of engineering design success, we have grown to be one of the world’s leading companies specialising in the design and development of equipment operating in harsh environments. We have a passionate and committed team with the skills, expertise, dedication and focus to provide the highest value to our customers with bespoke quality products and services.

In September 2015, having successfully outgrown our original brand, the company was split between Supacat and SC Innovation under the SC Group umbrella. This exciting formation allows us to grow and develop our joint capabilities while bringing innovative solutions to our customers.

Supacat’s range of off-road wheeled and tracked vehicles continues to expand as new requirements for high-mobility cross-country defence vehicles arise. Supacat is certified to ISO 9001:2008 and delivers all the disciplines of vehicle design, including engineering, testing, prototype manufacture, certification, low- rate production and fleet support. We have offices in the UK and Australia.

Spectra Group (UK) Ltd


Spectra Group (UK) Ltd is a leading provider of reliable, resilient and deployable secure communications and military grade IT networks – and is proud to be sponsoring the SSAFA race day in support of the armed forces.


Serving Defence and Security, Aid and Emergency and commercial organisations, the Spectra Group delivers solutions specific to their customers’ needs – offering industry leading technology from world-class manufacturers, alongside their own proprietary technology, resulting in truly bespoke and fit-for-purpose end-products that are reliable, resilient, and combat ready.


Spectra’s flagship product, SlingShot®, is a lightweight unit that converts existing UHF and VHF tactical radios to SATCOM, offering a straightforward and cost-effective way to achieve tactical, secure beyond line of sight (BLOS) comms on the move (COTM) or in areas where terrestrial infrastructure is lacking, destroyed or under threat. Ideal for tactical command and control communications.


Used worldwide by NATO countries, SlingShot works with the majority of deployed handheld VHF and UHF radios and is ideal for Border Security and as part of a Crisis Communications capability. Battle tested, SlingShot has also been used by special forces teams globally in areas of conflict, providing secure, reliable communications when operators need it most.


This dedication to providing assurance to soldiers continues off the battlefield and after service, as Spectra are heavily committed to ensuring ex-service men and women receive the highest calibre of support in civilian life. A stalwart supporter of military charity, Spectra Group (who number a good proportion of ex-personnel) sponsor and participate in a wide range of charitable events, including the SSAFA race day at Chepstow.


Simon Davies, CEO of the Spectra Group, had the following to say: “Spectra is honoured to be able to support the SSAFA charity and the unprecedented support it provides to thousands of serving service personnel and Veterans. SSAFA makes an enormous difference to the lives of the people they support; people to whom we owe a huge debt of gratitude for the sacrifices they made in the line of duty.”
In August 2016, Spectra signed the Armed Forces Covenant, which served as an official declaration of the group’s intent to provide stability and security to those who provide it in kind through their service to the country.


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