Blue Skies charity set up in memory of Red Arrows pilot Jon Egging helps youngsters achieve dreams

Bournemouth Echo: HIGH FLIERS: Students from the Blue Skies Programme with Flt Lt Mike Crockford and Dr Emma Egging HIGH FLIERS: Students from the Blue Skies Programme with Flt Lt Mike Crockford and Dr Emma Egging

THE sky is the limit for students from two Bourne-mouth schools thanks to a charity set up in memory of Red Arrow Jon Egging.

Pupils at Glenmoor and Winton Academies have been presented with awards after completing the Blue Skies Programme, which began following the death of the pilot at the 2011 air festival.

The initiative – part of the Jon Egging Trust – aims to help young people to overcome adversity, identify strengths and work towards their ambitions.

Around 20 students aged 13 to 15 have been mentored by individuals from MoD Boscombe Down, QinetiQ, Wessex Archaeology, Air Traffic Control Swanwick and HMS Collingwood during the programme.

Dr Emma Egging, Jon Egging’s widow and co-founder of the trust, said: “I am very proud of our graduates. Over the last two years these students have achieved a great deal as a result of the hard work they have put into the programme and they have moved forward in their lives.

“Their confi-dence has improved immeasurably and the teamwork and leadership skills and the experiences they have had will stay with them forever.

“I’d like to thank all the individuals who have contributed and made the programme such a success.”

Students had the opportunity to take part in a range of activities, including a behind-the-scenes tour of the Empire Test Pilots’ School at MoD Boscombe Down, engineering and workshop tours with QinetiQ and communication and navigation days with Air Traffic Control at Swanwick.

They were presented with their awards by the Mayor of Bournemouth, Chris Mayne, and test pilot Flight Lieutenant Mike Crockford of Boscombe Down, at Glenmoor.

The academies have named their main hall the Jon Egging Building, and unveiled a plaque in his honour at the ceremony.

Flt Lt Crockford said: “It’s been a real privilege for me to work with the Jon Egging Trust over the last two years. “The change in these young people has been astonishing and is a real credit to the hard work put in by Emma and, most importantly, the students themselves. I really think that Blue Skies has given them an insight to their true potential and the self-confidence to unlock it.”

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