We decided that because of the circumstances that so many of us were facing in 2020 due to the pandemic, and the history of how people coped in 'wartime lockdowns' that it was important to replicate this in our times. Most of the selected charities encapsulate a period of time that is important to us all.
Jack and I have done a variety of fundraising for charity projects and we feel that 'kindness is important for each and every one of us'.
Jack has chosen three charities to benefit from the sales of his not-for-profit aviation art book Flying High In The Sunlit Silence: SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, Lincolnshire's Lancaster Association and the International Bomber Command Centre.
In October 2021 Jack was invited to paint a poster for the US F1 Grand Prix in Austin, Texas. Sara wanted to make the most of the opportunity and contact was made with the Autism Society of Texas (AST) who are using Jack's poster as a fund raiser.
SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity
SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity was founded in 1885, and is the UK's oldest national Tri-Service charity providing lifelong support to the serving, reservists, veterans and their families. Proceeds from Jack's book will go to help fund the Forces Additional Needs and Disability Forum (FANDF), which is a Tri-Service group for current Serving families or individuals who have a child or adult dependent with an additional need and/or disability. It provides families and individuals with an opportunity to discuss ways of ensuring that both children and adults with additional needs and disabilities have access to the best support available.
Lincolnshire's Lancaster Association
The Lincolnshire's Lancaster Association (LLA) is a registered Charity that, for over 40 years has held the unique position as the support group for The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) based at RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire. Our aim is to remember those who served, and the many that died, and to educate today's generation in the role of the RAF in World War Two. This has involved practical assistance of paying for items for the BBMF which are outside of the yearly budget the Flight receives every year from the Government.
International Bomber Command Centre
The Multi-Award winning International Bomber Command Centre (IBCC) was created to provide a world-class facility to serve as a point for recognition, remembrance and reconciliation for Bomber Command engaging with a wide audience through education and accessibility. It acknowledges the efforts, sacrifices and commitment of the men and women, from 62 different nations, who came together to protect our freedom during WWII and beyond.
Autism Society of Texas
The Autism Society of Texas changes lives by connecting families and individuals to community resources and support throughout Texas.
Offerings include advocacy, education events, Information & Referrals, support meetings; on-line networking opportunities; Sensory Friendly films; and fun family activities. We rely on donations to support our work and keep services free for families and autistic adults.
Wing Commander Andrew Bland
Royal Bear Force
Wing Commander Andrew Bland (AB), a bear known to be a modern-day icon for children with mental health problems, can become something so much more than his obvious appearance of a 'normal' teddy bear.
When Jack met AB during the early stages of the pandemic, his mental health was relatively poor. The lockdowns had caused a pattern of confusion and a lack of routine within Jack's daily life. As AB's stay in Sunderland was explored through Jack's eyes, a wider experience of art started to appear, and Jack began drawing more pictures of aircraft as he learned about the importance of AB's story.
No longer just an image seen on the screen, Jack and AB were able to portray a physical symbol of friendship, an element which is so hard for both children and adults with autism to achieve. The emotional response had evoked a sense of awe and inspiration in Jack's mind.
We are so grateful to Richard and Susan Bland for showing us a metaphorical life-sustaining story of a bear. Who would have thought that one bear could transform the life of a little boy, help him to express himself, and enable him to fly high in his sunlit silence?