Donation towards salary of veteran pilot trainer Chris Kirk: June 2016
Wings for Warriors (W4W) was established to train injured service people as helicopter pilots. It operates near Aberdeen and has been supported by a number of large organisations including Aberdeen Asset Management and Help 4 Heroes. The first pilot through the system gained his commercial helicopter's licence in 2012. Training anyone to fly is an expensive task but also offers a fantastic opportunity for injured service personnel to be given the challenge and possibility of a second career.
DDMT was approached for funds early in 2016 and was impressed with the organisation, its founder Mark Radcliffe, and its connection with large donors and a number of helicopter operators including CHC helicopters which is the largest helicopter operator in the world and which gave W4W a training helicopter.
After much discussion as to the best use of the DDMT money the Trustees were delighted to accept the proposal from W4W that it should be used to help fund the salary of Pte Chris Kirk (ex 5 Scots and seriously injured in Helmand**) who has completed the W4W course and who, being qualified, has been invited to join W4W as an in-house instructor.
The Trustees are therefore delighted to announce a commitment of £10,000 per annum for two years towards Pte Kirk's basic salary and wish him every success in this career. To read more of the story of W4W and Pte Kirk we strongly recommend a look at the website and its video.
**On his first tour to Afghanistan in October 2010 Pte Kirk was on patrol in Helmand Province when he was blown up by an IED. He lost the lower part of his left leg and suffered fragmentation wounds to his arms (losing his right brachial artery) and lower body.
He was casevacced back to the UK where he made a good recovery but was unable to continue his service and was medically discharged in 2013. He found out about Wings for Warriors and joined in February that year, graduating as a commercial pilot in 2015.