Downham Market Academy students graduate in Blue Skies programme run by Jon Egging Trust

Jon Egging Trust students at their graduation ceremony. Photo: Su Knott

Jon Egging Trust students at their graduation ceremony. Photo: Su Knott - Credit: Su Knott

Students at Downham Market Academy have graduated in a special team building and leadership programme run in conjunction with RAF Marham.

It was run by the Jon Egging Trust (JET), which was set up in memory of Red Arrows pilot Jon Egging, who lost his life in August 2011 whilst completing a display at the Bournemouth Air Festival.

Some 28 students aged 13 - 15 in the Blue Skies level 1 and level 2 programmes at the academy, at a ceremoney attended by RAF Marham's station commander Group Capt Rich Davies.

They attended sessions at RAF Marham engaging in various activities to help them with their teamwork and leadership skills. Over the last six months the young people have learnt from front line staff at RAF Marham in sessions varying from team work exercises with dog sections to see how they search areas for survivors or narcotics, to leadership skills exercises with the station fire crews who showed them how they use these skills in responding to emergencies.

Ellie Orton, Head of Youth Programmes for JET said: 'The Jon Egging Trust works with young people to gain the skills and confidence they need to tackle the obstacles they face in their lives.

'Everyone deserves the chance to reach their full potential, and I am proud of our Blue Skies students from Downham Market Academy for everything they have achieved. We want as many young people as possible to have the opportunity to be the best they can be and we are on track to achieving our aim of working in nine regions and helping 10,000 young people a year by 2020.'

Group Capt Davies said: 'As the station commander at RAF Marham for the last two years, being able to support the Jon Egging Trust in Norfolk has been a huge privilege, and it was an honour to be invited to present certificates to students who had completed the Blue Skies programme.

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'When you see how personnel at RAF Marham, through teamwork and leadership, have inspired a group of young people to unlock their full potential, you can't help but be proud. Listening to the students and hearing their stories of growing confidence and self-belief, is truly inspirational.'

Martin Moss, assistant principal of the academy said: 'Not only do the students achieve more academically, they gain so much more in terms of soft skills which will carry them forward.'