A broken-hearted mum has praised friends of her late soldier son for supporting her during 3 years’ of fundraising for Help for Heroes in his memory.
Yorkshire Regiment section commander Sam Blowman died in a car crash, along with his elder brother Christopher, while home on leave in 2012.
Two years later, his mum Brenda decided to channel her grief into a fundraising effort in aid of Help for Heroes - Sam’s favourite charity. She did a sponsored sky dive – something that she would never previously have dreamed of doing.
“Sam supported Help for Heroes. He always wore a wristband and I have a photo of him stood by a Help for Heroes poster. That’s how I knew it was the Charity he would have wanted me to choose to benefit,” said Brenda.
She would have left it at that but, in 2014, Sam’s friends from the army and from his home town near Bradford persuaded Brenda to organise a tribute event to mark what would have been the sniper’s 30th birthday.
She hired a local working men’s club and organised a family day, including a football match, tombola and raffles. It raised over £700. But what touched Brenda more than the amount was the turn out from Sam’s former army colleagues.
“By then, the regiment had been posted to Cyprus but so many of the boys made a special effort to come – even using their leave to make it,” she said. “It was a sad day but a nice one too.”
Around 200 people turned up – and enjoyed themselves so much that they persuaded Brenda to arrange another one in May to mark the fourth anniversary of the brothers’ death. This time, she raised £800.
“It’s been hard work organising these events but I did it because it’s the support of Sam’s friends that keeps me going. They stay in regular touch with me through social media and so now the event has become not just a positive way of remembering Sam but a chance for me to thank the lads from 2 Yorks,” said Brenda.
“I hope they will read this on Help for Heroes website so they know how much their support means to me and my husband Graham.”
Brenda works during the day as a teaching assistant at Sam and Christopher’s old primary school and then, after school, enjoys looking after her grandchildren - Christopher’s son Archie, 7, and daughter Poppy who was born three months after her Daddy died. She also has another son, Robert.