Standing shoulder to shoulder

Ethan Stansfield and Katie Coates will climb three peaks in the Yorkshire Dales to raise money for a Leigh-based Armed Forces charity called Shoulder to Soldier
Ethan Stansfield and Katie Coates will climb three peaks in the Yorkshire Dales to raise money for a Leigh-based Armed Forces charity called Shoulder to Soldier

A new national Armed Forces charity is receiving much-needed support from two Leigh children.

Shoulder to Soldier, a foundation which supports Armed Forces families, has been backed by 10-year-old Ethan Stansfield and 11-year-old Katie Coates.

The intrepid youngsters are such staunch supporters of the Armed Forces charity, which was formed in June, that they will take on the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge to raise funds and awareness of Shoulder to Soldier’s cause.

Ethan and Katie will scale the heights of Whernside, Ingleborough and Pen-y-Ghent to help champion a range of support for servicemen and women such as ESA and benefits appeals, welfare support and advice on day-to-day life such as social outings and providing them with new furniture.

Ethan said climbing the Yorkshire Dales would be “a huge challenge”.

He commented: “It is important to me to raise some money for veterans who have given us so much to protect our country and keep us safe.

“Thank you to everyone who has sponsored us, your money will make a big difference.”

Katie echoed Ethan’s comments, saying: “I am doing this because I want to help the people who fought for our freedom, whether they need help with furniture removals or just some advice.

“I am determined to complete this challenge!”

But the two friends are no strangers to fund-raising.

Last year, Katie wrote a poem for the Royal British Legion which was featured in a national Armed Forces magazine.

And Ethan also strapped on his walking boots last year to complete a charity trek for Help The Heroes!

Linda Fisher, Trustee and founder of Shoulder to Soldier, said: “We are grateful for any support and donations towards our charity. Our team of volunteers have been providing support and making a difference for Armed Forces families.”

Linda, who is also from Leigh, has previously been a key campaigner is raising funds for Army families projects across Wigan.

Shoulder to Soldier offer a friendly service for personnel and their families.