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Networkers have boosted a homegrown charity, which transforms the lives of young people, with a donation of £328 – its second “gift” to the organisation this year!

Business Women’s Link (BWL) members and guests were held rapt by The Jon Egging Trust’s Chief Executive Dr Emma Egging, when she spoke at the group’s Christmas Lunch. And they splashed out on the bumper raffle to raise the latest donation for the Trust. The Christmas “present” follows the £420 given to the charity following BWL’s Summer Lunch.

More than 50 women attended the Christmas event at the Branston Hall Hotel in Branston, where they tucked into a festive meal and were updated by Emma about how the Trust’s unique programmes are having a growing impact in changing young lives for the better.

Emma founded the Trust following the death of her late husband, Red Arrows Pilot Flt Lt Jon Egging, who died when his jet crashed after a display at the Bournemouth Air Festival. Jon was passionate about his work and dreamed of encouraging young people through his aviation, teamwork and leadership skills, to overcome challenges and reach for the stars. “Jon’s ambitions of raising aspirations then became my ambition,” said Emma.

She told how the Trust’s three-year Blue Skies Programme is working with young people between the ages of 12 and 16 who may be at risk of missing out on their schooling, be suffering from low esteem or dogged by adversity, to achieve a brighter future. The programme culminates in a work experience placement. Blue Skies has already increased students’ performance in the fields of maths, English and science.

A shorter Inspirational Outreach Programme support young people from the age of 10.

“We are currently working in Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Dorset, North Wales, Yorkshire and Oxfordshire, but we are keen to expand to three more regions over the next four years,” said Emma. “By 2020, we are on track to support 10,000 young people every year to achieve their full potential.”

BWL Chair Jo Richardson said: “Everyone at the Christmas Lunch was really interested to hear about the Trust’s latest achievements in helping to put young people in need on course for a brighter future and diners asked Emma several questions. “There was a real buzz at this year’s event, which also included musical entertainment from violinists Stephen Clarke and Her Serina.”