Professor Brian Cox and the Red Arrows were among those in attendance at an inaugural fundraising dinner held in memory of former pilot Jon Egging.
The Jon Egging Trust was set up in 2012 to inspire young people through a number of outreach programmes, designed to increase young peoples’ self-confidence, self-esteem and other vital life and work skills.
Jon died on August 20, 2011 while completing a display at the Bournemouth Air Festival.
He was coming to the end of his first year with the Red Arrows flying in the position of Red 4.
To raise funds for their future Blue Skies and Inspirational Outreach programmes, the Jon Egging Trust held its Inaugural Annual Dinner on January 22 at the DoubleTree by Hilton hotel in Lincoln.
The dinner was hosted Professor Brian Cox and Air Vice Marshal Stuart Atha CB DSO ADC, and attended by the Red Arrows.
Guests were also addressed by Dr Emma Egging, widow of the pilot, and by 17-year-old Nathan, a graduate from the Norfolk Blue Skies programme.
He said: “When I was eight I was diagnosed with ADHD and had a hard time at school and with the local authority because of that. I was always getting into trouble.
“Then in Year 9 I had a breakthrough. I was selected for the Blue Skies programme and went to sessions at RAF Marham.
“I was always part of a team and that taught me a lot. I learnt presentation skills and how to lead.
“When I went into Year 11 I became Head Boy – every single week I spoke at assemblies and was the leader in front of 1,500 students.
“I became a role model and the person to be looking up to.”
Dr Emma Egging, CEO of trust said: “The Jon Egging Trust Inaugural Dinner celebrated everything that has been achieved since we were established as a charity four years ago.
“Fundraising support such as that raised through the dinner is vital to enable us to continue to expand and improve the life-chances of even more young people.”
Professor Brian Cox added: “For me, the most important thing that the trust does is to show young people that there are possibilities out there and available.
“I visited RAF Fylingdales and RAF Coningsby last year and saw for myself how the Blue Skies students respond when given the chance.
“It’s quite wonderful, and backs up my strong conviction that these young people will seize the chance to progress and achieve when it’s offered.”