August 20, 2021 12.20 pm This story is over 33 months old

Poignant poem to mark decade since tragic death of Red Arrows pilot

It will be presented as a plaque at a special ceremony 

A decade since the tragic death of Red Arrows pilot Jon Egging sent shockwaves across the community, people around the country are today remembering the local hero.

A poem written by Lincolnshire children, and other across the UK, will be presented as a plaque to mark the 10-year anniversary of Flight Lieutenant Jon Egging’s death.

Jon’s Hawk T1 aircraft, Red 4, crashed after a display at Bournemouth Air Festival in 2011. His wife Emma later launched The Jon Egging Trust (JET) to support vulnerable young people to get back on track and realise their potential. The trust has helped 30,000 children over the last decade, including many in Lincolnshire.

The charity has now released a poignant poem after JET students from across the UK collaborated to write ‘My Future Dreams’. The poem reflects on the impact that the charity’s confidence-building programmes have had on their lives.

Jon Egging Trust at the Red Arrows’ base.

The poem will be presented as a plaque to Bournemouth Mayor, Councillor David Kelsey, during an evening ceremony on Friday, August 20. The plaque will be installed as a permanent addition to the Jon Egging Memorial at East Cliff in Bournemouth.

The words were written by JET Trust students from Priory Witham Academy and St George’s Academy in Lincolnshire, Twynham School, Dorset, West Moors Middle School, Dorset, Marshland School, Norfolk, Ysgol Llanfawr, Anglesey and Holyhead High School, Anglesey.

Dr Emma Egging (right) pictured with Professor Brian Cox (left).

Dr Emma Egging said: “In June 2011, Jon wrote in his diary: ‘With support where and when necessary, we are all equally capable of being the best versions of ourselves.’ It’s something we talked about a lot.

“The last ten years have been an incredible journey turning this vision into a reality. I am so proud of what we have created in the Jon Egging Trust, empowering young people who are struggling to engage at school to believe in themselves and develop core competencies which are crucial to their success, such as teamwork, communication and resilience.

“Whilst this 10th anniversary year is about acknowledging the difference we have made over the last decade, this is only the beginning. We have big ambitions for the decade ahead which will see us expand our offer to support young people after they leave school, and reach out to a million youngsters by 2031, as well as continuing to develop our free, online ‘JET Inspired’ resources for schools across the UK.

“We can only achieve these ambitions with ongoing financial support. By donating to JET – no matter how big or small your pledge – you are enabling us to continue to give young people a chance of a brighter future. In the spirit of Jon’s diary entry, which laid the foundations for our charity, we know that when young people believe in themselves, there are no limits, and that is exactly the sentiment reflected in the poem we have released today.”

‘My Future Dreams’

The sun always shines in the darkness of day,
JETs fly by with roaring thunder,
Helped by a team working together.
Having a blast, no two sessions the same.
So much fun but lots to gain.
Jon Egging has inspired us all to keep going,
To take strides each day,
Helping us to see the way to our future.
Built with determination and strength,
My future dreams are full of courage and enthusiasm.
Step by step my confidence grows
And my fear is swept away.
Learning big skills, knowledge and thrills,
Into our future we fly.
I’m now above the clouds and the light is shining on me
Flying high to a bright future,
Feeling free to climb to my destination.