Air Marshal (Ret’d) Sir Stuart Atha

I am proud to have been a patron of the Jon Egging Trust since 2013; during that time I have been delighted to have witnessed and supported the charity’s growth and it is my ambition to continue to endorse the work of the Trust and its strong and natural links with the military.

In many respects Jon’s early career was similar to mine; like Jon I served as a Fast Jet Qualified flying instructor on the Hawk before flying the Harrier GR7 on ‘Happy’ IV Squadron.

After many years flying the Harrier on operations in Iraq and the Balkans, I served as the Typhoon Force Commander and Station Commander at RAF Coningsby from 2006-2008.  In 2009 and 2010, I was deployed to the Gulf and commanded the air force units in Iraq and Afghanistan. Following a year working in MOD London, I was privileged to serve as the Air Officer Commander No 1 Group for over three years.  During this time I was responsible for the London Olympics Air Security Plan in 2012.  For my Service I have been fortunate to be awarded a Distinguished Service Order and appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB).

But service and flying has been sufficient reward itself. Aviation is in my blood and I can think of no better environment than the world of flying to raise the aspirations of young people, build their confidence and unlock the potential that lies within them all.  The accredited learning programmes provided by the Trust does all of this and more through the development of individual, teamwork and leadership skills that are relevant to all aspects of life.

The Jon Egging Trust provides hope and opportunity and above all inspires students. Through the appropriately named Blue Skies Programme, young people learn that, like pilots, the limitless opportunities of blue skies are always there, no matter how cloudy the weather, if they reach high enough.