Mum of soldier raises cash for brave heroes

Andrew Ferguson

Andrew Ferguson - Credit: Archant

The mother of a soldier who was shot in the neck in a gunfight in Afghanistan has been raising money for military charity Help for Heroes.

Corporal Ferguson was shot in the neck

Corporal Ferguson was shot in the neck - Credit: Archant

Anji Kerr and a group of volunteers collected £884.96 when they stood outside the Broadwater Tesco in Stevenage on Saturday and Sunday.

Her son, Andrew Ferguson, who lived in Sish Close in Stevenage but has since moved away, was with 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment and was serving in Helmand Province when he was seriously injured in 2009.

In an interview with the Comet shortly after the incident, Mrs Kerr said: “Apparently at the time they thought all the gunmen were on the ground, so they scrambled up onto a roof to get shelter. They saw a sniper on the roof and, as they were getting down, Andrew was hit.”

Corporal Ferguson, who was 31 at the time and on his second tour after previously serving in Iraq, was airlifted to an Afghan hospital before being flown back to the UK for further surgery at Selly Oak Hospital in Birmingham.

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The bullet had missed his vertebrae by millimetres.

Corporal Ferguson has since made a full recovery and returned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan in October last year.

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Mrs Kerr said: “He says it’s a changed place. Schools are being built, markets are open, and people are moving back into their homes. It’s a busy, thriving community.”

Two close comrades of Corporal Kerr’s were killed in Helmand Province - Adam Drane and Robert Hayes.

Mrs Kerr said: “He thinks his friends didn’t die for nothing. A lot of progress has been made.”

Corporal Ferguson, now 35, is getting on with his life and in December he got married.

About her fundraising efforts for Help for Heroes, Mrs Kerr said: “I thought the support was brilliant and was quite proud. I was just amazed at how generous people were. I will be doing it again next year.”

Bryn Parry, chief executive officer and co-founder of Help for Heroes, said: “This event was a wonderful example of people rallying support and having a great deal of fun while raising money for a wonderful cause.

“The road to recovery is a very long and hard path and, for the men and women who served in our recent conflicts, the battle is only just beginning.

“We at Help for Heroes will battle for them to ensure they get the very best support, for life.

“The money you raise is needed, it is being used and it is hugely appreciated.”

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