• Posted on 18 Mar 2020
  • 09 min read

As you are aware we are in the grips of the COVID-19 virus.

The Prime Minister and Government has recently directed that if you or anyone in your household shows one of the symptoms of COVID 19 (continuous cough, high temperature) that your entire household stays at home in isolation from other people for at least 14 days. Observing this advice is essential to slow the spread of Coronavirus and everyone has a responsibility to ensure that they do not go to work or places where other people congregate while exhibiting symptoms.

The Prime Minister has announced further significant measures. Everyone in the country has been asked to stop non-essential contact with others and to stop all unnecessary travel. People will start working from home where they can and avoid pubs clubs and theatres.

In light of the recent clear Government direction and the need to slow the spread of coronavirus, particularly to individuals at higher risk (elderly and those with existing chronic illnesses), RHQ PARA and the Parachute Regiment and Airborne Forces Charity (PRAFC) staff have today switched to mostly remote working from home, and those that remain in RHQ work in separate rooms and with stringent cleanliness protocols in place. Furthermore, all Regimental Recruiting activities have been cancelled as have the following Regimental events:

  • Ardennes/Rhine Crossing 75th Commemorations
  • 3 Para Reunion
  • March of Loyalty
  • Hardwick Hall
  • PARAS10 Colchester (Rescheduled to 7 November 20)
  • Regimental Commemoration NMA PRA Dinner Bosworth Hall
  • Executive Committee Meeting
  • ABN Lunch and Regimental Elders gathering
  • Pegasus Network Meetings
  • Numerous Branch meetings and functions
  • 4 Para Reunion

Decisions will be made on the following events in due course:

  • Normandy 76
  • Tatton Park
  • Eden Camp
  • Arnhem 76

Many Branches have been very quick to enforce the measures imposed by the UK Government as a form of self-isolation and we have supported their decision. RHQ PARA strongly recommends that all Branches consult with their Committee and cancel all meetings and functions for the foreseeable future. Furthermore all PRA communications between members should also be conducted by phone and email for the foreseeable.

We strongly encourage those that can, to keep in contact with other PRA members and RHQ by email as and when required. RHQ PARA’s Welfare Team will continue to operate as close to normal as possible although staff availability may impact our ability to answer your queries or provide support as quickly as we would like. Please bear with us while we adjust to the situation and establish a reliable method of communication.

Veterans within your Branches, that may be vulnerable through age or illness and do not have family that can support them in isolation, will need your and potentially RHQ/PRAFC support. Those that are vulnerable and need assistance, will have to be monitored. Branches should identify anyone who falls into the ‘vulnerable’ bracket and ensure that they confirm their home situation, isolation plan and secure assistance to set up grocery deliveries to their residence. Assistance may be required to resupply them if the situation persists and regular monitoring and communication will be vital to their care, but please note the high risks of physically visiting which should be avoided.  All Branches are asked to ensure that their members contact information is up to date and that regular contact is made. Social media is a great source of information but unfortunately, there are a large number of members who do not have access to a computer or the internet so phone calls may be the only means of staying in touch.

In summary, COVID 19 is a significant threat to the health and wellbeing of our veterans, particularly the more elderly or infirm. We all have a role to play in physically isolating ourselves and our families to reduce the spread of the virus, as well as keeping in touch with vulnerable veterans by electronic means. If they need support or advice that cannot be provided locally then RHQ PARA’s Welfare and PRA Teams’ are ready to offer advice as best they can. Their contact details are:

RHQ PARA Welfare Team:

Laura McPhilemy (Regimental Welfare Officer) RWO@parawelfare.org

Mobile: 07702 190685

If the query is really urgent please email

Sue Laidler (Welfare Assistant) welfarecell@parawelfare.org

Mobile: 07340347136

If the query is really urgent please email


Paul Raison (Veterans Officer) secretary@prahq.com

Mobile: 07385 839647

Julia Weymouth (PRA Admin) admin@prahq.com

Tel: 01206817077

Please note: An answerphone service is available on 01206 817077 and messages can be left. It may be a few days before they can be picked up. If the query is really urgent please email

Paul Raison

Veterans Officer

The Parachute Regiment

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