Thousands of pounds was raised at this year’s Teddy Bear Freefall Parachute Championships in Pidley.

Father and son, Jake, 2, and Rob Nicoli.Father and son, Jake, 2, and Rob Nicoli.

The event is organised by the Pidley Mountain Rescue Team which raises money for specialised equipment for disabled children and adults in Huntingdonshire.

North West Cambridgeshire MP, Shailish Vara, attended this year’s championships on September 9, along with Councillor Steve Criswell and former professional boxer Dave ‘Boy’ Green.

The charity was founded more than 30 years ago and has been staging the championships, which sees teddy bears dropped 1,500 feet from an aircraft to land on a marker in a field, for the 
last 20 years. This year, the team raised more than £4,500 at the event at Rookery Farm, in Pidley.

Mr Vara said: “The teddy bear freefall was great fun for the whole family and is a great way of raising money for charity. Praise must go to the organising committee who put in a huge amount of effort to stage the event and it would simply not be possible to run it without the wonderful generosity of host, Kelvin German, and the Cambridge Aero Club whose planes are used for the drop. I was really pleased to take part in raising money for such a worthwhile cause and I wish the charity every success for the future.”

Richard Exton making a Whittlesey straw bear.Richard Exton making a Whittlesey straw bear.

Pidley Mountain Rescue Team chairman, Katie Renwick, added: “We were really pleased to have Shailesh Vara join us for our freefall competition and trust he enjoyed his time with us. He kindly undertook a key activity for the event in choosing the top three best dressed teds as well as meeting the committee and some of those attending and supporting the event.

“Our charity is focused on providing specialist support and equipment that aids mobility or improves independence in our community of Huntingdonshire. Our average ‘rescue’ costs £1,000 and as such the funds raised on Saturday will go a tremendous way to help us continue to support those in need.”

Cllr Criswell, district and county councillor for Somersham, added: “Once again the small band of Pidley Mountain Rescue Team volunteers have pulled out all the stops to provide a super event and raise a lot of money to help local people in need.”

Crowds gathered to enjoy the event in PidleyCrowds gathered to enjoy the event in Pidley

Young Farmers Emma Johnson, Dan Frost and brother Aaron Front.Young Farmers Emma Johnson, Dan Frost and brother Aaron Front.