Blackpool air cadets take to great heights to launch charity fundraiser

3 July 2013 16:00

A group of Blackpool Air Cadets and a Lancashire blind veteran went up Blackpool Tower to have a tea and tart party that has launched Blind Veterans UK’s national fundraiser, Tarts for Troops.

Dressed in full military uniform, the cadets, aged between 13 and 20, and blind veteran, Maria Pikulski, made it up the tower when they posed for photos, sipped tea and munched on tarts.

The event marked the beginning of Blind Veterans UK's week-long Tarts for Troops campaign, during which the national charity that supports blind ex-Service men and women asks people to bake tarts and hold tea parties to help raise funds for its vital work.

The campaign has been backed by a host of celebrities including Gordon Ramsay, Gregg Wallace, Phil Vickery and Lorraine Pascale, all of whom have donated special sweet and savoury tart recipes for all to use.

One of the Blackpool Air Cadets, Patrick Lancaster, 17, said: "We had a fantastic time today holding a very unusual tea and tart party at the top of Blackpool Tower and seeing the speculator views. It is amazing to know that we are supporting Blind Veterans UK and all of the excellent work it does to support blind veterans. Now we just need everyone else to hold a tea party too!"

Blind veteran, Maria Pikulski, 52, who served in the Women's Royal Army Corps and later the Territorial Army before losing her sight in later life due to Leber's Hereditary Optic Neuropathy, said: "Blind Veterans UK has given me so much support since I became a member, and I feel strongly that I would like to say thank you to the charity for this. I have been involved in lots of activities through Blind Veterans UK, but I have to say never a tea party at the top of a tower before!".

Tarts for Troops runs between Saturday 29 June and Friday 5 July 2013 and is a fun and easy way to support Blind Veterans UK. Whether you're holding a bake-off, a tarts and tea party, get together with colleagues at work for tarts with your morning coffee, or having friends around for a gourmet tart dinner party, make sure you register your event so we can support you with tips to make organising your event easy, safe and successful.

To find out about how you can get involved in the fun, go to