Hereford & Worcester

Charity organises holiday for soldiers' widows

The partners and children of two West Midlands soldiers killed in Afghanistan have gone on holiday thanks to a charity.

They flew to Portugal with others on a trip funded by the Forces Children's Trust which supports bereaved families.

Emma-Jayne Webster, who has taken her daughter on the trip, said they would greatly benefit from it.

Her fiance, 24-year-old L/Cpl Richard Brandon, from Kidderminster, was killed by a roadside bomb last October.

She said: "It's been difficult to organise holidays with everything we've been through."

Toni O'Donnell, the wife of Warrant Officer Class 2 Gary O'Donnell, has also taken her son on the trip.

Luxury villa

WO2 O'Donnell, from Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, died while leading a team sent in to clear an improvised explosive device in Helmand in September 2008.

The trust, with some support from the Crown Foundation, organises annual trips so bereaved families can spend a week together in a luxury villa.

Denny Wise, trust chairman, said: "I think things like this are very important and help the healing process."

The charity said the holidays offered a chance for the women to make new friends.

It added the trips gave children an opportunity to spend time with other youngsters who have been through similar experiences.

Mr Wise said the charity organised a range of activities to particularly help children who can be the "forgotten victims" of conflicts.

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