BBC Security Correspondent Frank Gardner is appearing as the guest speaker of a charity fundraising lunch in aid of Cornwall Air Ambulance.
The event, organised by the John Casson Foundation, is being held at the Idle Rocks Hotel in St Mawes.
Frank has given up his own time to come down from London to speak at the charity lunch, as he has a strong connection to the work of air ambulances.
In 2004, while reporting from Al-Suwaidi, a district of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Frank was shot six times and seriously injured in an attack by al-Qaida gunmen. One of Frank’s spinal nerves was hit in the attack and he was left partially paralysed in the legs. Frank was medevacked back to the UK and was taken by air ambulance from the airport to hospital, for which he has always been grateful. After 14 surgical operations, seven months in hospital and several months of rehabilitation, he returned to reporting for the BBC in mid-2005, using a wheelchair or frame. In that year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours, Frank was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to journalism.
Frank will be speaking at the event about his life’s challenges, being a journalist and reporter at the BBC, and his thoughts on the current conflict in Ukraine.
Organiser John Casson, of the John Casson Foundation, said: “When Frank Gardner was medevacked back to the UK after being shot in Saudi Arabia in 2004 it was an air ambulance that transferred him from the airport to hospital for which he has always been very grateful. A much respected journalist and reporter, I could not ask for a better speaker with current events going on in Ukraine, Russia and Putin.”
The John Casson Foundation was formed as a trust by John Casson MBE in 2013 and focuses on supporting small children’s charities and worthwhile causes such as the Cornwall Air Ambulance in Cornwall, Devon, the UK and overseas.
This includes charities that support young carers, physically and visually challenged young people, children’s bereavement and hospice care and opportunities for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds as well as a school in Zambia.
Through these events the John Casson Foundation has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for good causes.
65 guests are due to attend the charity lunch, in aid of Cornwall Air Ambulance, which will also include an auction. It is taking place at midday on Friday 30th September, at The Idle Rocks in St Mawes. You can find out more information here.