Celebs back run for soldier Nigel

Charlotte Ashcroft, Ella Coupe (5), Jasmine Coupe (2) and Natalie Coupe
Charlotte Ashcroft, Ella Coupe (5), Jasmine Coupe (2) and Natalie Coupe

THE widow of St Annes soldier sergeant Nigel Coupe, who was killed in Afghanistan in March, is spreading the word for a friend’s charity run in his memory.

And it has reached national celebrities who are helping to raise as much money as possible.

Natalie Coupe, wife of Sgt Coupe, 33, and her friend, Charlotte Ashcroft, got together at the weekend at Natalie’s home in St Annes.

Burscough-born Charlotte, 22, who now lives in Chorley, is doing the Blacksticks Blue 10k run in Nigel’s memory on Sunday - and raising money for The Forces Children’s Trust. The run starts from Whitechapel Village Hall, near Inglewhite.

Sgt Coupe, a former pupil of Lytham St Annes High School, was a member of 1st Battalion the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, but he was on secondment with the other soldiers’ battalion, the 3rd Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment when he died alongside five comrades after their armoured vehicle was hit by a Taliban bomb.

He leaves behind his wife Natalie and their two children, Ella, five and Jasmine, two.

Natalie said: “I’ve known Charlotte since I lived in Germany with my husband where her dad was in the army. It’s Charlotte that’s doing the fund raising. I’m just spreading the word.”

She said celebrities using social networking sites, Facebook and Twitter, were helping to publicise the run.

They include Laila Rouass, who played registrar Sahira Shah in Holby City; Lauren Pope, from The Only Way is Essex; Scott Maslen, who plays Jack Branning in Eastenders; and Blackpool-born Dan Whiston, from TV’s Dancing on Ice.

They have already helped to raise hundreds of pounds.

The Forces Children’s Trust helps children whose father or mother has died, or sustained life threatening injuries serving as in the Armed Forces. It helps them in school, for example, and by arranging holidays and days out.

Mum Natalie and her children are slowly trying to rebuild their lives together.

“My eldest does understand but doesn’t know the ins and outs of it, but they are taking it very well,” she said. I’ve had lots of support from family and friends and the army.”

You can donate to Charlotte’s run online on her JustGiving page. Or text ODWB77 70070 with a £ sign and amount.