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Monday 04 November 2019

Fitness fans raise funds for wounded Forces

Posted by: Help For Heroes | Categories: Beneficiaries , Fundraising

A hundred keen fitness fans in Plymouth came together recently to support the 40,000 veterans who have been medically discharged from the British Armed Forces in the last 20 years.

Those who took part in the CheeziFit’s annual Remembrance event raised £900 for Help for Heroes in a little over an hour to allow the charity to continue to fight for every single person that needs help.

The main hall at Devonport High School for Girls was awash with red, white and blue with a prize for best patriotic fancy dress. Participants donated to join in with the dance fitness class, which brings communities together as they have fun to musical favourites from across the decades. They also had the chance to play games and take part in a raffle which featured some great prizes from many Plymouth businesses. The Boy’s Brigade helped out on the night.

Amelie and Araya from the Boy's Brigade helped out

As Remembrance Day approaches, there was also a chance for reflection as fundraisers heard from Help for Heroes just how much of a difference their contributions will make.

Participant Catherine McGregor said: “I served in the Royal Marines Band for 10 years and have many friends still serving across the Armed Forces. I know the good work that Help for Heroes do and feel proud to be able to contribute to it.”

A group of CheeziFitters meet Hero Bear

Fellow participant Maureen Parr said: “We support Help for Heroes because the cause is instrumental in providing both mental and physical support to our servicemen. Their wellbeing is such an important part of their road to recovery. Without the support of charities many would have no one to enable them to move forward. Trauma of both physical and mental health is now acknowledged, and support should be automatic to all. It’s a pleasure to support such a worthwhile cause.”

Dancing the night away

Music and entertainment was provided by Plymouth-based uke ‘n’ roll band The Ukeabillies.

Dan Richmond from The Ukeabillies said: “We really appreciated the opportunity to support CheeziFit in their Help for Heroes fundraising event. The majority of The Ukeabillies are veterans and therefore we understand the importance of this charity to the veteran community. Fundraising is key to this and we were proud to give our time to perform at such a worthwhile event.”

The Ukeabillies performed

It’s the third year that CheeziFit have hosted the fundraiser and each year is bigger and better than the last.

Ros Glendinning, founder of CheeziFit, Physiotherapist and Help for Heroes volunteer, said: “It’s always a privilege to host our annual Remembrance CheeziFit event for Help for Heroes. This is our third year. Though it’s a fun, colourful and happy event, our CheeziFitters and instructors dance with pride and an acute understanding that we are raising awareness and funds for an outstanding military charity that continues to provide support for our former and serving military personnel.”

Instructors Katie, Leeshia and Lynn lead the class

Jock Easton, Recovery Manager at Help for Heroes Recovery Centre in Plymouth, said: “We’re exceptionally grateful to the team at CheeziFit and all those who took part in the fundraising event raising money for Help for Heroes. It was particularly poignant being billed as a Remembrance fundraiser because Remembrance is a significant time of the year for everyone who has been affected by military service. This means remembering the fallen, as well as caring for the families who are still battling injury and illness today. Our 40,000 Strong campaign, which recognises the number of those medically discharged over the last 20 years and runs over the next few months, aims to raise awareness of the scale of those still needing support, while also fighting for a better medical discharge process to make sure every wounded hero has the best opportunity to stand strong in civilian life. Without members of the public donating we wouldn’t be able to continue to do this.”