Mansfield forces unite for Help for Heroes charity

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Mansfield’s Parade for Heroes on 3rd September will now feature a full complement of armed service personnel after the Royal Navy this week confirmed it will be on parade in support of the Help for Heroes charity.

The serving Royal Navy cohort are stationed at RAF Digby in Lincolnshire and will be travelling over specifically for the parade to show their support for injured colleagues who get support from Help for Heroes.

The unit at RAF Digby supports both strategic decision makers at the highest level and the front line on a 24/7 basis, directly supporting our Armed Forces wherever they are deployed.

The Naval officers will join forces with Royal Air Force colleagues from RAF Scampton, RAF Waddington, RAF Halton, RAF Henlow and RAF Wittering, as well as a 12 strong cohort of soldiers from 2nd Battalion Mercian Regiment who returned from active duty in Afghanistan in 2009.

The parade will be headed by 15 members of the Seaforth Highlanders Pipe and Drum Band. Behind the serving men and women will be ex-service personnel from six Royal British Legion branches, The Sherwood and Worcestershire Foresters Association, The Royal Grenadiers Association and Army & Air Force Cadets.

The parade event is being organised by Mansfield PR and Marketing agency, Parker PR with help from the Trustees of the Mansfield’s Heroes Memorial Fund.

It has a target of raising £5,000 on the day to help servicemen and women who are trying to rebuild their lives after being injured in the line of duty.

Graham Parker from Parker PR urged people to come into town on the day to show their support for the forces personnel putting their lives at risk.

He said: “Mercian 2 will be returning to Afghanistan in October and some of the men on parade will be in the front line within weeks of the parade taking place. We hope they will all return safely but we also know they run the risk of being seriously injured or worse.

“This is an opportunity for the people of Mansfield to show their support for all of those that put themselves in the firing line in our names and to help the injured that are trying to rebuild their own lives.”

The parade will start at the top of West Gate at 12.30pm and head into the Market Place and come to attention in front of the old Town Hall, where it will join musicians who will have been entertaining the crowds since 11.45am.

Entertainment on the Market Place will be provided by at least one brass band and it is hoped that town centre businesses will show their support by flying flags and holding collections.

The parade is being seen as a pilot event that can be rolled out nationally with the aim of raising £1m for Help for Heroes.

As a result of the parade, West Gate will be closed to traffic between 11.45am and 12.30pm on the day. Parking for disabled drivers will also not be available at the top of West Gate between the same times.