Charity No: 1075109

Aldershot Families Show

19th November 2009

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Families of those deployed on Operations were treated a special variety show organised by the Army Benevolent Fund in association with The British Forces Foundation.

Comedian Jimmy Carr compered the event at the Princes Hall Theatre in Aldershot which was attended by which was attended by wives, girlfriends and children of all ages from the Garrison.

There was something for everyone with music from the sensational 2008 X Factor finalist Ruth Lorenzo, the hottest new boy band Vice and solo artist Sean Rumsey.

Royal Variety star Andy Leach was a hit with his magical comedy act and so too were the amazing illusionists Tensai. There were more laughs from the TV comic and BFF stalwart Clive Cooper and a wonderful spectacle from the drumming act, and ex Paras, Double Tap.

Commander Aldershot Garrison, Colonel Tim Forster OBE, described the line-up as real quality with something for everyone. "Watching soldiers and their families leaving the Princes Hall was a real joy – they were visibly uplifted by the entertainment and by the access they had to the artists.

"I thought the manner in which the cast made themselves available to our families after the show was incredibly generous and hugely appreciated. For Jimmy Carr to make time to lead such a performance for our benefit is wonderful and shows what a great supporter he is of the Armed Forces.

"A massive thank you from the Garrison to The British Forces Foundation in conjunction with the Army Benevolent Fund for your support and great kindness – it really makes a difference at a time when much is being asked of our soldiers and their families."

Those sentiments were echoed by Unit Welfare Officer of 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards, Captain Paul Downes, said: "The feedback from our family members who attended the event has been absolutely amazing and they were truly grateful, especially as their loved ones are currently deployed in Afghanistan.

"The stars were all very entertaining and afterwards more than willing to talk with the audience, sign autoggraphs and pose for photos. Our sincere thanks for organising such an outstanding show."

Speaking about the idea behind the show, Major General Sir Evelyn Webb-Carter, Controller of The Army Benevolent Fund, said: "The reason for this show is so we can publicly say how much we, as a charity, acknowledge that Armed Forces families' welfare is vitally important to the overall well-being of all our Armed Services.

"We fully understand how difficult it is for those left behind when our servicemen and women deploy on Operations, and we want the families to know that they share our support and admiration as much as those on the frontline. The Army Benevolent Fund supports many welfare projects for families and will always continue to do so, and I urge everyone to take advantage of them.

"I am delighted to be working with The British Forces Foundation on this project and hope this is the beginning of a long and fruitful collaboration for both charities, and I pass my thanks to Mark Cann and his team for assembling this great line-up of artistes and putting together an excellent show."

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