Big Brew Up time on Coronation Street

Celebrities lend their support to SSAFA’s Big Brew Up campaign

23 July 2015

Celebrities lend their support to SSAFA’s Big Brew Up campaign

Thousands of people have made their tea break really count by holding a Big Brew Up for SSAFA during June. Openreach, BT’s local network business, was the main supporter of the campaign with 85 fundraising ‘brew up’ events.

As a nation we drink more than 60 billion cups of tea every year and the SSAFA Big Brew Up campaign encourages friends, family and colleagues to get together and share a cuppa to help raise funds for the charity’s vital work supporting serving personnel, veterans and their families.

More than 800 Big Brew Ups took place around the country from June 22-28. Prime Minister David Cameron stopped by the Big Brew Up tent for a cuppa at the national Armed Forces Day event in Guildford and Coronation Street’s Antony Cotton hosted his own star-studded Big Brew Up in the Rovers Return.

Big Brew Up Ambassador Antony was also one of the 30 celebrity names who signed and donated their favourite mugs to our popular online celebrity Big Brew Up Mug Auction. This Morning presenters Phillip Schofield and Amanda Holden, supermodel David Gandy, Poldark star Robin Ellis, singers Florence Welch and Katherine Jenkins and athlete Dame Kelly Holmes were among those who gave their favourite mugs.

Openreach brews up

Openreach staff at their Big Brew Up eventMeanwhile, employees at Openreach held dozens of Big Brew Ups around the country, raising thousands for SSAFA and making the company the biggest single supporter of the campaign. Openreach announced a charity partnership with SSAFA earlier this year. The company, which has a long history of supporting the Forces and employs many ex-serving personnel, raised thousands of pounds at its Big Brew Up events.

Openreach’s Chief Sustainability Officer, Ian Hill, said: “We were delighted to be able to support this heartwarming initiative for a charity which provides vital support for members of our Armed Forces, veterans and their families. Openreach has a strong record of working with the UK’s armed forces in many ways, including the recruitment of over 2,000 ex-forces personnel in recent years.”

Photo: Nicola from Openreach in Crawley enjoys a cuppa and a slice of cake for SSAFA.

How your cuppa makes a difference

Openreach employee at Big Brew Up eventWith all these fantastic events, we’re expecting this year’s Big Brew Up to be the biggest yet. Money raised by the campaign will help fund the practical, emotional and financial support we give to over 57,000 members of our Armed Forces community every year.

At the heart of the campaign are the powerful, real-life tales that illustrate exactly what a difference SSAFA’s support can make. Corporal Harvey Holmes was killed by an explosion whilst on patrol in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, in 2010. His mother Beverley Mayall and sister Elizabeth Holmes-Daniels are both members of SSAFA’s Bereaved Families Support Group and ambassadors for the campaign.

Beverley said: “SSAFA reached out and gave our family genuine care and support when we needed it the most.  Although the war has ended, the effects of Afghanistan are not over for many of us, and the Big Brew Up will help to ensure that SSAFA supports more Forces families like ours in their time of need.”

A big thank you to Openreach

SSAFA Director of Fundraising Deborah Easlick said: “We’re absolutely delighted with this year’s Big Brew Up and that Openreach were such an important part of it . I’d like to thank everyone who held their own tea party and especially Openreach’s employees for their creativity and willingness to host local events up and down the country. This is the second SSAFA campaign that Openreach has supported since our partnership was announced earlier this year and will help us continue to provide life-changing support to members of the Armed Forces and their families, past and present.”

Hold your own Big Brew Up

You can hold a Big Brew Up event any time of year and it's easy to take part. Find out more about how you can put the kettle on to support our Forces and their families at