Afghanistan veteran with medals and child
6 May 2014

Rally for Heroes and SSAFA meet with Yeovil MP

SSAFA and members of the Rally for Heroes team have welcomed Yeovil MP David Laws to the Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton to tell him more about the challenge.

Rally for Heroes and SSAFA meet with Yeovil MP

Yeovil MP David Laws met Rally for Heroes founder, Army Warrant Officer Benn Laidler, members of his team and participants of this summer's eight day Rally for Heroes driving adventure at Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Yeovilton. The epic driving event aims to raise over £100,000 to support SSAFA's work with our Forces and their families.

Mr Laws was introduced to the event participants who will be taking on the journey of their life when they navigate across 11 European countries this summer. This is no ordinary journey as every five miles of the rally will represent the life of a serviceman or woman who has fallen in combat since the start of the Afghanistan conflict

Speaking at the visit, Mr Laws said "This is a great initiative to help remember those who lost their lives in Afghanistan and to raise money for SSAFA, which is a brilliant organisation that gives so much help to those who have served in our armed forces and their families."

“I wish all those who are going in the Rally the very best. I hope that it will be great fun too."

Heading up the visit was Rally team member and Royal Navy Warrant Officer Baz Firth MBE who said, “It was a real pleasure to host the Rt Hon David Laws at the Fleet Air Arm Museum and to introduce him to some of the Rally for Heroes entrants.”

“Due to the significant Yeovil presence on the Rally, through the fantastic support of local businesses like Alpha Signs, the several entrants from the area taking part and the support from RNAS Yeovilton, it was a great opportunity for us all to be able to show David how proud we are in our efforts towards raising £100,000 for SSAFA.”

The visit took place against the backdrop of the iconic Fleet Air Arm Museum and included a static display of the Army's new battlefield reconnaissance helicopter, the Wildcat, provided by 652 (Wildcat Fielding) Squadron Army Air Corps, based at Yeovilton and involved serving members of the Armed Forces. Mr Laws met and spoke with Commodore Jock Alexander OBE, Commanding officer of RNAS Yeovilton and Colonel Neil Dalton OBE, Commander Army Aviation Reconnaissance Force. SSAFA volunteers and staff were also given the opportunity to speak to Mr Laws about the difference the money raised by Rally For Heroes will make to the vital work that the charity does with over 50,000 people from the military community every year.

Jim Morrison from SSAFA said, "It has been a real honour to be here today to speak with Mr Laws about the work that SSAFA does with our Forces and their families, and we were delighted to hear that he already knew much about SSAFA. The day has shown us what a great source of support the people of Yeovil are for the Rally and more importantly for our armed forces community as a whole."

“We have also had chance to remind ourselves that the Rally for Heroes team, just like our serving and ex-serving, are ordinary people doing something extraordinary for a cause they believe in. It was a proud moment for them today.”

The rally will set off from the Top Gear Track at Dunsfold Aerodrome on Friday 27 June – the day before this year’s Armed Forces Day – and return on Saturday 5 July, taking in Alpine passes, the poignant Bergen Belsen concentration camp and Hitler's Eagle's Nest along the way.

Visit the Rally for Heroes 2014 website to find out more along with information about where to see the team in action this summer.