Soldiers share thanks at black tie charity ball

INJURED soldiers were given a hero’s welcome at a charity event organised by Mirfield fundraisers.

The Battle Back Ball was held at the Royal Armories in Leeds to raise money for Help For Heroes.

Guests to the black tie gala took part in auctions and raffles, and were entertained with jazz music, drumming displays from Mirfield Air Training Corps and a casino.

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They also heard from Simon Brown, Ben Parkinson and Darren Stephens who, as members of the Band Of Brothers, are all injured Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who support the work of Help For Heroes.

Mr Brown, who lost his sight after he was shot in the face by a sniper in Iraq in 2006, said: “The ball had a good atmosphere, was very well organised and raised a lot of money.

“I got in touch with the organisers and said that I would be willing to turn up and speak, and show my gratitude for the money they are raising.

“It’s really good that there are people that are out there that are willing to get this support to us.”

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Mr Brown said that the support of Help For Heroes restored confidence and dignity in injured soldiers.

He added: “Instead of being blown up and forgotten about, you are given a lot of good feelings about your service.”

Tim Wood, who organised the event with Coun David Pinder and Mark Andrews, said: “The Battle Back Heroes were really grateful for us doing this and, despite their injuries, they also delivered good times and tear-jerking speeches.”

The total funds raised at the ball on Saturday are still being counted, but will include a £1,500 raised by a Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing charity skydive.

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Mr Wood is hoping to raise more money with a charity boat pull and a hog roast currently being planned.

His club, the Old Colonial in Dunbottle Lane, Mirfield, is hosting a curry and quiz night on Saturday May 14. Tickets cost £5.50 and include a curry and entry to the quiz, with all proceeds going to Help For Heroes.