Armed Forces Day - The raised Armed Forces Day flag (1)

A celebration of the military, veterans and their families is being held at Queens Park in Crewe to mark this year’s Armed Forces Day weekend.

The event on June 25 and 26 will include displays by the Royal Navy, Army and RAF, a fairground, stalls and private military vehicles dating back to the battle of Ypres and the Normandy landings.

There will also be NHS mental health staff to speak to, along with firms who employ veterans and representatives from the Department of Work & Pensions who can advise on benefits available to serving and ex-military personnel.

The event, raising money for Help for Heroes, is being organised by Steve Pragnall, 54, who is a member of Crewe & District Military Vehicle Club.

He has joined forces in staging the fully-funded weekend by Crewe Town Council, and Cheshire East Council which has received the armed Forces Covenant Silver Award Employer Recognition Scheme.

“We want this to be a fun, family orientated picnic in the park that brings the serving and civilian communities together,” said Steve, who previously served in the Territorial Army and was a driver with the Royal Corps of Transport before becoming a HGV lorry driver for a big retailer.

Steve Pragnall Help For Heroes
Steve Pragnall, Help For Heroes

“For anyone serving in the armed forces, family is vitally important, they deal with stress and cope with good times and bad, while sometimes not knowing where in the world their loved ones have been deployed.”

Steve was encouraged to become a Help for Heroes volunteer by his son, Nathan, whilst at primary school.

Now 12 years later, Nathan is getting promoted though the ranks in the Royal Navy and his dad is still passionate about supporting the charity which relies on the generosity of the UK public for more than 90 per cent of its income.

“People in the military need a good family behind them to support their mental and physical health.

“That’s why we’ll be raising money for Help for Heroes, the charity helps veterans thrive, not just survive,” explained Steve who regularly volunteers with his family.

He is proud to have been invited by Cheshire Constabulary’s Chief Constable and the Police and Crime Commissioner to represent Help for Heroes at its flag raising event to mark Armed Forces Day.

Rhys Edwards, fundraising manager at Help for Heroes, added: “My heartfelt thanks go out to Steve and his team of volunteers for the planning and running of this great event.

“Help For Heroes could not do what we do without our volunteers help and support and Steve’s enthusiasm and commitment to the charity is second to none.”

Cheshire Constabulary held the biggest Armed Forces Day flag raising ceremony in the county.

More than 100 people attended the ceremony at its headquarters in Winsford on Monday (June 20).

Those in attendance included Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Cheshire, Lady Redmond MBE, Cheshire Constabulary Chief Constable Mark Roberts, Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire John Dwyer and Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service Rick Aldous Rick Aldous.

Regular, reserve, cadet and veteran Armed Forces organisations were represented at the event.

Members of the external British Armed Forces community who accepted invitations to attend included C (Cheshire Yeomanry) Squadron of The Queen’s Own Yeomanry, 116 Provost Company (3rd Regiment, Royal Military Police), the Mercian Regiment (formerly the Cheshire Regiment) B Company, the Royal Logistic Corps 398 Squadron, the RAF (ATC) Air Cadets, the Combined Cadet Force (Army) and the Sea Cadet Corps.

Armed Forces Day - More than 100 people attended the ceremony (1)
Armed Forces Day – More than 100 people attended

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