The Ideal Home Show yesterday launched its nationwide ‘Ideal Homes for Heroes’ appeal, which will provide serving and returning soldiers with grants and help with vital home improvements.
Army representatives, soldiers and a 30 piece Royal Signals Band assembled at Earls Court for the launch of the appeal yesterday. As part of the campaign, 50p from every ticket to the Ideal Home Show will be donated to the ABF Soldiers’ Charity in an attempt to raise £100,000.
Chief executive of the Soldiers’ Charity Major General Sir Evelyn Webb-Carter KCVO, OBE, DL, said: “Homes for Heroes is so important to help people like Gavin Harvey, who lost both his legs serving in Afghanistan. We would like to emphasise our thanks to the Ideal Home Show for making us the beneficial charity of the show.”
To mark the start of troop’s day at the Ideal Home Show, which is now in its 102nd year, the Signals band marched through the arena and the show’s ambassador and Channel 4 Home Show celebrity George Clarke presented the charity with a check for £50,000, raised by pre-sale tickets.
“The British Home Show is very much about celebrating what we do well as a country. Gavin Harvey is an exceptional man who has made an exceptional contribution to Britain and I am delighted to present him with this cheque,” said George.
The Ideal Homes for Heroes appeal will help more than 280 former and serving soldiers and their families with vital home adaptations and improvements. The appeal will also help soldiers cope with housing needs, debt, unemployment and post traumatic stress disorder on returning.
Sir Bill Cubit, Major-General Commanding the Household Division said that: “The army has been engaged in active service in Iraq and Afghanistan for several years now. This means that a whole generation of soldiers are coming home from service to find their lives are completely changed.”
The Ideal Home Show has a long history of supporting Britain’s troops; in the 1920’s a similar appeal was set up to improve living conditions for soldiers and munitions workers after the First World War, called ‘Homes Fit For Heroes’.
Troop’s day, at the most popular Ideal Home Show to date, included a British street party, military field kitchen and performances from 13-year-old singer Olivia Aaron. Olivia released a charity single, ‘My angel friend’, last October in aid of the Army Benevolent Fund and has been described as the next Dame Vera Lynn.