Rugby for Heroes Comedy Night

On 8th June 2011, the Warrant Officers’ and Sergeants’ Mess here at RAF High Wycombe held a Comedy Night in support of the charity Rugby for Heroes.

Cpl Fran Porter from the DATO office was approached and kindly liaised with Hit and Run comedy. He tirelessly negotiated on behalf of the Sgts’ Mess to secure their services, and they were more than happy to waive their performance fee for such a worthy cause. Our aim was to raise £1,000 for the charity Rugby for Heroes.

The charity, headed by Alan Lamb, was formed by a group of professional rugby players who wanted to show their support for servicemen and women. Their mission is to raise funds to help personnel, who have suffered traumatic events, to adjust to life in ‘civilian-street’ and find new career paths. For example, Jamie Cooper was recently helped back to work by Rugby for Heroes after being hit by two mortar bombs in Basra.

Once the date and comedians were booked, the hard work of securing prizes for the raffle and auction began. The highlight was a watch of outstanding quality, of the type worn by Referees during the 2010 6 Nations, being donated by Graham of London. I was overwhelmed when initially contacted by Grahams, who were ‘happy to be associated with the charity’. The correspondence that followed was extensive and often had me on ‘tenterhooks’ waiting for the next reply and subsequent answers to more questions. Then, the week before the comedy night, the watch arrived by courier and was admired by all in the office.

With the watch secured, members of the entertainments committee and the CMC hit the streets in the local area, receiving a good level of support from local business, restaurants and hoteliers. The committee secured prizes such as overnight stays, vouchers and meals out. ESS also kindly donated a mobile phone and digital camera. All the prizes were raffled off in conjunction with a charity auction carried out by the comedians.

The evening was well attended and ended up being a resounding success. The MC Ste Porter and comedians from Hit and Run comedy were first class and at the top of their game. At times there was not a dry eye in the Mess. At the final count the entertainments committee headed by Sgt Claire Danby and later Sgt Chelley Tulloch managed to raise £3,547 for Rugby for Heroes. A truly outstanding effort was made by all, highlighted by the huge amount raised.

The key individuals who were involved with or helped organisethe evening are: Sgt Rhys Edgell, Sgt Chelley Tulloch, Air Cdre Gordon Bruce, Mark Sutcliff (Graham of London UK Manager), Gp Capt Mark Heffron, Alan Lamb (Rugby for Heroes), Warrant Officer Les Hotson (CMC), Barry James (Rugby for Heroes), WO Connie Copland and WO William Read. Unfortunately due to injury Sgt Claire Danby could not attend the event to see the fruits of her labour. We wish her a speedy recovery.

By Sgt Rhys Edgell