Sponsors of this year’s eagerly awaited Plymouth Armed Forces Day have revealed why the event is so important to them.
Armed Forces Day is expected to welcome over 45,000 people when the event returns to Plymouth Hoe on Saturday 24 June.
Armed Forces Day is best known as a celebration and a thank you to the Armed Forces, recognising the huge role which the military plays, both past and present, in maintaining the safety and security of Great Britain.
The Royal Navy, Army, RAF, Royal Marines and Veterans’ organisations, charities and the Emergency Services will all be showcasing their services in a variety of ‘Villages’ set out across the Hoe. Military vehicles and equipment, along with static helicopters will be on show, and also a thrilling air display, with a dynamic mix of jets, including the MiG-15 Jet Fighter, and a host of daring aerobatic acts, including the colourful, high-energy Muscle Pitts.
One of the highlights this year is the Senior Field Gun competitions featuring HMNB Devonport, HMS Ocean and MOD Corsham.
This year, eighties pop favourite Toyah Willcox is headlining the outdoor evening concert and will be joined by the Band of the Royal Marines, Plymouth, Joey the Lips and The Harmonettes.
The event also attracts a strong line up of sponsors. This year, along with the title sponsor, Babcock, the Royal British Legion and C&G Catering are supporting the event. We asked them about their involvement and why the event is so important to them.
Babcock is once again the title sponsor of Plymouth Armed Forces Day. Based at Devonport Dockyard, Babcock is a supplier of infrastructure, equipment support and military training to the British Armed Forces, as well as a major employer in the Plymouth area.
Babcock managing director Craig Lockhart explains why their involvement in Armed Forces Day is important to them and their work: “Babcock is once again very happy and proud to sponsor the Plymouth Armed Forces Day. This event is a chance to celebrate the great job that our armed forces do for this country.
“An event like Armed Forces Day supports both the local community and the Armed Forces, showcasing a variety of careers and the skills and training required to undertake these roles. “Babcock has been involved with Armed Forces Day in Plymouth for more than 10 years and many of our 5000 strong workforce attend with their families.
“We have been working with Plymouth City Council and our military colleagues to ensure that this year’s event is the best yet. We hope civilians, military personnel and their families will all enjoy what the day has to offer.”
Royal British Legion
The Royal British Legion is sponsoring the Veteran’s Village this year. You will find over 80 organisations and charities represented within the village, with their stalls, exhibitions and displays.
The Legion’s Susanne Archard describes how sponsoring and attending the Armed Forces Day is part of their work: “The Royal British Legion has been involved with Plymouth Armed Forces Day since it started, we are committed to supporting an event that shows support for the men and women who make up the Armed Forces community and it’s a great opportunity to tell people more about what we do.”
“The Legion is at the heart of a national network that supports our Armed Forces community. Supporting the Veterans Village on Armed Forces Day in Plymouth is exactly what we would want to do to ensure that other military charities and organisations can reach that community. As the national custodians of remembrance we are charged with remembering the fallen. It’s also equally important to us to be able to offer our support to a day that celebrates the significant contribution our Armed Force make to the nation.”
“Our Membership and staff who manage a stand on the day relish the opportunity to engage with the public and the Armed Forces community to help raise awareness of the work we do and the support we can offer. The team have great fun at the event answering all kinds of queries, chatting with people about what we do, and usually stay on for the concert. Last year we were able to speak to over 2000 people about our Count Them In campaign asking for changes to the next census to ask who has served in the Armed Forces. “
C&G Catering are sponsoring the evening concert featuring Joey the Lips, The Hamonettes, the Function Band of the Royal Marines Band, Plymouth and eighties favourite Toyah Willcox.
Nicki Hill tells us how her company got involved: “C&G Catering supported the very first Armed Forces Day event in 2007, which was run by Commander Charles Crichton with a very small budget. Our support has enabled the event to grow to the event it is today which is organised and managed by Plymouth City Council’s event’s team. We have supported many events over the years and continue to do so.”