Mirfield team raise thousands for injured soldiers at Battle Back Ball

Cadets from the 868 Mirfield Air Training Corps at the Battle Back Ball.
Cadets from the 868 Mirfield Air Training Corps at the Battle Back Ball.

ALMOST 300 people showed their support for injured soldiers on Saturday.

Fundraisers in Mirfield organised the Battle Back Ball to raise money for Help For Heroes, the charity which supports veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan.

They held their first black tie event last year and raised thousands of pounds for their cause.

This year’s Battle Back Ball was held at the Cedar Court Hotel in Bradford. It was a masquerade ball with guests encouraged to attend wearing masks.

Organiser Tim Wood said: “Everyone thoroughly enjoyed it. People wanted to give and give.”

The money raised is still being counted, but a raffle and auction raised almost £2,000 on their own.

There were a number of high-profile guests in attendance, including television news presenter Christa Ackroyd and David Dinmore, the Deputy Lord Lieutenant for West Yorkshire, who both gave speeches.

Ms Ackroyd donated a bottle of wine as a prize to the guest with the best mask.

Members of the Help For Heroes group of injured servicemen, the Band of Brothers, were also present and sat alongside the Mayor of Mirfield, Coun Pat Sutcliffe.

Cadets from the 868 Mirfield Air Training Corps formed a guard of honour, bearing standards at the entrance to the hotel.

Members of the group’s drum corps performed, and even ended up entertaining guests at an adjacent wedding party.

Casino games were available for any guests who fancied a flutter and there was live music from rock band Last Ditch Heroes.

Singer Amy Rose also performed and closed her set with a rendition of Don’t Cry For Me Argentina, to mark the recent 30th anniversary of the outbreak of the Falklands War.

Organiser Jim Thornton said: “The Battle Back Ball is ever so popular.

“People nowadays are really, really understanding of how important it is to support our veterans.

“They might not support any wars, but they support the veterans, which is the most important thing at the moment.”

The organisers of the ball founded the Battle Back Associates in Mirfield last year to try and raise £100,00 for Help For Heroes.

The town has strong links with the military and now the town council is encouraging traders to show their support for soldiers and veterans by signing up to the Heroes Welcome scheme.

This way, councillors hope the town can become the first Heroes Welcome town in West Yorkshire.