When Forces Live Events (CSE) discovered one of the oldest and most iconic regiments of the British Army wasn’t having their annual Grenadier Day, we knew we had to step in and offer assistance to ensure the families and rear party were still well supported.
Grenadier Day is a big event for the 1st Battalion of the Grenadier Guards, but with many of the infantry soldiers deployed on three simultaneous operational tours, the decision was made to put on a much smaller family fun day at Lille Barracks, Aldershot.
CSgt Steve Harrell contacted CSE and explained the welfare team still wanted to celebrate and recognise their families but had limited resources and funding. While they put on monthly activities and weekly local get-togethers, this was to be the main event.
Military wife Michelle said:
“It’s been a good varied event, I’ve got children ranging from 9-18 and there’s been things for them all to do.
"It’s nice when there’s things put on for the army families when the serving soldier is out of country so that the community builds and there’s more a sense that you’ve got someone to turn to when you need it”
CSE provided a kids entertainer with multiple mascots including Trolls, Mr Tumble and Darth Vader, plus live music from Two Blue plus stage, production and electric go-karts, all funded by the CSE Beneficiary Fund.
This gave a big wow factor and transformed the afternoon. Children were overheard expressing their delight and describing the event as a mini ‘Armed Forces Day’ just for them.
The entertainment benefitted families back in Aldershot, while the rest of the Battalion were deployed across Op Trenton in South Sudan, Op Shader in Iraq and Op Toral in Afghanistan.
It provided a great opportunity for the families and the rear party to come together as a community while their loved ones were on multiple tours for six to nine months.
Unit Welfare Officer Captain Dan Moore said:
"Having the CSE show come in today has made the world of difference… as soon as the music started, and the mascot show started, everybody was up out of their seats, down the front dancing.
"Events like this are important to our families, especially during deployment… having this sort of event held local in the barracks which is central to most of their housing, allows them to get out and get a free day for the family.
"And when news gets forwarded to the guys deployed out in the theatres, they can look at videos, photos that have been taken by their families of the day, and know that their families are being looked after back home"
The BFBS Op Ice Cream van paid a visit, giving out morale in the form of free ice-cream and BFBS Aldershot’s Richard Wyeth was there collecting messages on the day and also spoke to CSgt Steve Harrell:
"It's brilliant for the welfare, not only the guys that are deployed are looked after by the teams out there.
"We've got the team back here looking after the families and it's really important they're looked after and the loved ones overseas know they're being looked after by the rear party and we are putting events on for them."
There were also inflatables and a BBQ organised by the welfare team, and the local cadets had a presence too.
If you are in the military or are part of the wider military community and have a welfare requirement for live entertainment, please contact us for more information about the CSE Beneficiary Fund and/or an application form.