X Factor finalist Kevin Davy White and Britain’s Got Talent finalist Jamie Raven put on a spectacular performance for wounded, injured and sick soldiers at Brydon House Personnel Recovery Centre’s final Forces Live Events (CSE) show before the Germany drawdown.
Dr Pekkala, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, British Forces Germany said:
“I really enjoyed watching the acts… but also watching the soldiers I work with, who are struggling with so much… leaving some of their anxieties at the door and revelling in the evening’s entertainment.”
CSE started delivering shows to some of the most vulnerable members of the British Army here in 2012 (funded by the CSE Beneficiary Fund) after recognising a need for centre users to have an opportunity to come together and enjoy an evening of entertainment in a safe and conducive environment where they can forget their worries.
Sgt Phil Winton found getting his pictures taken with the cast quite emotional. He said:
“The CSE show was amazing, after all this, it’s a massive pay off, it’s amazing seeing Kevin, Riva and the rest of the artistes...
"I’ve gone from the bottom, the very bottom as low as you can go, the lowest emotions, the lowest worth, to this guy.
"For example when my illness took over me I was literally nothing, worthless, and the PRU (Personnel Recovery Centre) took over me, guided me, I went through the courses, the therapy, it’s crazy.
"Up until this event now, the CSE show, words can’t explain it".
CSE wanted to put on something very special for the final show and engaged with stars from recent TV talent shows.
It was singer Kevin Davy White’s first performance for CSE. He came third on X Factor in 2017, narrowing missing the top spot to Grace Davies and winner Rak-Su. He is releasing a new single next year about giving your time. When asked what it meant to him to give his time and perform to the British Forces, Kevin said: “It’s a way to thank them”.
It was an honour and a privilege for Magician Jamie Raven who came second on Britain’s Got Talent (and famously made Simon Cowell believe in magic) to perform at the PRC for the wounded, injured and sick soldiers. He said:
“When doing things for the forces, because it’s one of the few things that I ever do that actually means something, for the forces just to show our gratitude for all that they do is amazing, but especially here, and for what this is and why we’re here, it means a lot more.”
Laughter is the best medicine, so experienced forces comedian Barry Castagnola acted as host and compere and brought the laughs to what is usually the main classroom, which had been transformed into a professional cosy and intimate performance space complete with stage, PA and lighting.
There was also a performance by upcoming singer Riva who captivated the audience in her first forces show.
Cpl Dean Hanbury said:
“I think it’s absolutely fantastic to have people of that character and quality to come out to serving soldiers here based in Germany, from the UK and to give us such a performance like that.”
It was a poignant event which not only spread Christmas cheer but provided some much-needed morale.
It was evident how much the show meant to staff at the PRC and users alike, not just because it was the last show, but also because it signified being that step closer to closure.
The show was attended by wounded, injured and sick soldiers, their families and centre staff, who enjoyed a buffet dinner before the show.
Former Sgt Jason Dudding said:
“I thought it was absolutely amazing, I had goose bumps all the way through it.”
Brydon House PRC in Sennelager Training Centre, Paderborn Garrison, Germany provides an essential service for all the wounded, injured and sick soldiers in Germany including training, counselling and career management.
The centre currently has 11,000 users who are being supported to achieve the best recovery outcome to return to duty, or those intending to return to civilian life are assisted with transit and resettlement.
The centre will close on May 31, 2019, part of the bigger Germany drawdown piece. Any centre users staying in Germany after this time will be transferred to one of the UK PRC’s and have to travel back and forth to their new centre for ongoing support.
CSE were honoured to help Brydon House celebrate both Christmas and the good work done by the Personnel Recovery Centre with this memorable final show.
See below for some of CSE's previous shows for Brydon House...
If you are looking for live entertainment, get in touch with CSE to find out how we can help.
As a not-for-profit organisation, any surplus we make from our commercial projects goes directly into our Beneficiary Fund, which aims to improve morale and welfare of British Armed Forces personnel and their families through a variety of event and entertainment solutions.
If you are in the military or are part of the wider military community and have a welfare requirement contact us for more information about the CSE Beneficiary Fund and/or an application form.