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Help for Heroes fashion show hailed a great success
WOUNDED veterans, serving Armed Forces personnel and family members spoke of their pride at being involved in a charity fashion show, hailing it as a true celebration of bravery and determination.
Phoenix House Recovery Centre in Catterick Garrison, run by charity Help for Heroes, held the event to raise much-needed funds, but also to increase awareness of two of its branches.
Band of Brothers, which is for serving and veteran men and women, and Band of Sisters, which is for their loved ones, both male and female, give wounded veterans, soldiers and their families lifelong support and opportunities such as work experience, holidays and family days out.
The fashion show, supported by Leggs boutique of Darlington, Saks, Guinot make-up, Sherwoods and The Northern Echo, featured 13 members of Band of Brothers (BoB)and Band of Sisters (BoS) as well as 17 professional models.
Hayley Tonner, from Catterick Garrison, who has been a member of BoS for three months, was one of those who took to the catwalk.
She said: "Band of Sisters has been such a great support network for me.
"It has given me a place to go where people understand what I have been going through since my husband was injured while in the Army."
Model Ges Almond, 51, from Northallerton, suffered a breakdown after leaving the RAF following more than 30 years of service.
He said: "Without Phoenix House I would not be where I am today. Before I came to spend time here my recovery was going nowhere but now I am on my way back to work as a health and safety consultant and I'm looking to getting my ski teaching qualifications re-accredited."
Marie Middleton, mother of 28-year-old Dean Middleton, from Seaham, County Durham, who suffered serious head injuries in a roadside bomb blast in Afghanistan, said she had never been more proud of her son.
"It was wonderful to see him on the catwalk - if someone told me three years ago that he would be here doing this today I would never have believed them."
The Northern Echo editor and fashion show compere Peter Barron said: "I feel very privileged to be here tonight.
"We always get the most tremendous response from our readers after events like this and that is testament to the work of our Armed Forces."
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