At 10.15am on 2 August 2018, Rally for Heroes will roar away from a starting block of the Horse Guards Parade and down The Mall in London, just outside Buckingham Palace. Set to be launched by a soon-to-be unveiled celebrity, the 60 vehicle-strong convoy will head down to Dover and then cover a total of 3,000 miles across Europe – 5 miles for every fallen Forces hero since the start of the Afghanistan campaign.
The memorial rally will bring together current Forces personnel, veterans and civilians, united by a love of cars and a desire to support our Armed Forces.
Rally for Heroes is a biennial event held since 2010 and is raising money for SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity. Aiming to achieve a cumulative target of half a million pounds raised for charity by 2018, the Rally takes place over 10 days, visits 10 countries and will raise a further £100,000 for SSAFA – helping them to provide practical, emotional and financial support to the military community in need.
The Rally for Heroes adventure will launch from Horse Guards parade in central London. A memorial service will be conducted to mark the sacrifice made by so many service men and women in the Afghanistan campaign. There will be a display by the Army to mark the occasion of the Year of the Engineer. The RAF will be there to celebrate its 100th year, supported by 2 limited edition Aston Martin cars – the Spitfire@80 V12 Vantage S and “Red 10” the Red Arrows themed Vanquish S. To conclude the proceedings there will also be a fantastic military send off to include the band of the Coldstream Guards.
Participants cover the cost of the trip themselves meaning 100% of funds raised go to SSAFA – who provide lifelong support to the Armed Forces, veterans and their families in times of need. Beginning this vital work in 1885, this makes SSAFA the oldest tri-service, military charity running in the UK. This year alone, staff and teams of volunteers have helped over 67,000 people – from World War Two veterans to those involved in more recent conflicts and their families.
About the Rally for Heroes route:
The 2018 Rally will take place from 2 – 11 August on some of the most spectacular roads that Europe has to offer. After the London launch, the group will cross the Channel and move on to Rheims. The next day takes them down to Switzerland via some spectacular passes, then onto Milan, followed by Venice. After Venice, they set their sights on Split, moving from there via Mostar to the Olympic city of Sarajevo. Leaving Sarajevo behind, they journey to Banja Luka and Zagreb. Turning back towards northern Europe, they head for Munich, travelling east to Luxembourg for the last overnight stop. There will also be a few surprises along the way for the participants which are kept a closely guarded secret!
About Rally for Heroes:
Rally for Heroes Director, Army Sergeant, Mick Clark who is based at Regimental HQ in Catterick Garrison came up with the idea whilst serving in Afghanistan in 2010. What started as an idea for a post-operational tour lad’s weekend soon gained traction as a fundraising event. In partnership with fellow Director, then Army Warrant Officer 2 Benn Laidler, Rally for Heroes has gone from strength to strength raising in excess of £400,000 for SSAFA, The Royal British Legion and Help for Heroes.
Mick remains a key player running the event alongside fellow directors Royal Navy Commander Steve Shaw, based at Navy Command HQ in Portsmouth and now Navy Chief Petty Officer Benn Laidler, 825 Squadron based at RNAS Yeovilton.
Commander Steve Shaw said: “This is the fourth event I have been involved with and we’re all really excited at the location for our launch in August. We are like a big family, once you have done Rally for Heroes it gets into your blood and you want to stay involved. The whole team’s driven by wanting to support serving personnel, veterans and their families and SSAFA is a great charity that does exactly that. The team have been fundraising hard and the generosity from our sponsors and the general public has been outstanding.”
Cdr Shaw added: ‘We have held a memorial on every trip remembering all those who lost their lives in Afghanistan, it acts as a poignant reminder to us all why we’re there.
To donate to support the Rally for Heroes, head to – http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/RfH18