Durham based charity Finchale Group’s CEO, Mel Pears MBE and staff, presented a cheque for £543.00 to Lieutenant Colonel Barney Barnbrook, Regional Director North East of ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, at a ceremony at Finchale Group’s site in Pity Me on Thursday 25th October 2018.

A tasty turnout at Finchale Group’s annual Big Curry event, which was held earlier this month, meant hundreds of pounds were raised to support soldiers, veterans and their families.

The lunch, hosted by Finchale Group which supports veterans, ex-offenders and disadvantaged groups, was served by 101st (Northumbrian) Regiment Royal Artillery from a military style field kitchen.

Mel Pears MBE, Finchale Group’s CEO said: “ABF The Soldiers’ Charity has supported Finchale Group over the past 5 years to provide specialist tailored support to Army Veterans from the North East.”

“The Big Curry is a fun and tasty way for us to say “thank you” whilst supporting The Soldiers’ Charity’s work to provide funding and support to soldiers, veterans and their families. I’m extremely proud to be handing over this cheque.”

“We were delighted that 101st (Northumbrian) Regiment Royal Artillery agreed to support the event this year demonstrating the capability and professionalism of our British Army Reserves and the vital roles they play in both the community and wider defence.”

The inspiration for the Durham event and the UK wide campaign comes from the British Army’s long-standing tradition of a love of curry, which originates from its long service in India and elsewhere in the Asian sub-continent, particularly during the days of the British Raj under Queen Victoria.

As well as sitting down to freshly prepared Beef Curry, sweet and sour and Chicken Korma curries with all the trimmings, diners had the opportunity to enter a prize raffle with some fantastic prizes donated by local businesses.

The special event – which Finchale Group has hosted for the past two years – was the last community event to be held at its Pity Me site before the charity’s relocation to purpose-built premises in Belmont Business Park later this year.