A pair of North East companies have given their backing to one of the first fundraising events planned to take place after lockdown.

Pacifica Group and GAP Waste, which have a partnership to prevent domestic refrigerators being sent to landfill, utilising specialist technology that recycles 99.9 percent of the appliances’ components, are sponsoring the Military Vs Cancer Dinner Dance at Slaley Hall in September.

The black-tie event had been due to take place on October 21 last year, but, like so many other events, was postponed because of Covid.  All monies raised by Military Vs Cancer goes to Macmillan Cancer Support and Cancer Research UK.

The charity, which brings all three military forces together and has the slogan “By Sea, Land, Air and All, together let’s make cancer fall” has raised more than £66,000 through base-wide collections and military raffles.

One of its many charity events saw 200 military personnel come together to pull a one-ton field gun 330 miles from Lincoln to Helensburgh in Scotland.

The charity aims to reach the £100,000 milestone at the Slaley Hall event, where raffle prizes include an iconic piece of naval history – a flagon of rum that was blended and bottled at the Royal Elizabeth Yard just outside Edinburgh in 1967.

It was blended and bottled three years before ‘Black Tot Day’, when the Navy stopped issuing sailors their daily ration of rum, a tradition that had been in place since the 17th century and is thought to be worth up to £2,900.

A similar event held at Haydock in 2019 in remembrance of Royal Navy Submarine shipmate Sean Gibney, who lost his battle with cancer in August 2018, was a huge success.

But Naval Warrant Officer David Bathgate and his fellow organisers are hoping this year’s event in the North East will be even bigger and better.

David said: “Like most charities, our fundraising efforts have suffered the effects of the pandemic and corporate support is essential to enable these sorts of events to go ahead.

“We are extremely grateful to Pacifica and Gap for their generous corporate sponsorship of this event.  The determination of the military, combined with caring companies such as GAP Waste and Pacifica Group will ensure Military Vs Cancer can and will make a difference.”

“The event will welcome close friends connected to the armed services or the two charities, with tickets priced at £40 per person, which includes a drink on arrival, three course dinner, raffle, auction, a band – and great company!”

Kevin Brown, CEO of Pacifica Group, said: “We’re really pleased to support this important cause with GAP Waste, which will be one of the first major fundraising events in the region post-lockdown.

“Military Vs Cancer supports two key charities, and we hope the event will raise as much money as possible for them. We know that everyone is looking forward to being able to enjoy a night out after several national lockdowns, so let’s hope dinner guests dig deep to help with the fundraising.”

Peter Moody, Managing Director of GAP Waste, said: “We’ve been a supporter of Military Vs Cancer for some time, so its great to be able to be part of the first event they’ll hold in our region.

“We are sure the event will be a great success and we hope everyone who attends the event will enjoy what will possibly be one of their first black-tie nights out after lockdown!”