• Fri. May 24th, 2024

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Yorkshire supporters of the Gurkhas hope to raise £15k for veterans and the young

CONCERT-GOERS will be supporting both retired and injured Gurkha soldiers and the young of their home nation by attending an evening of military music.

The 17th annual concert by the Band of the Brigade of Gurkhas, which visits Catterick Garrison for an annual passing out parade, will aim to raise as much money as possible for the Gurkha Welfare Trust.

Since 2010, the concerts, which have been sponsored since they started by Sherwoods Vauxhall, have raised £11,000 annually for the Trust.

This year the Yorkshire Branch has set an even higher target, aiming to raise £15,000 to pay for an extension to Shree Kalika Lower Secondary School, in Pankhu village, in Okhaldhunga, Nepal, which was damaged in the earthquakes of 2015.

The concert, which is at the Dolphin Centre, in Darlington, on November 14, will also feature Hartlepool Ladies Choir.

Retired Lieutenant Colonel Keith Ryding, chairman of the Yorkshire branch of the Gurkha Welfare Trust (GWT), explained: “The concert is always a lively evening full of the energy and sense of fun for which Gurkhas are renowned and is an opportunity for GWT supporters in the north of England to meet for a good night out.

“This year we have decided to set an even more ambitious target and have invited the choir in the hope that this will attract a wider audience.”

Lt Col Ryding said the GWT continued to pay a welfare pension to more than 6,000 old soldiers and widows.

“As well as helping the older generation, we also feel it is important to look after successive generations, hence our involvement with the school,” he explained.

“Nepal has no NHS and no welfare system so we also provide two residential homes, eight medical camps attended by over 14,000 people. There are 12 mobile doctors and 12 mobile nurses who make home visits to those welfare pensioners who are unable to get to the Area Welfare Centres.”

Alasdair MacConachie, chairman of Sherwoods, which has dealerships in Northallerton, Darlington and Stockton, has close links with the regiment as his father, Colonel Alan MacConachie, was a Gurkha commander. He said: “We are very fortunate that the Gurkha Welfare Trust has people like Keith Ryding who are dedicated to supporting not only the pensioners and their widows but also the sick and the young of Nepal.

“I hope people across the region will support the Trust by attending the concert, which is a wonderful evening of excellent music and entertainment.”

The concert starts at 7pm and tickets at £15 and £10 are available online at the Dolphin Centre, or at www.gwt.org.uk/Event/darlington-concert, or by contacting Lt Col Ryding on (01969) 663551 or Sherwoods on (01325) 466155.

By Emily