GMG brands to help heroes again

GMG Radio's Real, Smooth and Rock stations are coming together next month for the group's second annual Help for Heroes fundraising day.

Eamonn Holmes will front a special programme as part of the 18-hour appeal, backed by celebrities.

Last year's Help for Heroes Day raised more than £200,000 – through donations and bids for money-can't-buy auction prizes – to help wounded servicemen and women in the armed forces.

GMG Radio has secured special access to Headley Court in Surrey, the main rehabilitation centre for the forces. Central to the day of programming on Tuesday 16 November will be inspirational stories from soldiers who have been injured in action. The on-air marathon will also feature celebrity guest interviews, special acoustic music sessions and the Help for Heroes Newsdesk, which will be manned by some famous and well loved newsreaders.

Eamonn Holmes – who front's Sky News' Sunrise programme – will be simulcast across the five regional Real Radio stations as well as the newly-national Smooth Radio, between 9am and 11am on the day.

He said: “Whose heart doesn’t go out to the brave soldiers and families who have borne the brunt of conflict? They need our help and appreciation. Being asked to present this very special show across the GMG’s radio stations, in aid of such an amazing charity, is a real honour. I look forward to being part of a day that’s aim is to raise a large amount of money for Help for Heroes and raise awareness for the charity which makes a difference to so many families’ lives. The stories will be moving and inspiring; the music will be first class and there will be a few tears as well I’m sure; both of sadness and laughter – please tune in."

Celebrities including Sir Tom Jones, James Blunt, Olly Murs, Scouting for Girls, Taio Cruz, Alexandra Burke, Jamie Cullum and JLS have pledged their support for Help for Heroes Day. Joanna Lumley and cultural icon Twiggy will also encourage listeners to do their bit for Britain’s wounded troops.

Among the items announced for the on-air auction so far are a day on the set of Sky Sports’ Soccer Saturday with Jeff Stelling and the pundits, a trip to Las Vegas to see Cirque du Soleil’s Viva Elvis Show and a guitar signed by the legendary Carlos Santana.

John Simons, Group Programme Director for GMG Radio told "Help for Heroes Day is about doing our bit for the injured men and women of the armed forces – an issue which has made a deep connection with our audience. We can’t stop them getting hurt, but by giving them our support, we can help them get better."

Bryn Parry, Co-founder and Chief Executive of Help for Heroes added: "Help for Heroes accepts that men and women injured in war may eventually have to leave their job of choice but is entirely focused on ensuring that if that has to happen, those individuals only do so when they are ready, have the very best opportunities and the long term care they need; they deserve nothing less. We’ve had an incredible three years but there’s still more to do to ensure the long term support is there, so keep up the fantastic work you, our fundraisers are doing – please."

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