Sunday, 10 November 2013

This spot was to become the one where we spent most of the weekend posing for photos.
The 99th Garrison collects for Help For Heroes at Meadowhall, Sheffield 9th AND 10th November, 2013.
This event has become another regular annual event for the 99th Garrison in November, which I now refer to as my military month!
We were based with Kevin Mitchell from Help For Heroes and his volunteers in a meeting room in the centre's management centre where we were also joined by their mascot bear.
On Saturday we trooped from about 10:40am and had to take regular breaks due to the heat in the centre and how busy we were but by the time of our lunch break we had raised approximately £349.00!!
No wonder they can never find the right droids!
After lunch we were even busier and hotter!  We were so busy that a member of our crew [Rachel] had to set up a queueing system for people who wanted their photo with us and we did this for hourly slots before having to go for breaks.
By the time we had finished trooping on Saturday and Kevin had used his wonderful machine to count the money in our collection buckets we had collected £792.49!! :-) 
A huge thanks to Dave S, Rachel, Dave P, Darren, Darran, Emma and Jim for a great result on Saturday!  
Saturday's post troop photo
On Sunday we were to be in armour for 10:45am in order to take part in the shopping centre's two minute silence at 11:am.  We joined Kevin and his volunteers in a line near to their main display with Kevin making sure that everyone was where they should be.  Then when the centre announced the silence at 11am we all bowed our heads in respect.  The whole shopping centre respected the silence and it was really quite overwhelming.  I was glad I had my helmet on.
Getting lined up ready for the 2 minute silence
After the two minute silence we stayed around Help For Heroes main display table for a while whilst the centre had not yet reached its busiest period and by the time of our lunch break we had raised approximately £330.00.
Just as we broke for lunch though we were asked to go and say "hello" and sing "happy birthday" to a little girl called Dylan Sky Walker.  This we did and I am pleased to say that all troopers sang in unison even if not completely in tune!
Singing Happy Birthday to Dylan Sky Walker
After lunch we returned to the main Help For Heroes display for a while and to say hello to and pay our respects to Ben Parkinson.  He spent a few hours at the centre and on his own raised over £700!!! :-)
With Ben Parkinson
The area around the main display then got too busy and congested for us to remain there without becoming an obstruction so we then retreated back to the Santa's Grotto area that we had used as a backdrop on Saturday and again, we were so busy that we had to have a queuing system in operation for photos.  We did this for about an hour at a time with breaks but could have probably carried on doing it until the centre shopped due to the demand that there was for us.
How many troopers can you fit into a lift?!
By the time we had finished trooping on Sunday we had collected £735.43..... making a total for both days of £1,527.92!!!!!!! A fantastic result!!! 
Two sandtroopers together = trouble! :-) 
Huge thanks go to Kevin and his volunteers, to the Centre management and security team and to Alan, Jim, Dave P, Dave S and Harrison, Darren W, Darran and Emma and Dave A.  It was hard work for all of us, especially as most of us had done three troops in four days but the result and love in the building was heart warming.
Sunday's post troop photo.