Sunday, 27 April 2014

The 99th Garrison collects for St Luke's Hospice at Meadowhall in Sheffield - Saturday, 26th April, 2014

The 99th Garrison was asked to support St Luke's Hospice in Sheffield at one of its collections at Meadowhall.  St Luke's Hospice cares for people aged 18 and above throughout Sheffield who have incurable illnesses.  Their aim is to control their symptoms, alleviate pain and give them the best possible quality of life - all free of charge and dependent entirely upon the commitment and generosity to provide most of the money they need.
Nikki from St Luke's Hospice couldn't resist having a go at fighting with one of our troopers!
We were to troop from 10:30 to 4:00pm and met at 09:30am in the Centre's Oasis Food Area before setting up base in the Centre's management suite for the day.  I was joined by Dave P, Dave S, Alan, John B, Jason, Andy W, Rachel and Harrison for this event. 
A Trooper from the other side of the Pennines!   Fortunately, border control let him in!
Having got changed we then joined the team from St Luke's in the area that they had been assigned to for the day.  They had a ball game set up which is difficult to explain but basically you had to catch small yellow balls in a contained area whilst air was being blasted at you... more tricky than it sounds! 
Crowds gather around the Hospice's ball game
The area was therefore already quite busy and we were immediately very popular.  It was an area of the centre that we had trooped in before, last November in fact when we were there collecting for Help For Heroes.  However, we had different security today and it is fair to say that they were not very understanding and twice asked us to move back to small confined area where St Luke's were.. .. apparently this was to stop obstructions ... but the centre wasn't as busy as last November and we were not causing an obstruction. There was also an area where X Factor was holding some auditions... they were prepared to let us in but the centre security staff were not!!  Hey ho, we still made the best of it and I hope that we raised a lot of money.  Update..... now know that we collected £747.07!!!  Well done all!! A great result!!
Ape Trooper had to have a go at the ball game.. it was actually quite difficult - even more so in armour!
We had seven troopers today and only Rachel as crew - with some assistance from Harrison so after about an hour of trooping I changed from my Scout Armour to Officer's Uniform so that I could help to crew.  As is usual with the Meadowhall centre, it was very, very warm for us in costume/armour and we took regular breaks every hour and an hour for lunch.

There was lots of fun in the changing room today with plenty of double entendre - mostly around the fine tuning of armour and polishing and Rachel having to strap Jasons armour together around his derrière!!  It was a nice surprise when we were also joined in the afternoon by Chris who helped with some crewing duties and innuendos!
We finished trooping at about 4:00pm and dekitted and then posed for the post troop photo - sadly.  Jason had had to rush off before this and before I had chance to stop him and make sure he was in it!

With my Deputy Charity Liaison Officer
Huge thanks to all the troopers and crew who came along and to Nikki from St Luke's for inviting us.  Also thanks to the reception staff at the centre who were as friendly and helpful as ever and to the centre management for letting us have the use of a room for the day.  I hope that when we go back to Meadowhall in November for Help for Heroes the security staff on duty are the ones that we are used to to and used to us!