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Posted - 2nd October 23

Celebrating Another Successful Early, Early Christmas Fair by ABF The Soldiers’ Charity

The Early Early Christmas Fair, an enduring tradition in the heart of the Wiltshire countryside, has once again shone brightly, thanks to the unwavering support of volunteers and sponsors such as Aspire Defence, General Dynamics, AeroGlow International, Claire Calder Consultancy amongst others. Organised by ABF The Soldiers’ Charity since the early 1990s, this year’s fair was a resounding success, showcasing the incredible impact of community engagement and philanthropy.

The Early Early Christmas Fair, hosted at the Polo Ground in Tedworth Park, Tidworth, attracted an impressive crowd of shoppers and featured over 120 stalls representing local small businesses. This beloved event, which has been a staple in the community for decades, serves as a testament to the enduring commitment of ABF The Soldiers’ Charity and its dedicated sponsors.

For over three decades, ABF The Soldiers’ Charity has been at the forefront of supporting the Army community, offering financial assistance, practical support, and various services to soldiers, veterans, and their families in times of need. The Early Early Christmas Fair, a highlight of the charity’s annual calendar, plays a pivotal role in raising vital funds to sustain these essential programmes.

Aspire Defence, a proud sponsor of the event for more than fifteen years, joined hands with other businesses to contribute to the fair’s success. Their generous support, along with that of other sponsors, was instrumental in making the event a memorable and impactful one.

Allan Thomson, Chief Executive of Aspire Defence Limited, stated:

“We are honoured to stand alongside ABF The Soldiers’ Charity and other sponsors in supporting this cherished event. It’s a testament to the power of collaboration and community spirit in making a meaningful difference to those who have dedicated their lives to serving our country.”

Throughout the two-day fair, attendees had the opportunity to explore a wide array of stalls offering unique gifts, mouthwatering food and drink options, home decor, and fashion items. The atmosphere was filled with the warmth of the holiday season, as families and friends gathered to enjoy a day of shopping and festivities.

Caroline Cary, Fundraiser & Events Organiser for ABF, The Soldiers’ Charity, expressed her gratitude, saying:

“On behalf of the Charity, I am personally so grateful to all those that make this event happen: without the generosity in terms of time and commitment over the years, this event would not be what it is today. I would especially like to thank our long-standing sponsors, General Dynamics UK and Aspire Defence, for their continued support and to our new sponsors this year AeroGlow International, Warminster School, and Claire Calder Consultancy. Thank you for seeing the vision of this event and our long-term future. A special thanks to our stallholders who work tirelessly to make this fair one of the best in the country and who contribute 10% of everything you buy at the event to ABF The Soldiers’ Charity. Most importantly, I would like to thank all those amazing volunteers who every year go the extra mile to help raise money for this Charity. We could not do this without you all.”

Among the notable guests in attendance were Major General Tim Hyams, Chief Executive of The Army Benevolent Fund, Mr Pradeep Bhardwaj, High Sheriff of Wiltshire, and Mrs Sarah Rose Troughton, Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire and President of The Army Benevolent Fund Wiltshire.

Mrs Troughton commented on the significance of such events:

“The Early Early Christmas Fair exemplifies the incredible synergy between local businesses, sponsors, and the Army community. It was a great pleasure attending the first evening of the Fair and I came home carrying a new large woven basket full of incredibly nice Christmas presents. My sincere thanks to Caroline Cary and her team and to the many generous supporters and stall holders  ”

The event culminated with a thrilling free prize draw, where one fortunate fairgoer won a magnificent £250 hamper generously donated by Ogilvy & More, adding an extra layer of excitement to an already exhilarating fair.

The success of the Early Early Christmas Fair underscores the enduring partnership between ABF The Soldiers’ Charity and its dedicated sponsors, including Aspire Defence. Through their collective efforts, they continue to uphold a tradition that not only brightens the holiday season but also makes a lasting impact on the lives of those who have dedicated themselves to the service of our nation.

L-R Tilly Lambert-Lee – Regional Director South West Ian Holmes, ABF, John Horns, Allan Thomson, Mark Carr, James Richardson, Caroline Cary

From L-R; Caroline Cary, Tim Hyams, Mrs Sarah Troughton, John Hiorns, Ian Holmes

Mr. Pradeep Bhardwaj and Mrs Neetu Bhardwaj High Sheriff of Wiltshire,; Mr Christopher Bromfield, The Under Sheriff of Wiltshire, Tim Hyams

Mrs Sarah Rose Troughton and Mr. Pradeep Bhardwaj, High Sheriff of Wiltshire
Background Mr. Christopher Bromfield, The Under Sheriff of Wiltshire

Sponsors: Claire Calder Consultancy

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