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Help for Heroes 2017

Apprentices Sky High for Help for Heroes

16 August 2017

IMG 1997

Bri-Stor Group apprentices Gemma Smith and Jack Derbyshire spent their Tuesday afternoon with their heads in the clouds as they took a prize helicopter trip to Northampton.

The young engineers won the flight after taking part in the Bri-Stor Group "Elite Champion of Champions" event last year in aid of Help for Heroes. They jointly won the "Sportsperson" award for their efforts and both chose the Helicopter ride as their prize.

HFH Heli

Group Director Martin Smith; a qualified helicopter pilot, was more than happy to treat the pair to a flight to Northampton where they were lucky enough to see a collection of WWII spitfires. They even made time for a full English each before hopping back on the chopper for the return journey.

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Bri Stor Group CUBE Event

04 August 2017

Our 2017 Help for Heroes fundraising activities continue as Bri-Stor Group employees take on a series of The CUBE inspired challenges.

Cube Event 1

So far, participants have stacked, rolled, bounced and counted their way through various physical and mental tasks against the clock. Each competitor paid an entry fee to take part which will be added to the 2017 Help for Heroes total.

This week, our contestants took on a step challenge whereby they were each blind folded before attempting to negotiate a course against the clock - with hilarious results...   

The CUBE event will run until December when an overall winner will be announced. 

Bri-Stor Group Complete National 3 Peaks

17 July 2017

3 peaks Header

A slightly exhausted team returned to the Alpha manufacturing offices this Monday morning after completing the arduous National 3 Peaks challenge over the weekend.

Having assembled at Alpha headquarters in Hixon at 5am on Saturday morning, the group headed off on a seven hour, 377-mile road journey to tackle the first of the 3 Peaks - Scotland's Ben Nevis. Despite poor weather conditions and visibility, Ben Nevis was completed within 4.15 hours.

The second climb began shortly before 4am and by 7.30am the entire team had reached and returned from the summit. By now a few minor aches and pains had started to creep in but fortunately the weather had begun to pick up ahead of the final climb – Mount Snowdon.

3 peaks Strip

Another four-hour drive into Wales allowed for some much-needed rest before the team set off at the base of Snowden at around 11am. By 4.20pm on Sunday, the team had returned to the bus and were on the road headed back to Staffordshire.

With a final time of 23.5 hours and another £1000 added to the Help for Heroes donation pot, the team arrived home very tired but very proud of the achievement. Well done all!

Bri-Stor Group Take a Leap for Help for Heroes

12 July 2017

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On the 8th of July 6 brave Bri-Stor Group employees travelled to Langar Airfield, Nottingham to take part in a Skydive event in aid of Help for Heroes.

Arriving at 8.30 am and with nerves frayed, the group were given a safety briefing from skydive instructors before donning their equipment and waiting their turn. One by one each member was flown 2 miles above the airfield before shuffling over to the open door and taking the freefall at speeds of up to 120 mph.

Despite the nerves on the day, every member of the group was able to overcome their fears and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Moreover, having gained sponsorship from friends and family in the run up to the event, the group managed to a raise a combined total of around £4,000 for Help for Heroes.

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Next up on our Help for Heroes event calendar is the National 3 Peaks on the 15th & 16th July with a group of 14 aiming to conquer the 24 hour challenge.

if you would like to show your support by making a donation to Help for Heroes, please click the link below.

HFH Donate

Bri-Stor Group on Target for Help for Heroes

06 June 2017

Clay Pigeon HFH

As part of our 2017 fundraising efforts in support of our charity partner Help for Heroes, a group of Bri-Stor Group employees spent their Saturday morning clay pigeon shooting at White Pump Farm in Aston.

The skill set of the group ranged wildly from complete amateurs to seasoned to shooters and the scores on the day reflected this. Although some of the group seemed naturals having never held a gun but still posting respectable scores. All in all, a good day was had by all who took part and another sum of donations was raised towards our 2017 total for Help for Heroes.

A huge thanks to organisers Paul Lasance and Darren Painter from Royal Oak Sporting Gun Club who hosted the event and kindly provided all the equipment. BASC Accredited Shotgun coach Simon Pritchard was also on hand to help guide the group at various points.

Our next event in support of Help for Heroes will be an endurance Go Karting day in which Bri-Stor Group employees will be split into teams and compete in an endurance race. Soon after, 6 more employees will be heading off to Nottingham Airfield for a group skydive and the very next weekend 14 more will undertake the National 3 Peaks Challenge.

If you would like to support any of our 2017 fundraising activities please visit our Just giving page by clicking the link below.

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Second Stone Soapbox Derby a Success for Alpha

30 May 2017

HFH Soapbox

The second Stone Soapbox Derby was held this weekend in front of a packed Stone high-street and for the second year running Alpha Manufacturing Apprentices entered a racer they had designed and built.

This year Alpha and sister company Bri-Stor Systems were also delighted to be sponsoring the local event which once again drew impressive crowds, despite the grey bank holiday weather. Just like last year, both Alpha and Bri-Stor entered Soapbox's and friendly rivalry between the two teams had been rife in the weeks before the event with both cars being kept top secret from the other.

Soapbox Social 2

The Alpha team took inspiration from Alpha's charity partners – Help for Heroes and built an army camouflaged tank-racer. Clad in British army camouflage overalls and accompanied by the Help for Heroes Bear mascot, the lads took to the stage to perform their pre-race presentation in front of the crowd.

After causing a minor panic on stage by setting off a smoke bomb, the team launched Soapbox driver Ryan off the start ramp and down the hill. Their army-medic inspired presentation received good scores from the judges (which included local legend Gordon Banks) and the Soapbox set a respectable time on the course, finishing 7th out of 40 and narrowly beating their Bri-Stor Systems rivals.

Another great event for Stone and a pleasure for us to be involved not only in participating and sponsoring the race but also in raising awareness and support for our charity partner in the process. 

Bri Stor Group Employees Take a Leap of Faith for Help for Heroes

28 April 2017

Skydive Header


As part of 2017's fundraising efforts for Bri Stor Group's charity partner- Help for Heroes, a group of 8 employees will be taking part in a sponsored skydive.

On the 8th of July, the group will board a light aircraft at Nottingham Airfield before being flown to an altitude of 2 ½ miles. Once at the correct height and position, they will jump one by one, along with their tandem instructors, freefalling at up to 120mph!

This event forms part of a busy schedule of fundraising activities during 2017 as the Bri-Stor group look to continue the great work they did last year - raising awareness of Help for Heroes and the vital work they do.

Closely following the skydive will be the gruelling national 3 peaks challenge (15th July) in which 18 group employees will be participating. After completing the Yorkshire 3 peaks last year, this seemed the next logical step for our keen walkers.

If you would like to show your support for these or any other of our fundraising activities, please visit our Help for Heroes Justgiving page.

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Bri-Stor Group Team to Take on the National 3 Peaks Challenge in Support of Help for Heroes.

24 April 2017


A group of 18 employees are aiming to complete the famous National 3 Peaks Challenge in order to raise awareness and support for Bri-Stor Group’s Charity partner Help for Heroes.   

This year’s challenge follows the successful Yorkshire 3 Peaks Challenge during 2016 in which 20 walkers from across the Bri-Stor Group raised over £2,000 for Help for Heroes. The team will set off in the early hours of the 15th of July to begin the 24-hour challenge at Ben Nevis, Scotland before working their way back down the country to Scale Scafell Pike in the Lake district and finally on to Mount Snowdon in Wales.

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With a mixed team of varying ages, fitness levels and experience, training for the gruelling challenge has already begun and the group recently visited Fairfield Horseshoe for a practice walk.     

Each walker will be raising individual donations in the lead up to the challenge but if you would like to make a donation on behalf of the whole team, please feel free to visit our just giving page:

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Alpha’s Help for Heroes Fundraising 2017

10 March 2017


The Bri-Stor Group will continue their fundraising efforts during 2017 with another busy calendar of events and activities planned throughout the year.

This follows the success of 2016's fundraising efforts, which saw Alpha Manufacturing, Bri-Stor systems and Atlas Coatings raise an impressive £21,728 for the charity through a variety of events.

This year will be no different with Bri-Stor Group employees participating in a series of events scheduled throughout the next twelve months, hopefully raising plenty more funds for Help for Heroes along the way.

Fundraising activities will range from a Soapbox Derby in which Bri-Stor Group apprentices will compete in, to a half marathon run by Group Director Martin Smith.

2017 Events Graphic

Awards Presentation Marks the End of a Great Year of Fundraising.

16 December 2016


 This week the Bri-Stor Group wrapped up their 2016 fund raising calendar with an awards presentation for those involved in various events throughout the year. In total, we were able to raise £21,728 thanks to incredible support from local businesses, suppliers, customers, friends & family.

Representatives from our charity partner - Help for Heroes were invited to speak about how donations will be used to assist those service men and women in critical need. Volunteer Paula Allen was joined by Barrie Griffiths who is a beneficiary of Help for Heroes after being seriously injured in the line of duty. Barrie spoke passionately about how important support such as ours is, not only terms of the money donated but equally the awareness raised, which helps ensure that Help for Heroes can continue its long-term work with those still in need.


Group Director Martin Smith spoke on behalf of Bri-Stor Group employees, which also includes several ex-servicemen:

     "We chose Help for Heroes as our charity for 2016 because we think they are a worthy cause who are doing brilliant work for those who need and deserve the best care, and need it right now".

A packed 2016 calendar saw Bri-Stor employees participate in an array of fundraising activities including Bake for Heroes, BBQ for Heroes, fantasy football league, the Yorkshire 3 peaks challenge, bubble football and the incredible 400-mile solo bike ride across France by Group Director Martin Smith.

The final fundraising activity of the year was our ELITE champion of Champions competition which saw 100 group employees compete across seven gruelling challenges. Prizes for winners of each event were presented by Barrie and our overall winner Steve Yates was awarded his 2016 trophy. 

Bri-Stor Group would like to thank all those who supported our efforts this year and helped us reach an incredible total for this worthy cause. We're currently busy planning our 2017 activities as we look to continue our work with Help for Heroes.

Bri-Stor Group’s Elite Champion of Champions Competition Begins

16 September 2016

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The Bri-Stor Group will this week commence the Elite Champion of Champions competition in aid of their charity of the year – Help for Heroes.

Employees from across the group will compete in a two-month long tournament which will consist of seven different skills based events, beginning with a football penalty shootout. Other events making up the competition are; steady hand, darts, deadlift, cycling, a racing simulator lap and running.

96 employees from across the three Bri-Stor Group companies; Alpha Manufacturing, Bri-Stor systems and Atlas Coatings have signed up to participate and have so far raised around £2000 from entry fees and donations for Help for Heroes.

In addition to supporting a great cause, the Elite Champion of Champions event has already created a buzz around the Bri-Stor Group and a sense of friendly competition which is sure to build over the next two months.

Even group director Martin Smith was keen to get involved in encouraging participation in the event, starring in a comedy promotional video used around the Bri-Stor Group offices to raise awareness.

Elite Video

Due to finish mid-November, the Elite Champion of Champions will be the final event from the Bri-Stor Group in 2016, rounding off a packed 12-month schedule of fundraising for Help for Heroes.

With an estimated £2500-£3000 to be raised from this competition, total donations from Bri Stor Group activities for the year should easily surpass the £20,000.

Bri-Stor Team Completes the 3 Peaks Challenge

05 September 2016

3 peaks team

As part of the Bri-Stor group's support for Help for Heroes during 2016, a 19 strong team of employees set off to Yorkshire to tackle the 3 peaks challenge.

The challenge itself involves scaling the three highest peaks in Yorkshire - Whernside, Ingleborough and Pen-y-ghent, covering a total distance of 24 miles and a combined climb of 1450m all within 12 hours.

Having made an early start at 7am the first peak was completed in relatively good conditions. However, towards the summit of the second, the weather had begun to turn as the rain and wind moved in.

By the third peak, conditions had become fairly severe as walk organisers considered closing the route. Nevertheless, the entire team managed to complete the gruelling challenge well within the 12 hours with times ranging from 9 to 11 hours.

3 peaks middle

The team consisted of a real mixture of walkers, all with varying levels of experience and ages ranging from 19 to 59. Some had clearly put in more preparation than others and one member even managed to complete the 24-mile trek wearing a pair of Vans!

Besides a great sense of achievement in completing the challenge, the team also managed to raise around £2000 collectively towards the Bri-Stor 2016 group total for Help for Heroes through sponsorship.

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Bri-Stor Group Team to Tackle Yorkshire 3 Peaks in Aid of Help for Heroes.

15 August 2016

3 Peaks Detail

A team of Bri-Stor Group employees will be attempting the Yorkshire 3 peaks challenge this September to raise awareness and donations for Help for Heroes.

The Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge is a 24 mile walk which involves climbing the three tallest mountains of Yorkshire – Pen-y-Ghent, Whernside and Ingleboroug, which the team will aim to complete in under 12 hours. 20 walkers have signed up and training has been under way for the last few weeks as the team prepare for the gruelling hike through the Yorkshire Dales.

3 Peaks Scenery

This event is Bri-Stor Groups sixth of the year in aid of Help for Heroes following Bake for Heroes, Soap box derby, Euro Fantasy Football, BBQ for Heroes and Martin Smith's 400-mile cycle ride across France. The total raised by Br- Stor Group during 2016 currently stands at £16,422.

Each walker will be raising individual donations in the lead up to the challenge but if you would like to make a donation on behalf of the whole team, please feel free to visit our just giving page:

HFH Donate

Elite Champion of Champions

26 July 2016



The Elite Champion of Champions event will be a two week long series of sporting challenges beginning mid August to raise awareness and donations for Help For Heroes. 

Alpha ermployees will take part in cycling, running, dead lift, a football penalty shootout, darts, a driving simulator hot lap and a steady hand competition in a bid to find the elite champion of champions.

Help for Heroes 2016 - The Half Way Point

15 July 2016



At the beginning of 2016 the Bri-Stor Group announced that our charity partner for the coming 12 months would be Help for Heroes, a cause that Group Director Martin Smith feels particularly passionate about.

"We chose Help for Heroes as our charity for 2016 because we think they are a worthy cause who are doing brilliant work for those who need and deserve the best care, and need it right now"

At the time we also announced a busy schedule of events for the year, with the aim of raising as much awareness and donations as possible.

As we pass the half way point of the year, we thought now would be a good time to take a look at how it’s gone so far and to remind everyone of our plans.

Progress to Date

The total raised from Bri-Stor Group events currently stands at £15,174, coming from a mixture of customers, suppliers, employees and friends & family. 

Help for Heroes 2016 So Far So Good

We’re absolutely delighted with the generous contributions made by all so far and the total at this point has exceeded our expectations, so thanks again to everyone who has supported us so far!

A Re-Cap on the Year so Far

Our 2016 fund raising activities kicked off with a “Bake for Heroes” event in the Bri-Stor Group offices which saw employees bring in a selection of delicious home-made treats for sale throughout the day.

Bake for Heroes

Our next event involved two teams of apprentices from the Bri Stor Group who designed, built and raced their own Soap Box car's. In June the “Bri-Stor Bullet’s” and the “Alpha Males” went head to head at the Stone Festival soap box derby, adding a competitive twist to the fundraising activities. The Alpha Males managed to finish second overall and both teams were able to raise plenty of donations whilst participating in a great local event.

Soap Box

Next up was a superb solo effort from Group Director Martin Smith as he undertook an epic 6 day, 400 mile bike ride across France at the end of June. Travelling from just east of Chalon, and finishing to the west of Tours, the journey took Martin through the punishing landscapes of Central France amidst some gruelling weather conditions.

In case you missed it, Martin documented the whole journey on a daily video diary which you can see here: Martin's Video Diary 

Martin Cycles France

The latest event was a very topical one as Bri-Stor Group employees took part in a Euro championships fantasy football league with entry fees being donated to Help for Heroes. 

Upcoming Events

Next up on the Bri-Stor Group event calendar is BBQ for Heroes scheduled for 19th-22nd July with burgers being cooked by group directors and donations taken on the day.

Another football related event scheduled for August will see Bri-Stor Group employees don bubble suits and attempt to play a charity match, with entry fees again being donated to Help for Heroes.    

Later on in August we have an Olympics style event planned in which participants will take on seven testing challenges: cycling, running, dead lift, a football penalty shootout, darts, a driving simulator hot lap and a steady hand competition.  

During September a team of Bri-Stor Group employees will be undertaking the Yorkshire three peaks challenge climbing Wernside, Ingleborough and Pen Y Ghent mountains.

The final event of the year will be a Christmas stocking appeal starting in November where gifts and donations will be collected in the run up to Christmas.

Our Aim for the Rest of the Year:

With plenty of events still to come before the end of the year we’re confident of continuing the good work so far and generating plenty more for Help for Heroes. Make sure to keep an eye on our website and social media for more information on how you can help or just to stay up to date with our progress.

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Day 6 - Spirits are High as 400 Miles Completed

24 June 2016

Despite the aches and pains, spirits are extremely strong in the bid to raise money for Help for Heroes.

The final stage of the journey has been extremely tough, not only does it feel like Martins frame has been put through its paces but the teams' bikes have also taken a battering.

Day 6 saw the team ride along some of the notorious EuroVelo 6, a 3500km route from the French Atlantic to the Black Sea, covering 10 countries in between, in favour of a cycle tourists’ dream journey.

Gravel surfaces proved as punishing for the riders as it was for the bikes! Next time (if there was ever to be one) the team could do with a hybrid bike to ease the discomfort their muscles have withstood.

400 miles has most definitely been a challenging affair but with everyone’s generous donations it has been worthwhile to raise money for such a worthy cause.

A massive thank you to everyone who has donated and supported Martin for this event! 

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Day 5 – Be Careful What you Wish For!

23 June 2016

As the saying goes; “Be careful what you wish for” and I think Martin and the team are certainly regretting a few wishes.

Having cycled through heavy rain, freezing temperatures and high winds, all the while wishing for better weather……boy did day 5 deliver!

The French summer hit them with a vengeance with scorching temperatures of 33°C putting their fitness levels and determination to the test!

The team are well ahead of schedule and despite some navigation problems they still managed an incredible 73 miles.

The team are already feeling overwhelmed by people’s generosity, but please keep donating to this fantastic challenge.

To everyone who has donated so far, thank you!! Your generous donations have taken us to just over £13,000 for Help for Heroes. To show your support please donate.

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Day 4 – France on two wheels – Now well ahead of schedule

22 June 2016

No rest for the wicked but at least a day of cycling over flat land finally.

With the wind also on their side for a change, day 3 was a good day for the team who had been feeling a little under the weather.

Now for a well deserved beer at the end of the day after completing a further 67 miles.

Today’s route saw the team cycle through narrow winding streets from Nevers, central France, travelling North up Briare, the eastern edge of the Loire valley.

As quoted by John F Kennedy “Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of riding a bike” so enjoy the last few days Martin and Co. - you’re doing fantastically.

Your daily updates are certainly becoming a talking point back at the office!

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Day 3 - We're Over the Half Way Mark

21 June 2016

Day 3 brought us to the middle of nowhere but the team feel accomplished after completing another 77 miles today.

Fortunately the weather was on their side but after a long and tiresome day, with lots of climbing and back breaking injuries (nothing a good night sleep and some TLC won’t sort out), they were more than happy to peel off the lycra and into something a lot more comfortable to relax for the night.

Please keep on showing your support

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Day 2: 141 Miles Closer to the 400 Mile Total

20 June 2016

Day 2 – Over 1000 Metres of Hill Climbing

Today saw the team ride 69 miles through central France to Digoin. Weather was not on their side again which made for a difficult journey, especially having to endure 1000 metres of hill climbs.

Not to dampen spirits though, the team are in for a treat as they have the honour of a live interview with French footballer Patrick Viera tomorrow.

Everyone at The Bri-Stor Group are looking forward to the next blog from Martin. 

A huge well done to everyone out there who is taking part in this challenge, we are ALL supporting and following you through this epic journey. To everyone who has donated so far, thank you!!

Your generous donations have taken us to just over £13,000 for Help for Heroes. To show your support please donate

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Day 1 - And they're off!

19 June 2016

Day 1 – 72 Miles Accomplished

Not the ideal weather conditions to begin this huge challenge, meaning that Martin and the team had to take an alternate route as a result of water logged roads.

This was not enough to deter them though, day 1 complete, 72 miles down and 1000's of calories burnt. Day 1's ride tipped the donations grand total over the £13,000 mark. And in other news - unbelievably, Formula 1 legend Alan Prost is going to be joining the team this week for 30 miles in support of this event!

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1 Man, 18 Stone, 400 Miles, 6 Days

10 May 2016

HFH Bikeride header

In support of Bri-Stor Group’s Charity of the Year, Help for Heroes, our Group Director Martin Smith is undertaking a cycle ride across France’s Loire Valley.

Having not cycled since he punctured the tyre on his Raleigh Grifter in 1982, Martin has not found the return to the saddle to be entirely painless.

However, having invested in a variety of Lycra-based leisurewear, numerous ointments and an inexpensive bike, he is now ready to take up the challenge. The trip covers a total of 400 miles through the punishing landscapes of Central France, starting to the east of Chalon, and finishing to the west of Tours.

Help for Heroes is an extremely worthy cause, inspiring and enabling injured Servicemen and women to lead active, fulfilling and independent lives. The cost of providing essential services to these most deserving of beneficiaries is incredibly high, and any donations that can be made in their support will truly make a difference.

Please give generously.

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Alpha Males Finish Second Overall in the Stone Soap Box Derby

09 June 2016

The Alpha manufacturing “Alpha Males” soap box team, competing in support of Help for Heroes, came in a very close second at the inaugural Stone Soap Box race at the 2016 Stone Festival.


In front of a packed out Stone High Street, the young Alpha Team delivered their Top Gear inspired pre-race speech before sending their “Alpha Stig” rocketing down the course. The car, built from scratch by the Alpha apprentices handled the hay bale obstacles and even the jump with no issues, setting a fast enough time to earn a runners’ up spot on the podium.

Also competing were the “Bri-Stor Bullets” who too put in a very respectable time and more importantly raised plenty of donations for Help for Heroes through sponsorship and contributions on the day. Both teams put in a great effort to produce their soap box cars and prepare their presentations which made the event a great success for both teams.

Fund raising efforts for Alpha’s 2016 charity partner are now in full swing and there are still plenty more events like this one scheduled throughout the year.

To make a donation towards this or any other any other Alpha event, click below.

HFH Donate

Alpha Manufacturing Announce 2016 Charity Partner

10 May 2016

Alpha Manufacturing are delighted to announce our chosen charity partner for 2016 will be Help for Heroes.

Managing Director Martin Smith explains:

"We chose Help For Heroes as our charity for 2016 because we think they are a worthy cause who are doing brilliant work for those who need and deserve the best care, and need it right now"

Help for heroes is a British charity launched on 1st October 2007 to help provide better facilities for British servicemen and women who have been wounded or injured in the line of duty. It was founded by Bryn Parry OBE and his wife Emma Parry OBE after they visited soldiers at Selly Oak Hospital in Birmingham.

Since then Help for Heroes has gone from strength to strength, becoming a vital lifeline for those injured in the line of duty with over 8000 individuals awarded grants, £30 million given to specialist charity partners and £7.5 million committed to psychological wellbeing causes.

Despite all their great work to date, Help for Heroes estimate that 75,000 ex-service people may still be in need of their help in the next few years.

So How Will We Be Helping?

To give our full support to this great cause, we have thrown ourselves into a full schedule of activities to raise as much awareness and donations as possible over the next 12 months.

From our shop floor operatives to our Managing Director, everybody has been keen to get involved and do their bit! So here's what we have planned so far...

Help for Heroes - Bri-Stor Systems copy

These are our plans for the year so far, we have plenty of other ideas in the pipe line so make sure to check back for updates throughout the year!

For more information...

If you would like any further information on Help for Heroes and the work they do across the UK, call their Supporter Relationships Team on 01980 846459, text HERO to 60777 for a call back or visit www.helpforheroes.org.uk/get-involved/

To Donate: 

Please visit the Bri-Stor Group Just Giving Page to make any donations:

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