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The Not Forgotten’s Annual Christmas Party

“I can’t believe the change in my daughter that this whole outing has brought about…meeting up with other service people has made her sparkle again.”

It seems impossible that 2018 is almost over, yet here we are at the end of a busy year, having just enjoyed the ‘best ever’ Christmas Party at The State Apartments in St. James’s Palace.

Held by kind permission of HM The Queen, in attendance were 305 guests, 35 Service Helpers, 63 performers and artists, over 40 military charities and organisations, and all representing the whole Armed Forces Community and Merchant Navy. No wonder it was such a good party and we were hugely privileged that HRH Prince Michael of Kent joined us and met so many beneficiaries.

The event takes place in the Throne, Entree and Queen Anne Rooms of the Palace, where guests are served a full afternoon tea (complete with mulled wine) whilst entertainment is provided by magicians, balloon artists, sketch artists and the Countess of Wessex’s String Orchestra. In a grand finale to the day, a variety performance of dance and song takes place in the Portrait Gallery and sends everyone home full of Christmas cheer. This year, the Association was pleased to welcome Richard Arnold, Jean Martyn, Margaret Keys, James Fox, Froback dance group, Boney M and Major Dixie Ingram who all provided a brilliant show.

The laughter and smiles were infectious and the boost in morale tangible. This event really epitomised what we do; we bring everyone together so they can enjoy the banter and camaraderie of Service life, find a moment to break free from everyday life and enjoy something uniquely special with those who have a common bond.

“It really did put a smile back on our face after what has been a difficult 18 months. It also made me feel appreciated for the first time in my 14 and a half year career for the job I have done.”