Armed Forces and Emergency Services unite for Stadium of Light event

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Armed Forces, Emergency Services and businesses from across the country gathered at the event.

“It’s a real celebration of the Armed Forces and Emergency Services,” say the organisers of a gathering which featured exhibitors from Sunderland and across the country.

The National Armed Forces & Emergency Services Event 2024 at the Stadium of Light.

The National Armed Forces & Emergency Services Event 2024 at the Stadium of Light.
The National Armed Forces & Emergency Services Event 2024 at the Stadium of Light.

More than 300 people attended the National Armed Forces & Emergency Services Event 2024 at the Stadium of Light.

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Almost 50 exhibitors were in attendance, from virtual reality and cyber security stands to pathways to training and employment and local charities.

“This event follows the success of last year’s inaugural event and we’re looking to do it every year, “ said Mal Robinson, event and content director. “There’s a real synergy between the Armed Forces and the blue light services and this event is a real celebration of that.

“A lot of those who leave the Forces end up going into the emergency services. It’s a really open event, with a breakfast club, careers fair and training opportunities, a STEM village for students, as well as an education aspect with stands from the likes of The Connor Brown Trust.”

There was almost 50 exhibitorsThere was almost 50 exhibitors
There was almost 50 exhibitors

Connor’s parents Tanya and Simon were on hand to raise awareness of the life-saving benefits of Bleed Kits which they’ve distributed across the region in their son’s name after he was murdered via a knife attack while enjoying a night out in Sunderland city centre in February 2019.

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In cases like his, the bleed kits can make the difference between life and death, giving the victims a vital few more moments before professional medical assistance arrives.

Connor Brown’s parents, Tanya and SimonConnor Brown’s parents, Tanya and Simon
Connor Brown’s parents, Tanya and Simon

As well as in cases of knife crime, the kits are also a life-saving tool in other incidents, such as falls and road traffic accidents.

Tanya said: “We were delighted to be invited as it’s a great opportunity to show what we do and for people to get a better look at the kits and to see what’s in them and ask questions.

“You can’t do any harm with these kits, all you are doing is preventing loss of blood. Doing nothing when you see someone in need of these kits is not an option, even if you just use a t-shirt. Those few minutes before the emergency services get there could save someone’s life.”

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Connor’s parents are also backing the Knife Angel campaign, which will see the thought-provoking sculpture, created by artist Alfie Bradley by blades handed in during amnesties held by police forces across the country, arrive in Keel Square in June.

Ger Fowler of Veterans in CrisisGer Fowler of Veterans in Crisis
Ger Fowler of Veterans in Crisis

Ger Fowler of Sunderland-based Veterans in Crisis was also among the exhibitors to help the city’s veterans community, which is one of the largest in the UK.

“Often people in the Armed Forces don’t think they have transferable skills to other careers, but they most definitely do,” said Ger.

“Things like time management fits into any job and the work ethic of Armed Forces personnel makes them very employable. Events like this are a great way of making connections.”

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