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Former Navy man from Spixworth shocked by Norfolk British Legion ruling

Abracadabra Disco's Chris Neave.

Abracadabra Disco's Chris Neave.

Archant Norfolk Photographic© 2008

A former Royal Navy serviceman was left shocked after being told he could no longer raise money for Help For Heroes at a Norwich branch of fellow armed forces charity the Royal British Legion.

Chris Neave of Abracadabra Disco is holding a disco at the Royal British Legion’s Aylsham Road branch tonight, both as a celebration of his 60th birthday and a way of raising money for Help For Heroes.

But the Royal British Legion says it has to be careful that it is clear for donors to which charity they are giving, and in this instance the two charities are closely tied. However, the Spixworth DJ finds it unusual that two bodies which should be able to work closely cannot always do so.

He said: “I was told that county chairman Colin Kemp had said they would honour my booking, but that no more events for Help For Heroes were allowed.

“I was in the Royal Navy for seven-and-a-bit years as a control engineer and they were some of the best days of my life.

“To be able to hold an event to try and raise money for ex-services charities means a lot to me and when I heard that the British Legion were going to stop that, I thought it was awful.”

Royal British Legion Norfolk chairman Mr Kemp explained there was absolutely nothing vindictive in the policy, describing it as more of a logistical decision.

“Services charities can’t work with others because by doing events together Joe Public may not know which charity he is giving money to,” he said. “We would insist at events being held together that at least some of the donations are being given to the Legion. We have to be careful with charity laws because although we are keen to help another services charity like Help For Heroes, we shouldn’t be doing so unless the donations are being shared.

“But we would still like to support Help For Heroes because it does a lot of excellent work and its big rise in reputation has helped to raise our reputation as well.”

Tickets for tonight’s disco cost £5 and can be bought in advance from 01603 898340, but remaining tickets will still be available on the door.

Are you holding a charity event? Contact reporter David Freezer on 01603 772418 or on email at david.freezer@archant.co.uk

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