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Fanfare for Iraq veteran

PUBLISHED: 17:44 17 June 2009 | UPDATED: 16:50 25 August 2010

NO PROBLEM: Major Packer on El Capitan

NO PROBLEM: Major Packer on El Capitan

A PARAPLEGIC soldier who completed the London Marathon on crutches is to be the guest of honour at a charity concert. Major Phil Packer is expected to attend the Music for Heroes Grand Charity Concert at The Orchard Theatre in Home Gardens, Dartford, on

A PARAPLEGIC soldier who completed the London Marathon on crutches is to be the guest of honour at a charity concert.

Major Phil Packer is expected to attend the Music for Heroes Grand Charity Concert at The Orchard Theatre in Home Gardens, Dartford, on July 3.

The Royal Artillery Band and Belvedere Concert Band will also be joined by new jazz talent and X-Factor contender Shane Hampsheir, from Hartley.

Major Packer, from Petts Wood, said: "I am absolutely delighted to have been asked to attend this concert and am sincerely grateful to everyone who has given their time, effort and support to make it a success."

Half of the proceeds will go towards Help for Heroes, which provides support for British servicemen and women wounded in conflict.

The other half will go to the Ellenor Lions Hospices, which provides comprehensive hospice care across North West Kent.

Major Packer added: "I know very well the super assistance Help for Heroes provides to our injured servicemen and women, and it is the kindness and generosity from events such as this concert that makes all the difference."

The two bands will perform favourites from stage and screen, big band swing, pop, and rock anthems.

Mr Hampsheir, 21, is expected to perform songs from his shows as well as big band favourites.

Major Packer sustained horrific injuries when he was hit by a vehicle following a rocket attack in Basra, Iraq, last year. Despite being told he would never walk again, his determination and constant intense physiotherapy have led to mobility improvements.

He has completed many physical challenges to raise money for Help for Heroes and he has a personal quest to raise £1 million.

Last Friday, he completed his ascent and descent of El Capitan, the 3,000ft vertical rock face in Yosemite National Park, California.

Dartford-based company Willmott Dixon Construction is sponsoring the charity concert.

Tickets for the show, which starts at 7.30pm, are priced £16, £15 and £13. Call The Orchard box office

on 01322 220000 or visit www.orchardtheatre.co.uk.

elizabeth.thornton@archant.co.uk

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