Soldiers take to the catwalk in Norwich charity fashion show

Soldiers recently returned from Afghanistan swapped the theatre of combat for the catwalk tonight and strutted their stuff to help raise money for injured comrades.

The eight servicemen from 2nd Para all took part in a special fashion show at the Holiday Inn, Cromer Road, Norwich, to raise funds for the Help for Heroes Appeal.

A sell-out crowd of 350 enjoyed the event, which saw the soldiers take to their stage in their uniforms before marching along the catwalk in a range of different outfits from casual to wedding wear, and finishing with a collection of YMCA outfits.

The event was organised by Judy Bailey, from Lessingham, near North Walsham, whose youngest son Andrew is a private in the parachute regiment.

Mrs Bailey, who has organised a host of events to help raise funds for the charity said the night, which included a raffle and a silent auction, had been a great success.

'When Andrew was going to be deployed to Afghanistan, I just wanted to keep busy and keep my mind occupied and do something positive, while he was out there,' she said. 'It's gone brilliantly. Hopefully we have managed to raise more than �5,000. Two lads had to pull out, but two privates stepped in at the last minute, and it went really well.'

Pte Bailey, 21, who returned home after the latest tour of duty with the parachute regiment three weeks ago, admitted that going on stage had been nerve-wracking at first.

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'It's nothing like we are used to, but all the lads have really got into it and everyone is nice and relaxed,' he said. 'We rehearsed it a couple of times, but we are just going along with it.'

L/Cpl Shaun Poll, 22, from Thorpe St Andrew, said he had also got into the swing of things.

'It's been a successful night,' he said. 'It's the first time I have ever done anything like this, but anything that helps raise money for our injured soldiers has got to be worth it.'

The event was compered by BBC Look East presenters Stewart White and Susie Fowler-Watt.

Miss Fowler-Watt said: 'It's wonderful to be involved in an evening for such a good cause and the audience are really up for having a good night,' Mr White said: 'It's terrific that the soldiers themselves are becoming the models. It's a great turn-out. Judy has done the most terrific job.'

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