Bestselling author and SAS hero Andy McNab and Brigadier Richard Dennis OBE, the British Army's Director of Infantry, will form part of the ForceSelect team with Peter Shoulder of the Union, who won the WC Handy Award from the Blues Foundation of America, previously only won by Eric Clapton and Peter Green of Fleetwood Mac.
The road trip sets off from Cranbrook in Canada on July 11 and will take in the stunning scenery including Glacier National Park, thought to be one of the greatest rides in the US. It finishes six days and 1,000 miles later in Ketchum, USA, where there will be a concert to raise further charitable funds.
The ‘Great British Invasion’ concert, which will also raise funds for US and Canadian military charities, will entertain thousands of fans at the Sun Valley Pavilion with bands such as The Union, winners of Classic Rock Awards’ Best New Breakthrough Band 2010, Thunder and Marina V.
The ForceSelect Foundation, which is led by former Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Mike Jackson, raises funds from charity initiatives, corporate and individual donations and a percentage of the profits from leading recruitment consultancy and sister company, ForceSelect to support smaller military charities that are struggling for funding.
Andy McNab said: “I cannot wait to get on the Harley and drive off into the sunset. I’m a great fan of the film Easy Rider and it’s been an ambition of mine for some time to see Canada and the US from a bike. This will be a once in a lifetime experience and something I’m really looking forward to.”
Brigadier Richard Dennis said: “This must be the first time a senior member of the British Army has undertaken a road trip of this kind with leading members of the British rock scene and it’s an adventure that I’m looking forward to. It says a great deal about the value we place on the fine work done by the Armed forces that we can come together to raise funds to help those who need support for one reason or another after serving their country.”
Luke Morley said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to raise awareness for a worthwhile cause by doing something never attempted before. The concept of the Brits taking rock'n'roll back to the USA isn't a new one but doing that and riding into a series of small American towns to spread the word on a flotilla of Harleys is unusual to say the least. The Union and Thunder are both proud to be associated with this. Riding through some of the most dramatic scenery in the world while raising awareness and hopefully lots of money is a win win situation. We can't wait to get started.”
The ForceSelect Foundation will pool all raised funds and encourage applications from smaller service charities. Twice a year the trustees will sit to consider the applications and award grants accordingly.
It will look to build strong links with the charities and encourage subsequent bids if the awards have fulfilled their original aims. For more information please visit www.childlinerocks.co.uk or to donate, www.forceselect.org .
Anyone interested in taking part on the ride should contact Nathalie Clough at firstname.lastname@example.org
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The ForceSelect Foundation is the brainchild of former army officer Hugh Andrée who, after setting up ForceSelect, a recruitment agency finding employment for service leavers, realised that there was a need to put something back into the charities who do so much for our ex-servicemen and women.
Head of the trustees is former Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Mike Jackson and other Trustees include Dame Kelly Holmes MBE, Rebekah Brooks, Sir John Rose and Stephen Morris.
The Foundation's aim is to support smaller service charities at a time when they are finding survival in the current economic situation incredibly difficult. There are service charities helping veterans from the Second World War through to the current conflict in Afghanistan and many need external assistance to continue their wonderful work.
If you wish to donate, please visit: www.forceselect.org