Elvis Themed Night


HMS EXCELLENT's Warrant Officers And Senior Rates Mess host the inaugural fundraising event for The Neil Vines Trust. 


On 10th June 2015 the Warrant Officers and Senior Rates Mess at HMS EXCELLENT hosted an Elvis Tribute night in aid of The Neil Vines Trust. 


The evening saw guests tuck into a simple, yet delicious sausage and chips meal whilst two magicians performed table entertainment and a brilliant Elvis impersonator sang some of the singers well-known classics. 


The evening was attended by over 100 military and civilian guests at the Royal Navy Base in Portsmouth. Warrant Officer Simon Hayman, the Mess President and Base Warrant Officer was the orchestrator behind the event. He said, "charity events are held termly in the Warrant Officers And Senior Rates Mess  here at HMS EXCELLENT, and it is important that the mess is supportive of worthy charitable causes. It would have been very easy for me to have chosen to support a mainstream charity, however we have always preferred to get behind those charities that have a link with either the mess, establishment or the Royal Navy". 




Neil Vines' brother Adam and sister Sarah are both serving Officers in the Royal Navy. Sarah is based in Portsmouth as a Training Manager and Adam is undergoing flying training at RAF Valley in Anglesey. It was through Sarah that WO1 Hayman learned about Neil Vines. He said, "Lt Sarah Vines was instrumental in helping to set up a Learning and Development Centre here at EXCELLENT; it has been greatly received and appreciated from Naval personnel accessing the support available. I hadn't realised that Sarah's younger brother had been poorly for so long, but upon the hearing the news of Neil's passing I instantly thought of a way that we could help her family at such a tragic time. The event was rapidly approaching at the time and I hadn't yet decided on a charity to support for the Elvis night. When I learned of the work that Sarah and her brother Adam were doing to create a charity in Neil's memory, I felt very honoured to be able to help them, especially as the charity was very much in its infancy". 


The Neil Vines Trust has been established to help other young cancer sufferers like Neil to enjoy special weekends away with their families. Adam Vines said, "it was in Neil's nature to help others, this was clear in his choice of profession as a personal trainer - he loved helping people realise their potential and achieve their goals. This selfless attitude continued even when he became ill. The charity cycle ride he completed, the effort it took him to make the ITV film and of course his ability to raise awareness of the disease in young people, all highlighted Neil's awe inspiring positivity and strength. Whilst we would do absolutely anything to have Neil back with us, the next best thing we can do is to continue his legacy and help other young teenagers and adults living with cancer. The charity will see the purchase of a fully accessible log cabin in a beautiful Cotswold location near lakes and forests. The log cabin will be offered to families free of charge to enjoy time spent with their loved ones. That is something that we were so grateful of when Neil was with us". 


The Elvis Tribute night raised a staggering £718.37 for The Neil Vines Trust, including the sale of several copies of Neil's memoir, Powerful Beyond Measure. Neil's sister Sarah said, "we were astounded by the overwhelming support we received that evening. Adam and I stood up to speak, it was just 7 weeks after Neil passed away on 20 Apr 15. It was an emotional speech, but we felt proud to be standing there telling everyone about our amazing brother and the legacy he has left behind. We can't thank Simon, the mess members and guests enough for their enormous generosity, and for making Neil's first charity event such a success". 


The next fundraising event to be held in aid of the family charity is a 24 hour static cycle ride in front of the iconic HMS Victory, starting at 1400 Fri 4 Sep 2015. There's lots to see and do in Portsmouth's Historic  Dockyard so please do come along and support the efforts of our sailors and marines as they cycle in this epic event in memory of Neil Vines. Neil's memoir and other charity merchandise will also be on sale. More details can be found here at the 24 Hour Charity Cycle Ride.


This event was a great success, and as such details of the story were published in a local paper. Click here to see the article or click on the image of Portsmouth community news below.


If you would like to hold a fundraising event to support the charity please contact us.