In the first half of this year, worldwide successful artist Laura Critchley packed in plenty of work involving the UK's military which has awoken a deep passion within her.
After visiting troops in Iraq in April this year, Laura had a taste of what life is like in the military in theatre and was amazed by the dedication and perseverance of our servicemen and women.
This visit prompted the release of 'Feel Proud', a song which is raising money for the charity Help for Heroes and aims to draw attention to the challenging work completed by the UK's military:
t was a song I incorporated in a set that I did in Basra. I did about ten performances out there, very impromptu, sometimes even just wherever the squaddies were based in their barracks or in their canteen, so it wasn't like I was going out and doing Live 8, I was literally singing wherever I thought that someone could do with a bit of cheering up really!
..."I just wanted to go out and see what people do on a day-to-day basis and just pop into their barracks and say 'hiya', rather than say 'come to my performance tonight'. I wanted it to be a bit more personal as that is what I'm like and that's what I'm about."..
Although Laura is more used to performing to audiences of thousands in China, India and Japan, she was humbled by spending three days with UK troops in Basra. She said:
"How they do what they do, I just don't know. But if they weren't doing it, we wouldn't be living in this country as they protect us. I do feel very proud what they go through, risking their lives....(read more about her visit here.)