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MasterChef: The Professionals finalists raise over £9,000 at charity dinner

Ten MasterChef: The Professionals contestants hosted a charity dinner on 27 March at Adam Handling’s Frog E1 restaurant in London’s Shoreditch, raising £9,400 for SSAFA – the Armed Forces charity.

Handling, who took part in the 2013 series of the show and 2015 semi-finalist Andi Walker organised the event after hearing about 92-year-old war veteran Albert Simpson who was scammed out of £10,000 by con artists selling him fake medication for arthritis.

More than 60 guests enjoyed a five-course meal cooked by the chefs Mark Stinchcombe, 2015 winner; Elly Wentworth, 2016 runner-up; Brian McLeish, 2014 finalist; and five contestants from the 2015 show Joey O’Hare, Danilo Cortellini, Dean Westcar, Darren Sivewright and Gavin Barnes.

The dishes were served by military personnel throughout the evening.

Handling said: “I am overwhelmed by the support we’ve had from the public in raising money for SSAFA. As someone with a military upbringing, the charity is particularly close to my heart and something I wanted to get involved with.”

SSAFA, formerly known as Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association, provides support for both veterans and those serving in the British Armed Forces. Services range from providing specialist services to support homeless veterans; housing for wounded and sick serving personnel and families; and professional health care.

Tegan Jones, SSAFA director of fundraising said: “We’re delighted with the funds raised for SSAFA by Adam and his team. The money will go towards providing vital support to the Armed Forces community, veterans and their families and will make a significant contribution to the work that we do. It was an incredibly special evening and SSAFA are hugely grateful to Adam for his ongoing support.”

Thank you . . . . wonderful to know this charitable support happens!