ROCK For Heroes began and played its first few dates in late 2017.

Last year there were about 70 gigs and this year, so far, about 120.

A show at the Wyvern Theatre on Friday, January 10 will be among about 200 scheduled for 2020.

Each supports veterans’ charity Help For Heroes, and producer, director and cast-member Phil Hawkins, pictured, couldn’t be more proud.

Phil, the grandson of two World War Two veterans and the son of a paratrooper, he is filled with admiration for for Forces personnel.

He said: “As a young man I was surrounded by military men. I remember being struck by the air of dignity and nobility they have.

“As I myself aged, I began to realise the enormity of what these men and women actually do.

“To make a decision where you essentially put your life on the line for the lives of countless others that you have never met - that’s the act of a hero.

“We should never, ever forget those who didn’t return to their homes and we should always support those who did return but, with the scars of the sights that only they and their brothers and sisters in arms can understand.

“Soldiers don’t fight for themselves, they fight with the weight of a nation on their shoulders, and as we stand on the shoulders of these giants we should respect and remember the burden they carry for us.”

Phil takes lead vocals and plays guitar in the Essex-based eight-piece band whose repertoire includes classics by bands including AC/DC, Guns N’ Roses, Queen, Bowie, The Eagles, Toto, Whitesnake, Bon Jovi, Elton John and The Eagles.

The band describes itself not as being not a tribute act but a straightforward tribute to the rock legends who gave the world so much great music.

Co-lead singer is Will Norton - who was sitting in his garden shed in Leigh-on-Sea with Phil when the two had the idea which became Rock For Heroes.

The other members of the band are lead guitarist Luke Britnell, vocalists Georgia Norton and Eloise Gray, drummer John Dawes, bassist Adam Banbridge and sounds chief Paul Finch.

The personnel have performed all over the world in all manner of bands, tours, musicals and West End shows.

The band collects for Help For Heroes at each show, and has set itself a £2.5m target.

Rock For Heroes has drawn rave reviews throughout the country, and the charity has welcomed the band at many of its centres, enabling members to meet some of the people they support.

Phil said: “Rock for Heroes will continue for as long as we can, to make sure that these men and women are not forgotten.

“Each performer in Rock For Heroes has someone who has served or is serving in some capacity, and it means so much to be able to raise the much-needed funds to support these incredible people.

“Our following has grown enormously, and we have so many people return over and over again.

“We have raised tens of thousands currently. In five years’ time I would like to have played all over the world and raised millions!

“I also truly want to perform for troops, and this is something I’m actively looking into.”

The Rock For Heroes website is, and the show also has Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube presences.

Tickets for the Wyvern Theatre show are priced at £22, and the box office can be contacted on 01793 524481 and via

Information about the work of Help For Heroes can be found at