So here we are at the end of the year 2014, I cannot believe where the time has gone but it has and very fast. This has been a relatively quiet year for us on the organising any events, but we have had a few people who have put in a lot of hard work for us and raised quite a bit !!!!. Firstly of course we became the chosen Military Charity for the Chairman of Monmouthshire County Council, Mr John Prosser. This has enabled us to travel up and down the county attending various functions with John, including his Thanks Giving Ceremony at St Mary's Priory Church here in Abergavenny. We also went to The Humble Experience at the farm owned by television presenter Kate Humble , for an afternoon tea and very interesting chat! The biggest event of the year was the Remembering Them Concert held in November for Rememberance Day,the amazing setting of Caldicot Castle lent an air of being in a very special place and the staff at the Castle led by Dan did a terriffic job with 1,400 people being seated for the fantastic concert under a huge Marquee. It had been decorated to reflect the Poppy display at the Tower of London and it was very poigniant.
We had unfortunately send out 3 Bereavment cheques in the Spring for those lost in the Helicopter crash in Afghanistan. We have found that this year there were problems for the veterans who had left the Armed Forces some 10yrs ago. They are just finding the good health to get back into work, but are finding that their qualifications are now somewhat out of date, so were needing to go back into either education or training for certifcates. The problems are that unless they are on the ''right'' benefits they have to pay for the training, but have no money to be able to pay, so we have been able through our contacts toget them some funding from such organisations as the Royal British Legion and Veterans UK. We have also raised the problem with Anna Subery MP who is the Minister for Veterans in Whitehall, needless to say we are still awaiting an answer!
We decided that the veterans were entitled to a visit to the National Arboretum in Staffordshire, indeed we found that most had never been there. We had a lovely day even though the weather was not brilliant! and the veterans were amazed to find that the Arboretum is not a sad or gloomy place, but somewhere where they could just have a little peace and quiet whilst wandering around finding the various Regimental Memorials indeed most have said they would love to go again!.
We have had some wonderful people doing daft things to raise money for us!!! including the Union Jack Run in London, but maybe the most daring was the Pen-y-Fan Nappy walk last weekend by a group of lovely people who work for General Dynamics in Cardiff, led by Dean Parry, who trained with Richard, and wanted to do something for us in his memory, for which we are truly, truly grateful. We willannounce the amount raised shortly .
Now we have finally withdrawn from Afghanistan, the plight of those affected by that war will inevitably not be on the front pages of the papers or News Headlines on TV, however that does not mean that some will find it extremely challenging to return to a normal life ( whatever that maybe) so I would just ask that please please if you know someone who has served and is now back in civilian life and finding it a little difficult keep an eye on them and if need be pass on information to them where they may get an answer to whatever their problems might be, they do not have to go through their fight for normality alone, there are many organisations out there waiting to lend a hand,ear or whatever they can to ease their way.
Thank you to all of you for supporting us, withiut you we could not help them.