2 February 2017 - for immediate release
Local WWII veterans invited on final trip back to the beaches
Kind-hearted drivers of London's iconic black cabs are seeking World War II heroes who would like to join them on the trip of a lifetime, back to the beaches of Normandy.
The journey to Northern France will be the last of its scale organised by the Taxi Charity for Military Veterans - formerly known as The London Benevolent Association For War Disabled - as the number of veterans from the 1940 - 45 conflict who are able to make the trip declines.
Traditionally, the charity has supported veterans across the capital and the south east, but is keen to invite war heroes from across the UK to come together for the final trip.
"The trip is completely free for the veterans and a family member or carer, all they need is beer money," said Dick Goodwin, Vice President of the Taxi Charity Committee.
"It would be brilliant if someone who hadn't heard of the charity but is sat at home thinking they would love to join a trip like this got in touch. Maybe their children or grandchildren or a neighbour will hear about this and encourage them to join us.
"We'll be setting off from London and we can help arrange an overnight stay so that they are refreshed for the journey the next day. Veterans can also join us at Portsmouth if they'd prefer or its closer."
The trip will take place between 4 - 8 June 2017 and include a remembrance service at the Pegasus Bridge Museum, the opportunity to lay wreaths at the Ranville war cemetery and trips to Bayeux and the beach at Arromanches.
"Our youngest veterans are now touching 90, so very sadly the numbers that have the stamina and level of fitness for an overseas trip is falling every year," added Dick.
"Last year, 64 cabbies took 98 veterans plus volunteers and paramedics to Ypres in Belgium and we'll continue with our annual trip to Worthing, and a programme of events throughout the year but this is the last trip of this size.
"There is a great spirit of friendship on our trips and the old chaps and ladies are great fun to be with. We want to let the veterans know that we are there for them."
The charity was voted the nation's favourite voluntary/charity project in the 2016 National Lottery Awards.You can see a video about the charity and the award athttps://www.national-lottery.co.uk/life-changing/project-nlas-london-taxis
To find out more about the charity or to donate to support the Back to the Beaches trip, visit the websitehttp://www.taxicharity.org/
Notes for Editors
Attached photo shows from left to right:
Harry Bailey RASC
Bill Fitzgerald (Chelsea Pensioner)
Bill Gladden 6th Airborne
Ted Pieri 6th Airborne
Rev George Parsons No 2 Commando and Fusiliers
The Taxi Charity for Military Veterans, also known as the Taxi Charity, was formed in Fulham in 1948. Its mission back then was to help the war disabled, in their homes and hospitals, throughout London and the home counties, by providing entertainment, outings and much needed specialised equipment.
To fund outings, the charity seeks donations from the general public and organisations, and relies on volunteer London licensed taxi drivers to provide their taxis and time for free.
Over the past years, the charity's events have been honoured with many guests, including HRH Princess Alexandra, HRH Prince Philip, HRH Duchess of Kent, Sir Douglas Bader, Vice Admiral Sir Adrian Johns and Lady Suzie Johns, Group Captain Leonard Cheshire VC and many celebrities of TV, sport and theatre.
Follow the Taxi Charity on Twitter @TaxiCharity and Facebook
Rachel Jones, Press Officer for theTaxi Charity for Military Veterans
Tel: 07825 568244 Email: email@example.com
Taxi Charity: Dick Goodwin 07941 772264 Derek Leone 07768 867731