As we approach November 11th everybody's thoughts turn, quite rightly, to those who have served in our armed forces. We have proudly supported our veterans over recent years and spent four years collecting for the Poppy appeal which helped raised an amazing £40,000 for the Royal British Legion. We had amazing help from our friends, family and followers during that period and it's something we look back on with an immense feeling of satisfaction.
In 2017 we were absolutely delighted when Monty became the mascot for veterans charity Shoulder to Soldier. The organisation was set up by Linda Fisher to address the growing issues faced by many ex service personnel including homelessness, mental health problems and accessing benefits.
Anybody who has met Linda would have been unable to ignore her determination to help, and her passion for this cause. Shoulder to Soldier though is by no means a one person operation. The success of the organisation has been down to the fact that the veterans themselves have become enthused, enabled and empowered and this has led to fabulous progress in the welfare of ex forces and their families.
My biggest frustration with many large charities is when they become so bureaucratic and top heavy that they ultimately become unable to really deliver on the aspirations of donators and supporters. Local politics and personalities should never get in the way of such an important objective as supporting those who have served the country with such dignity.
Shoulder to Soldier have the slogan 'Action not Words' at it's beating heart and this is a slogan that they deliver on day after day. I have rarely had the honour to meet so many dedicated individuals who make this a community that is making a REAL difference to peoples lives daily.
I will, like million of others stand in silence and total respect on the 11th day of the 11th month this Sunday. I will remember those lost in conflicts past and I'm sure again like many others shed a tear for those gone too soon. I will also be thinking of those still involved in personal conflicts and who need support way past Remembrance Sunday. Please wear you poppy with pride but when the TV coverage is over, don't forget. Support those that are helping 24/7 365 days of the year....Action Not Words.
For more information about the fantastic work of Shoulder to Soldier visit https://www.shouldertosoldier.org.uk/ or on social media -