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Fast Eddie's Blog: And I'd like to thank...

I, Fast Eddie, would personally like to give the following thankyous for this past year...

To our many sponsors, who give constant support, and to those who advertise in our diaries. Without them, our job would be that much harder. What can we say but thank you!

To our team of London taxi drivers, all 114 of them. This fantastic bunch of guys and gals support us year in year out. Without these wonderful people who GIVE so much time and commitment, the charity would be at a complete loss.

To our “behind-the-scenes” helpers:

  • Liz Hawkins, our “web-mistress” who has given our website a brand new look, and breathed new life into our public image via our social media channels.

  • Rachel Jones, our public relations officer, for raising our profile via national and local press, TV and radio.

  • Jenny Flory, our fund raising officer.

  • Janet Hodgson, our friend, for all the help and assistance in organising and preparing the film of our trip to the Netherlands, which will be ready for distribution very shortly, and her participation in the Chalke Valley event this year.

To our collectors:

I work very closely with the collectors alongside a really great team of fellow committee members, namely Dick Goodwin, Barking Bill and Graham Pike. Collectors and committee members alike work so hard gathering together the necessary funds to help keep the charity in the black.

This year the collectors have made 27 collections in 20 different locations. These almost weekly collections fetched in over £100,000.

Our collectors do a magnificent job for us, spending many, many hours rattling the buckets, and charming the generous London public to part with their hard-earned cash.

To our committee members:

The 16 committee members are all volunteers, and receive no payment whatsoever for their time or services rendered. The total committee audited expenses for this year were a mere £1444. That is less than £28 per week, or put another way, £ 1.73 per officer per week, or put another way 0.63% of the charity’s total income. What a terrific result!

Everybody on the committee plays a part doing what they can for the collective good: Paul Davis as secretary, Mike Husk as treasurer, Gary Belsey as Chairman.

At the heart of our various outings, events, and other endeavours, you will find Dick Goodwin, our Events Officer, who works very hard fulfilling his duties. He is a font of knowledge concerning the charity for all of our events.

It’s hard work selling diaries but our transport officer, Terry Ward, aka Barking Bill, perseveres every year, organising printing, getting advertisers, chasing up subscribers and finally getting the finished product ready. Others help, of course, but Billy is the driving force. Apart from the diary work Billy undertakes, he is also heavily involved in our collections, and is always present at all of our fund raising alongside Dick Goodwin, Graham Pike and yours truly.

The charity is relatively small compared to some, but is of the upmost importance to our group of veterans, for whom we help provide the most precious thing - the retention and spirit of camaraderie, which has served all of us so well in the past.

The committee work very hard throughout the year, to plan events and give assistance to our veterans when it is required. Some committee members go above and beyond the call of duty, travelling to Normandy, Dieppe and Arnhem with our veterans to support them on their pilgrimages to the original battle grounds to pay respect to their fallen comrades. It was very rewarding this year to see many of our veterans awarded the French Legion d’Honneur medal for their actions in 1944.

Without the committee’s dedication to the charity, it could not function in its present manner. Congratulations to our committee for a job so very well done.

I must add a thank you to a group of people who do not normally get a mention: the wives and partners of our committee members. They take telephone messages, listen to us gripe about matters, run errands for us, put up with us running off to meetings at inconvenient times. They are indispensible and contribute to the smooth running of the charity. Thank you, girls!

Thank you to everyone, names too numerous to mention here, who have helped us in any way this year. Without you all we could not do what we do.

A happy, healthy, and prosperous new year to you all, and remember, “Be careful out there”.

My very best regards.

Fast Eddie, Vice President


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