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Chairman's Blog: 2020 Review and Special Thanks

Ian Parsons with WWII veteran, Harry Bailey
Ian Parsons with WWII veteran, Harry Bailey

Last year was the most challenging time in the Taxi Charity’s history.

By mid-March, the coronavirus pandemic meant all our plans for the remainder of the year had to be cancelled – as our year planner, below, shows.

Yet, despite the many restrictions and obstacles we faced, the Taxi Charity continued to support veterans throughout 2020 in a number of imaginative ways.

We produced commemorative cards and booklets marking important anniversaries, such as VE-Day 75, VJ-Day 75 and the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

We also received many hundreds of greeting cards and goodwill messages from the Netherlands and Normandy, which we redistributed to veterans across the UK.

As well as keeping in contact by post, Taxi Charity cabbies also delivered goodie bags, VE Day commemorative tins and Christmas stockings to over 100 veterans, and in doing so provided them with an opportunity for a (socially distanced) catch-up with a familiar face.

Throughout the year, we have maintained regular telephone contact with our veterans and we will continue to do so until normal life returns.

Whilst proud of what we have achieved, we are acutely aware we could not have done so without the generous help of the many people and organisations, who despite the challenges they faced during this unprecedented time, supported us in a variety of ways.

On behalf of the Taxi Charity for Military Veterans, I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to you all and wish you a happy, healthy 2021.

Ian Parsons


Thanks To...

Volunteers and Supporters

Our veteran collectors

Our volunteer cab drivers

Nathalie Varniere (French liaison)

Mayeul Mace (College St. Louis, Cabourg)

Frans Ammerlaan (Market Garden Foundation)

Roger Beets (Airborne Commemoration Foundation)

Royal Hospital, Chelsea

Veronica Quinn and staff (Millwall FC)

Bob Crane (collections)

Steve Rouse (medic)

Vice Admiral Sir Adrian Johns and Lady Johns

Lieutenant Colonel Giles Stibbe

Group Captain Mark Heffron

Major General Alastair Bruce

Captain Angus Essenhigh (HMS Queen Elizabeth)

Jennie Flory (fundraising and charity consultant)

Liz Hawkins (website)

Christina Bowden (PR)

For their extraordinary contributions and generosity of time which they have dedicated throughout this most challenging year, I would like to say a special thank you to Susy Goodwin (graphic design/ administrative support) and Anne Parsons (bookkeeping/ accounts/ administration support).

Fundraisers and Donors

Nick and Rowena Vrijland

Arnie and Stephanie Prayer (A & S Services)

Tony Millard

Glyn Dewis

Mike Hughes (Poppy Cabs)

Brian Heffernan, Daren Parr and John Dillane (Mount Kilimanjaro challenge)

Chris Wilmott

Joe Cartwright

Jon Cox

Ride of Respect

Waitrose token scheme

Sally O’Connor (Spitfire Café)

Russell and Barbara Pollock (Taxi Driver of the Year Charity Fund)

The Worshipful Company of Hackney Carriage Drivers

Audrey Sherry

Geoffrey Riesel

The Pigeon Club

South Holmwood Village

Richard Palusinski and Mary Stewart (Spirit of Normandy Trust)

Lynn Youthed (Community Co-ordinator, Tesco Cheshunt)

Keith Tordoff MBE (Oldest Sweet Shop)

Sarah Priseman (Ubiquitous)

Steve Powell, (The Globe pub and London Ex-Boxers Assoc.)

Caroline Upcraft


Paul Raison (Airborne Security Fund)

Royal Navy & Royal Marines Charity

2020 Year Planner


23 Jan: Collectors and Supporters Lunch


13 - 17 Feb: 75th anniversary of Liberation of Gennep

27 - 28 Feb: Visit to Portsmouth and tour of HMS Queen Elizabeth


5 Mar: Veterans Lunch, North Cheam Sports and Social Club

11 - 15 Mar: Airborne Museum, Oosterbeek, Netherlands (CURTAILED)

23 - 26 Mar: Rhine Crossing (CANCELLED)

Early March onwards: Mainline and Underground station collections (CANCELLED)


15 Apr: Wellington Barracks (CANCELLED)


2 - 6 May: Netherlands trip for 75th anniversary of Dutch Liberation (CANCELLED)

8 - 10 May: 75th anniversary of VE-Day - Three days of events in London (CANCELLED)

29 May - 2 Jun: Dunkirk (CANCELLED)


4 - 8 Jun: Normandy trip including Inauguration of Normandy Memorial (POSTPONED)

11 Jun: Golf Day fundraiser (CANCELLED)

16 Jun: Annual day trip to Worthing (CANCELLED)

19 - 21 Jun: 1940s street party and overnight stay in Portsmouth (CANCELLED)


9 - 12 Jul: Waterloo Uncovered archaeological dig (CANCELLED)


14 - 15 Aug: Escorting veterans to National Memorial Arboretum for 75th anniversary of VJ-Day (CANCELLED)

18 Aug: 80th anniversary of Battle of Britain at Biggin Hill (CANCELLED)


3 - 7 Sep: Airborne March (Wandeltocht) (CANCELLED)

Veterans Flying Day (CANCELLED)


No events planned


8 Nov: Remembrance (Poppy Cabs) Sunday (CANCELLED)


3 Dec: Christmas Lunch, Millwall FC (CANCELLED)


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