2023 was a hugely significant year for the Taxi Charity as we celebrated our 75th anniversary - and 75 years of London cab drivers supporting veterans.
2024 will be an even bigger year for our veterans, especially the ladies and gentlemen who participated in WWII.
This year in June, people from the UK, France, Canada and the USA and probably from across the world too, will be heading to Normandy to commemorate the 80th anniversary of D-Day, and we hope to be there too.
Back in 2019, the 75th anniversary of D-Day was a very moving occasion, and this year I think it will be even more so. Sadly, many WWII veterans are no longer with us and the number who will be able to make the trip to Normandy in June will be much smaller than ever before.
In 2019, we took 30 veterans back to the beaches in 30 black cabs; this year we estimate that we will probably need only half this number of cabs.
The most difficult part of the planning process has been that the price of hotel rooms in Normandy for the week of D-Day have absolutely sky-rocketed, and even at their exorbitant prices, there is little or no availability. Unfortunately, this means that we won’t be able to take everyone with us that we would have liked to.
We have already raised some funds towards the trip but we are still short of the required total. We are applying to foundations and other charities for funding and grants, and doing bucket collections at London Underground Stations.
We are also extremely thankful to those supporters who are doing fundraising challenges for us, including Ben Mayne who is a Taxi Charity advisor, battlefield historian and guide, and veteran, Ben Mead.
In March, Ben Mayne will be walking 25km across London and on 6 June, Ben Mead, who served in Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan, will be walking the route that No4 Commando took on D-Day in 1944, from Sword Beach to Pegasus Bridge.
To find out more about Ben Mayne’s challenge visit: www.justgiving.com/page/ben-mayne-1704226855108
We will also be selling our D-Day 80 badges for £5 + £2 P&P. More details to follow.
If you would like to help us take our veterans back to Normandy for D-Day, there are lots of other ways that you can donate and fundraise; and every penny will go towards supporting our work with veterans.
Taxi Charity Chairman