To mark Armed Forces Day, Morson has donated funds to the Taxi Charity, a volunteer group of London black cab drivers who arrange free trips for veterans from all conflicts to the Netherlands and France, for acts of commemoration.
The Taxi Charity is run by volunteer London black taxi drivers and has been supporting thousands of veterans since 1948. In 2023 the charity marked its 75th anniversary, a remarkable milestone for a small, niche charity peopled by enthusiastic volunteers.
The charity received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in 2021, an award approved by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the equivalent of the MBE for charities.
To fund and facilitate their work, the charity is reliant on donations, grants and sponsorship, and launched a ‘75 for 75’ fundraising campaign to raise £75,000 in its anniversary year.
Following a chance meeting between Morson Group CEO Ged Mason and Brian Heffernan, the Taxi Charity chairman, Morson has donated to help towards the 2023 trip to the Normandy beaches.
For many years they have been taking veterans to Normandy to the D-Day commemorations so that they can pay their respects to those who made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom.
This year WWII veterans on the trip included Doug Baldwin and Mervyn Kersh who landed on Gold Beach. There was also Ernie Davis, who spent D-Day on patrol looking for U-Boats and minesweeping, and Marie Scott, who transmitted messages to and from the beaches.
Younger veterans on the five-day trip included Ben Mead who served in Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan, as well as Chris Langford, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan
The relationship that builds between the volunteer drivers and the veterans is very special and there are always magic moments. This year during the trip, WWII veteran Roy Smith who landed on Sword Beach after D-Day with the 4th Dorsets, told Micky Harris, one of the volunteer drivers, that in 1944 he managed to get ashore without getting his feet wet. He told Micky that he "always felt guilty about that". Without hesitation, Micky took him into the sea and removed that guilt.
Roy, from Sittingbourne, said: “Being there brought back the memories of just how many men lost their lives. I had always wanted to go back to that beach, but never realised just how much it would mean to me to do so. I was one of the lucky ones.”
WWII veteran Marie Scott from Surrey said: “Our trip to Normandy was, once again, not only highly enjoyable but, because the nearer we get to the 80th anniversary of D-Day, the more relevant and meaning these occasions become to keep alive those precious memories is absolutely vital. The Taxi Charity for Military Veterans, with all the help and support it gives us, does just that, so a big thank you.”
Brian Heffernan, chairman, said,
“Our volunteer cab drivers are quite simply incredible and I am so very proud of what they do for the charity. They are totally committed to ensuring a balance between the veterans paying their respects to those who didn’t return whilst having a wonderful time. A huge thank you to everyone who volunteered and made it such a success.”
Morson has a more than 20-year record of helping ex-forces veterans find rewarding careers after they leave the armed forces, supporting the transition into civilian life and advising businesses on how service leavers can add significantly to their organisation.
We are proud holders of the coveted Ministry of Defence (MoD) Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award accreditation for our support of the ex-forces, the highest level attainable.
Currently, we have in excess of 2,500 ex-military contract and permanent staff from the Royal Navy, Army and RAF, working across projects in the UK and overseas.
Our Morson Forces team is made up of a number of ex-military personnel who understand service leavers' transferrable skills, challenges and needs, enabling them to place people into roles that are perfectly suited.
View original article: www.morson.com/blog/2023/06/taxi-charity-d-day-veterans-trip