In May 2019, the Taxi Charity escorted a group of nonagenarian RAF veterans to Berlin for the 70th anniversary celebrations of the Berlin Airlift.
Our involvement in this trip features in a wonderful article in the RAF Association's quarterly magazine, Air Mail.
Earlier this year six RAF veterans, including Association member Allan Mercado, attended an anniversary service at Tempelhof Memorial Park to mark 70 years since the end of the Berlin Airlift.
Allan joined the RAF in 1953, and spent part of his service in maritime reconnaissance searching the North Atlantic, Irish Sea and Bay of Biscay for Soviet submarines. The five day trip, organised by the Taxi Charity for Military Veterans, also included visits to the Brandenburg Gate and Checkpoint Charlie.
The task of taking often elderly veterans abroad has welfare considerations of its own. “We hold veterans’ welfare as a very high priority” said Dick Goodwin, Vice President of the Taxi Charity. “All the veterans who travelled to Berlin were asked if they wanted a free carer to accompany them.
“We arranged travel insurance for all veterans, carers and guests to cover medical treatment and repatriation if necessary. Our volunteer drivers also play a key part, from accompanying the veterans at mealtimes, helping them to bed and generally being there as support for whatever they need. Many of the drivers also visit the veterans at home, and have become great friends. On longer trips we also ensure there is support from a medical team who are the given medical histories of each veteran.”