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Group with military links raise over £2,800

Published on 13 Jun 2024

A Lincolnshire community group has been fundraising us over the past year and has presented us with a cheque for over £2,800.

Flanders Friends are a group from Mablethorpe, made up of veterans or those with military connections, who have come together to raise money for various military charities.

A group photo of five people including blind veteran Jill in a Blind Veterans UK t-shirt. The group is holding an oversized cheque
Blind veteran Jill is presented with the cheque from Flanders Friends

Who are Flanders Friends?

The group formed in 2017 and there are currently nine members. They come together to raise money to support military charities and also put on events for veterans themselves. Chair of the group Jane says:

“Just this weekend we took a group of veterans on a trip to the National Arboretum in Staffordshire, we provide a Christmas dinner each year which is usually attended by around 40 local veterans and we hold a Remembrance Ball each year with a free ticket to all veterans who come.
“My husband was injured in service in Northern Ireland; it means so much to me, and the rest of the group, to be able to help veterans. We are only a small group but we are passionate about our Armed Forces and raising money to support the Armed Forces community.”

The cheque presentation

Flanders Friends has already raised £2,813 for our charity which was presented to one of our veterans, Jill, at a presentation evening on 23 May.

Jill, from Lincolnshire, served with the Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps for four years and was based in German and the UK.

She started to feel that something wasn’t right with her sight when she was in her 30s but it was not until she was 42 that she was diagnosed with an hereditary eye condition, retinitis pigmentosa. Jill says:

“I like to do as much as I can independently and I don’t waste time analysing my eye sight, instead I think about what tools and aids I need to help me complete a task and I get the job done.
“I began receiving support from Blind Veterans UK in 2016 after another blind veteran told me about the support the charity offers. It’s a fantastic charity, I meet other veterans who are in the same boat as me and who are having the same challenges. The staff keep me motivated and are always there when I need them.
“It means a lot to me that groups like Flanders Friends choose to support us. They are an inspiring group of people.”

Jane says:

“It is so special to meet the veterans who are supported by the charities we fundraise for. We found out about Blind Veterans UK after a local man knocked on the door and introduced himself to us. He told us how he is a blind veteran, how he copes day to day and how he is supported by Blind Veterans UK. His story really touched me.”

Are you part of a group and would like to find out more about how you could Plan to Remember in the run up to Remembrance Day? 

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