What it means to 'Gift a Wreath'
This Remembrance four businesses signed up to take part in our 'Gift a Wreath' campaign with 12 wreaths laid by our blind veterans at local Remembrance events across the country.
Remembrance is a special time for veterans, their families and those in active service. It is a time to come together to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Each year we support blind veterans in making the journey to march past the Cenotaph in London, but we also recognise that many veterans choose to mark the important occasion by taking part in events close to home surrounded by loved ones and fellow veterans.
Wreaths are provided to these veterans so they too can play an active part in Remembrance.
Our veterans laying the gifted wreaths
Thea Pharmaceuticals, Llandudno funeral directors Tom Owen and Sons, Anglesey hotel Chateau Rhianfa, and interior designers Homesmiths, who have recently assisted in the refurbishment of our Centre of Wellbeing in Rustington, signed up to the campaign this year.
Employees from Thea Pharmaceuticals also laid additional wreaths on behalf of our charity.
We have asked those businesses what it has meant to them to take part in our campaign:
Thea Pharmaceuticals commitment to our ‘Gift a Wreath’ campaign for the second year running is part of their ongoing support for us which has seen them raise over £34,000 for us since 2015.
As well as gifting wreaths for our blind veterans to lay, staff from Thea also laid their own wreaths in support of us.
Sharon, from the Thea Surgical team, said:
“I was honoured to lay a wreath in Cheshire. I am from a Naval family, my grandad served in the Royal Marines during the Second World War.
“My thoughts went out to the blind veterans marching past the Cenotaph in London, those laying wreaths around the country, and to their dead and fallen comrades. Thank you to Blind Veterans UK for allowing me such an honour.”
The Medical East team laid a wreath at the Euston War Memorial after completing one of two War Memorial Walks undertaken by the organisation. Francesca from the team said:
“It was an honour for the team to lay one of the wreaths on behalf of Blind Veterans UK and Thea at the Euston War Memorial. The wreath was laid by team member Rachel who has previously served in the military and took part in an ultra-marathon earlier this year to raise money for the charity.”
Thea employee Sian laid a wreath in Llanelli with her grandson. Her husband, a veteran himself, was so inspired by what Sian had learnt about our charity while visiting our Llandudno Centre that he signed up to take part in the London to Brighton Cycle to raise money for us. She said:
“My grandson, wearing his late grandfather’s medals, was proud to be part of the Remembrance service and the wreath laying contingent, paying respects to the fallen. It was a very proud and memorable day for us all.”
Staff from Thea also knitted poppies which were laid at our Llandudno Centre of Wellbeing as part of our Remembrance activities.
Philip, Thea Pharmaceuticals cluster lead, said:
“Thea sends our sincere condolences to all those brave veterans who gave the ultimate sacrifice serving their country and who suffered as a consequence of war. We are forever in their debt.”
Tom Owen and Sons Funeral Directors
This is the second year that Tom Owen and Sons Funeral Directors has supported our ‘Gift a Wreath’ campaign to support our veterans at this poignant time. They are based in Llandudno near to our Centre of Wellbeing.
Kelly, from Tom Owen and Sons, joined blind veteran Les on Remembrance Sunday in Llandudno to lay the wreath they had gifted. She said:
“We’re incredibly honoured to have the opportunity to ‘Gift a Wreath’ to Blind Veterans UK.
“As a family business that began in the 1930s, we’ve helped families who have lost loved ones in the Second World War and in the line of duty in conflicts throughout the world since.
“Each year we lay our own wreath but are immensely proud to have helped blind veterans to mark this occasion over the past two years."
Hotel Chateau Rhianfa
The hotel in North Wales gifted a wreath last year and took part again this year. Delyth who works at the hotel said:
"We are immensely proud to show our support for those who have sacrificed so much in service for our freedom. We are grateful to play a part in ensuring the fallen are not forgotten and for the opportunity to support blind veterans in our community."
HomeSmiths Health Care Interior Designers gifted a wreath for the first time this year. They have been working closely with our charity on the refurbishment of our Centre of Wellbeing in Rustington.
HomeSmiths gifted a wreath that was laid by D-Day veteran Ken who is a resident at our Rustington Centre. Jacqui, Director of the company, said:
“We are proud to support and recognise these incredible veterans who have given so much for their country. Having worked with Blind Veterans UK over the past couple of years, we have had the privilege of meeting some of the veterans which has been incredibly humbling.”
Would you like to join us in ensuring our veterans can take part in 2024 and continue receiving our life changing support? Find out more or register your interest in our Gift a Wreath Campaign 2024.