Walker Dugher

Brigadier Peter Walker

How money raised by BGC members in the Britannia Stakes is helping the three Armed Forces charities carry out their work.

The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity, ABF The Soldiers’ Charity and the RAF Benevolent Fund are hugely grateful for the very substantial donations made to them by the Betting and Gaming Council and its members as a result of the decision that all profits made on the Britannia Stakes at Royal Ascot would be donated to good causes.

This very welcome income will assist the Armed Forces charities in their work to support military personnel, past and present, and their families in times of need with a wide range of practical, emotional and financial support.

Below is an example from each of the charities to give you an understanding of the type of support that is available to every member of the military family should they need it.

The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity –The Erskine Home, Bishopton

Last year the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity awarded a grant of £10,000 to Erskine to help purchase thermal imaging equipment for their four Homes and their Activities Centre in response to COVID-19. A separate grant of £40,000 contributed towards the cost of providing nursing, dementia and palliative care for Royal Navy and Royal Marines veterans at the Erskine Home. This partnership working helps ensure highest standard of care and support for Royal Navy and Royal Marines veterans during these challenging times and beyond.

ABF The Soldiers’ Charity – Rick’s Story

Rick served in the Duke of Lancaster’s’ Regiment for 16 years until an operational injury ended his Army career. In 2010 Rick was a month into his first tour of Afghanistan when he stepped on a Taliban IED. He lost his legs and much of his right arm in the blast. Rick praised the rescue team who took just nine minutes to reach him in a helicopter from Camp Bastion, saying: “I owe them my life”. Three weeks later, he woke up in hospital in Birmingham to discover the damage the blast had caused.

The ABF supported Rick with a grant towards a specialist wheelchair and a corner bath. He says: “The mountain trike wheelchair has changed my life. For the first time in eight years I was able to go on the beach. Prior to having the bath seat I was unable to have a bath.”

The RAF Benevolent Fund - Jacqui’s Story

I lost the most amazing person I had ever met, my husband and best friend Gary Thompson. Gary was a reservist with the Royal Auxiliary Air Force and he was deployed to Afghanistan in 2008. He was a proud RAF Regiment gunner, and very proud to serve his country.

My life and the lives of our five daughters changed forever when I heard the heart-breaking and devastating news that Gary had been killed. His vehicle had hit a landmine killing Gary and his friend, Livi. Gary was 51. The RAF Benevolent Fund immediately came to our assistance and helped my daughters financially through university. That prompt and unconditional help and support cemented blocks for us to rebuild our lives.

These are just some of the examples of the ways in which the three Armed Forces charities provide help and support to those who have served their country, and their families. Generous donations like the one provided by the BGC’s members help us to carry out this vital work, and we are immensely grateful for them.

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