ABF The Soldiers' Charity
Les and Jeanette Fryatt
Over 70 years ago, Les was serving as a Gunner in the Royal Artillery. As part of a 10 man team he played a critical part in demolishing German positions inland at Normandy during the Second World War. Les fought his way across Europe and was demobbed in 1947. He then went on to join the Reserves in which he served for 13 more years. In February 2016, Les was presented with the Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur at the French Embassy in London.
Decades later, Les needed the support of The Soldiers’ Charity. Following surgery for knee and hip replacements, he struggled to get in and out of the bath safely. Without the installation of a walk-in shower, Les feared that he and his wife Jeanette would have to leave their home of 30 years. After an initial contribution by local authorities, The Soldiers’ Charity stepped in with a grant that allowed for the completion of the work and the provision of a safer living environment for this delightful couple.
‘We think it’s wonderful how the British people will so easily open up their purse and put a pound in, we appreciate it so much’.
Our funding paid towards the installation of a walk in shower at the home of D-Day veteran Les and his wife Jeanette.
Corporal Sid Sallis
Corporal Sid Sallis, 95, is the last surviving Royal Army Service Corps Air Despatcher (RASC) to serve during the Battle of Arnhem campaign.
“We lost 19 men just on the first day,” he said. “I was really lucky – in the RAF Stirlings, there was a big hole in the floor, so it was one false move and you were out!”
Referring to the considerable anti-aircraft fire over Arnhem, Sid added, “The Germans were all around us during the drop, and although we couldn’t see them, they could see us!”
Sid served a total of five years, including a spell in a peace-keeping force in Palestine after the war, but it is his experiences at Arnhem that have stayed with him.
When he needed to move into a care home in England following a period of ill health in 2015, Sid’s family sought help. ABF The Soldiers’ Charity were approached and agreed to assist with his care home fees. Sid’s health and lucidity have improved markedly.
Sid’s daughter-in-law said: “We are really very grateful of the funding support that has been given; it has made a huge difference.”
RAF Benevolent Fund
Funds to help RAF children
Twelve-year-old Tia Carter has been a member of Airplay for several years, enjoying the weekly sessions at RAF Brize Norton. When her mother died suddenly in 2017, the support she receives from the Airplay Youth Worker became even more important to her and her family.
Tia said: “I really like going to Airplay – I get to do lots of fun stuff. I really miss my mum and sometimes I get upset but I know I can always talk to the youth workers and they’ll listen to me and try to help.
I’m really happy to be going to Airplay because it helped me to get loads of thing off my chest that I haven’t been able to tell my dad or my brother.”
Wayne added Airplay had not only been a place for Tia to express herself, but it had also been somewhere she could be a child again, and get involved in all the activities.
The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity
A once much-visited hub for the submariner community, the Drumfork Centre had fallen into a serious state of disrepair following years of use. However, it is now being rejuvenated by the RNRMC, Greenwich Hospital and the Royal Naval Association.
Located in Helensburgh, Scotland, Drumfork will provide a number of facilities that will benefit both the serving and local community including; a self-contained registered day nursery, a coffee shop, chapel and multi-activity spaces for groups. The centre is due to open in the summer and will be a lifeline for families relying on each other for emotional and practical support whilst a loved one is away at sea and will help reassure active naval personnel that their families have the best possible support in their absence.
Discussing the Drumfork Families Centre, General Secretary of the RNA, Paul Quinn OBE said:
“As an ex-Faslane submariner, I am very aware that ways to support and bring naval families together is vitally important – when loved ones are dived on operations and out of contact. We all know that it is way past time that the Club is modernised and we look forward to seeing the Club in full swing before too long.”