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Charity searches for Islington veterans in gift box initiative

PUBLISHED: 14:06 21 October 2020

Members of the Islington Veterans Association stand to attention during an Anzac Day remembrance event on Islington Green on 25.04.17.

Members of the Islington Veterans Association stand to attention during an Anzac Day remembrance event on Islington Green on 25.04.17.

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A charity combating loneliness in the armed forces community has asked an Islington-based association to find World War Two veterans who have been denied their 75th anniversary celebrations.

Deputy Lieutenant for Islington Dr Charles Goodson-Wickes. Picture: Isabel InfantesDeputy Lieutenant for Islington Dr Charles Goodson-Wickes. Picture: Isabel Infantes

Dr Charles Goodson-Wickes, president of the Islington Veterans Association since 2011, has been contacted by the Not Forgotten Association - a charity founded in 1920 to provide entertainment and recreational opportunities to wounded, injured and sick serving personnel and veterans with disabilities.

READ MORE: Veterans mark 75th anniversary of VJ Day in Islington with service

It has launched an initiative to find 5,000 World War Two veterans and thank them for their services with a gift box.

Charles said this period has been particularly difficult for veterans, especially since the commemorations of VE and VJ Day were greatly restricted.

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“It’s a very enlightened initiative (to give away) a gift box and get recognition from the princess royal,” Charles said. “They (veterans) are obviously getting very old and not forgotten is the message, and one that I support wholeheartedly.”

The boxes will be sent out at the end of October, aiming to bring the veterans a bit of cheer and to thank them for all they gave.

As well as keeping up and liaising with the many military charities, the Islington Veterans Association has regular social gatherings, committee meetings, dinners, and a monthly breakfast club for members.

Although this has been affected by the pandemic, Charles said: “The Islington Veterans Association has been impressively good at keeping in touch with their members directly, by telephone, email, and have also arranged Zoom meetings so that any members can inform us of any veterans who are in difficulty that need extra help.”

Veterans, an authorised family member or carer can register for the gift by emailing norman@willsonfamily.co.uk with their first, surname and maiden names, where appropriate; service number; military details, including arm/unit of service and dates; full postal address and telephone number; date of birth; and details of the individual/organisation providing the data, if it is not the veteran.

Find out more about the Islington Veterans Association here.


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