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Support for Veteran Events Overseas

23 March 2009

At the Big Lottery Fund we were surprised towards the end of last week to discover that some veterans were struggling to raise the money to participate in events to commemorate the 65th anniversary of various key events in the Second World War.

As a funder we had previously played a huge part in helping 39,000 veterans get involved in the 60th anniversary events. We had also made cash available this time round through Awards for All, which some groups had already been successful in accessing. We were keen to ensure that none would lose out this time round, so we made clear that we would build on both programmes and announced on Friday that we were able to announce further financial support for veterans wishing to attend 65th anniversary events overseas.

The Normandy Veterans Association had already been involved in significant fund raising.  Their immediate reaction was to say they didn’t need Lottery cash and didn’t want us taking credit for their efforts. That was aboslutely not our intention.

As I “twittered” early on Saturday morning, our role is to provide support where it is needed, not to take the credit for excellent efforts by others. Our offer does apply to any Normandy veterans wanting to attend events in June of this year who remain unclear if they can afford to go. But we want to extend our offer to all members of the services who saw action in other theatres during the Second World War.

Full details will be announced later in the week.

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