Over £1 million has been raised for the UK’s most vulnerable veterans by a VE Day campaign.
Royal British Legion Industries (RBLI) thanked the incredible public support for its Tommy in the Window fundraiser after reaching the milestone total.
Led by the former head of the British Army, Lord Richard Dannatt, the campaign encouraged people to place iconic Tommy figurines and stickers in their windows to show their support and remembrance for the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe (VE) Day.
It was especially poignant in a year that saw street parties and public celebrations cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
To date, more than 40,000 commemorative Tommy products have been sold, including 27,000 special edition VE Day engraved Tommy figures.
The £1 million raised is being used to support the UK’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged military veterans both in RBLI’s Centenary Village in Kent and via projects and programmes throughout the country.
Steve Sherry CMG OBE, Chief Executive of RBLI said: “Thanks to the public’s overwhelming generosity, RBLI can continue to provide urgent help for veterans, whether that’s with housing, care, jobs or skills.
“We are so grateful to every single person who got behind the Tommy in the Window campaign and continues to help us help the UK’s veteran community. Thank you to everyone that got involved.”
With the funds raised, RBLI is building even more disability-adapted homes for veterans in its Centenary Village.
The demand for Tommies has also meant that veterans working in RBLI’s Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Company (BBMC) have been brought back off furlough and returned to work to fulfil the demand for the Tommy figurines.
“Many veterans – both young and old – can face immense challenges once they leave the service,” Sherry added.
“In challenging times like these, we have an even greater responsibility to support those who supported us and our country. As a charity with over 100 years’ experience helping veterans, we’re passionate about doing all we can for those that so desperately need and deserve.
“The campaign has also been a massive boost to our social enterprise factory where we employ veterans and workers with disabilities who’ve served in more recent conflicts, including the Falklands, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. Everyone in our factory has been delighted and proud to be sending out Tommies to all our wonderful customers across the country – including our WW2 allies, USA, Canada, and France.
“Please keep your Tommy in the Window with pride until we can celebrate in-person together once again.”
The 75 VE Day commemorative Tommy figures are still available for purchase via www.rbli.co.uk\VEDAY
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