Friends of the Forces Awards

About the Legion

London regional winners

Richard Knott who established the Facebook group 'Maximum Respect for the Armed Forces' and now has over 1.4 million members is the winner in the Individual category in London.

Other winners in London are:

Charles Darwin School organised a mass of fundraising events that included a visit from an army helicopter where pupils and staff paid to have photos taken and the auctioning of a signed Arsenal football shirt. They have won the Youth category.

Pryors Bank Café, winner of the Community category, is a self-sustaining project that supports former homeless ex-Service personnel by getting them back into the working environment.

Lloyd's of London is the Corporate category winner. The organisation has provided unbroken support to the Armed Forces for over 200 years and they continue to fundraise for Forces charities throughout the year.

Charles Darwin School

Charles Darwin SchoolThe pupils of Year 9 have worked tirelessly over the last year to raise money for Forces charities through a variety of events including; paying to have photos taken with an apache helicopter, a school disco, an Easter themed egg and spoon race and collecting pennies and loose change.

Mrs Adams, the Head of Year 9 said, "I am delighted that the students have received this award. They have worked tremendously hard to organise all the events and encourage their peers to donate and take part. It is a most deserved accolade and they have done the school proud."

Elizabeth Butler, County Coordinator of Forces charity, Help for Heroes commented, "Charles Darwin School Year 8's wonderful fundraising is hugely welcomed, they should be congratulated and, on behalf of all those who the money will benefit, thanked. Well done Year 8; Great effort!"

Pryors Bank Café

Pryors Bank CafePryors Bank Café is a self-help initiative supported by the Sir Oswald Stoll Foundation, a registered charity which supports and houses vulnerable and disabled ex-Service men and women. The founder of the Pryors Bank Café , Bob Barrett, has set up a unique apprenticeship training programme which benefits former homeless ex-Service men by getting them back into a working environment. Mr Barrett also created 'Forces Sauces', a range of sauces including, mustard, brown sauce and horseradish, the profits from which also go towards helping ex-Service personnel.

Mr Barrett, said: "We are very honoured to have been nominated and to have won this award. I am very humbled that The Royal British Legion has considered us for it."

A former infantry soldier, Duane Telfer, commented, "I was medically discharged from the army and wasn't sure what opportunities lay ahead for me. Thanks to the Pryors Bank Café I have been able to complete my catering NVQ level 2 and gain the experience of running a kitchen. This award is well and truly deserved."

Lloyd's of London

Lloyds of LondonLloyd's began its affiliation with the British Armed Forces and Admiral Lord Nelson in the early 1800s. Today, Lloyd's continues to honour and help current and ex-Service personnel and their families through a number of different channels.

In the last ten years, Lloyd's Patriotic Fund has made grants of over £1 million to assist ex-Service men and women and their families with essential needs such as disability adaptations and home repairs. In addition, every year, the Lloyd's insurance market observe a two-minute Silence at 11.00am on the Friday before Remembrance Day and last Christmas, employees responded generously to an appeal for Christmas gifts for the Veterans' Aid hostel in East London. The Lloyd's branch of The Royal British Legion also provides volunteers to support The Poppy Appeal every year and in 2009 it raised a record-breaking £60,000 in a single day.

Vicky Mirfin, Community Affairs Manager at Lloyd's said: "We were delighted to hear the news that Lloyd's has won the Friends of the Forces Corporate category award for London, for our support for the British Armed Forces. Lloyd's is proud to count itself a Friend of the Forces."

Nigel Naismith, a resident at the Veterans Aid hostel in East London said: "Last Christmas, representatives of Lloyd's came to visit us to see first hand the work that is being carried out daily by Veterans Aid. They did not come empty handed and each of the 68 men in the hostel was presented with a hamper full of gifts donated by people working in the Lloyd's market.  This kind gesture did not go unnoticed by anyone and the gratitude that was felt by all could only be described and experienced by those of us who have been without a family and found ourselves homeless. That gesture allowed us to know that we were not forgotten." 

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