Goldchallenge 715X195 Membership of the Legion

Being a Legion member

Kevin MadgeKevin Madge combines the role of leader of the Carmarthenshire Council with being Chairman of the Garnant Branch of the Legion. The Community Covenant scheme is proving to be a perfect blend of his skills in these roles.

Kevin's grandfather founded the Garnant Branch in 1923 so he's been aware of the Legion all his life. Although he became a councillor in 1979, he didn't actually get involved with the Legion until he was asked to be President 20 years later. And he has been Chairman for the last 10 years.

Garnant Branch has good ties with its local community, mainly by involving the school. The Branch President gives talks to the children and the Legion memorial to the fallen is located in the school.

"Each November we share Remembrance with them and as well as the children being engaged, the parents come to the event as well. So we have this younger generation joining in with us."

In association with the Community Covenant Scheme, Kevin is also the council's Armed Forces champion. "As leader of the council it felt right for me to take the lead on this. We're trying to draw down Community Covenant money to help us provide the best service possible. I've learned over the years that people come out of the Forces and often get a raw deal. They don't get the treatment they should, so we’re trying to make a difference there."

He also works hard to ensure the Legion's message is available to the whole community. By working closely with the Wales Area staff to brief the council's contact centre teams, frontline council staff are well informed about the needs of ex-Armed Forces people.

"Working in partnership with the Legion has been a very positive step for all concerned. It's about getting across this message: the Legion can help, this is how it can help, please make sure people who need help are told about us."

Alan Mak

Alan Mak Selling Poppies Nov -2011What does membership mean to you?

Alan Mak is a Legion member and founder of the RBL's Young Professionals' Branch.

"Legion membership is about honouring our outstanding Armed Forces community, supporting the Poppy Appeal and renewing the importance of Remembrance in our national life. As a long-standing Legion supporter, volunteer and Poppy Appeal collector, joining the Legion was a natural step and it has been a fantastic experience, bringing me closer to a vibrant national network of people who care about our Armed Forces, champion our veterans, and campaign for their families.

I'm originally from Yorkshire, home of Imphal Barracks, Catterick Garrison and RAF Linton-on-Ouse. I went to a school serving many military families; and have lots of friends and colleagues who've served - or are still serving - in the Forces, including in Afghanistan and Iraq, so supporting our Servicemen and women has always been important to me. We have the best Armed Forces in the world, and I wanted young professionals across Britain to play a key role in ensuring that they are looked after when they come home having served our country. So, I launched the national Young Professionals' Branch to bring together a new generation of supporters for the Legion's work, the Armed Forces and Remembrance.

Like every branch, we offer a range of social, sporting and fundraising events. We focus on young professionals who are interested in meeting like-minded Legion supporters. We're off to a great start and younger Legion supporters are joining us all the time.

Over the last twelve months, we've helped collect over £30,000 during London Poppy Day, and we've shaken buckets inside Twickenham during last year's Army v Navy Rugby match. Our Branch officers were chosen to represent all UK Poppy Sellers at last year's Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall in the presence of HM The Queen. And I was selected to carry the London 2012 Olympic Torch in Bedale, Yorkshire with the local Legion branch cheering me on. The Legion is going from strength to strength, and we are proud to be part of their growth and success.

So, if the courage and professionalism of our Armed Forces inspires you, and you want to be at the heart of a national network of local branches caring for them and their families, whilst meeting new people, having great fun, and supporting a fantastic charity, then Legion membership is for you!"

JJ Jarvis

What does membership mean to you? JJ Jarvis , Member Riders Branch

JJ Jarvis joined the 5th Royal Inniskilling Dragoon Guards in 1985, which became the Royal Dragoon Guards in 1992. He is currently serving as a WO1 with HQ Land Forces in Andover as a training analyst.

"I originally joined the Legion as a member in 1989 and the Riders Branch in 2005. There are currently plenty of Service charities you can donate your time to, but only the Legion reaches across the full spectrum helping anyone who qualifies as a beneficiary without a single focus.

There have been several highlights since I joined the Riders, which include everything from putting a smile on a youngster's face as they sit on a bike at a show; to receiving applause for what we have achieved by the veterans during the Weymouth Veterans parade; having 30 bikes ride through Beaulieu for the launch of the Poppy Appeal; to the afternoon we spent in the company of Prince Charles at Clarence House. To have 90 bikes within the grounds was an achievement and certainly made a quite a spectacle.

Plus £250,000 for the Poppy Appeal over two years - not bad for a bunch of bikers.

Do as much or as little as you like within your Branch, just show your support for our Service personnel."

JJ Jarvis, member, Riders Branch

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