The Royal British Legion joined more than 600 other charities and organisations at The Patron’s Lunch on Sunday 12 June to mark Her Majesty The Queen’s official 90th birthday.
The Legion hosted 12 of our beneficiaries at The Mall’s largest ever street party to help us celebrate the support we have given to the Armed Forces community in the UK.
Find out more about some of our guests for the day and how they have been helped by the Legion.
Battling back from injury
On his second frontline tour of Afghanistan in 2008, Lyndon Chatting-Walters’ career as a Combat Engineer in the Army was cut short when he was seriously wounded. He suffered severe spinal injuries, breaking his back in four places, and had to be medically discharged as a result.
Lyndon on tour in Afghanistan with the British Army
In 2012, Lyndon enrolled on a rehabilitation course at the Legion-funded Battle Back Centre which helps injured personnel to recover through a programme of adventurous training and sport.
During his time on the course, the 26-year-old veteran fell in love with adventurous training and is now a qualified Outdoor Instructor, coaching other veterans like himself at the centre.
The Battle Back Centre has helped Lyndon enormously, from rehabilitating him to starting his career as an Outdoor Instructor
Lyndon recently helped lead a team of MPs up one of the world’s highest active volcanoes on an expedition that raised nearly £10,000 for the Legion.
"I can't pick one highlight from my Battle Back experience, because there were so many; from the varied activities, interaction, encouragement and support both physically and mentally. The support I received has given me the massive confidence boost I needed."Lyndon Chatting-Walters
After serving in the RAF for 16 years, former Aviation Engineer Andy Davies fell into alcohol addiction and lost everything.
Andy had continued his work as an Aviation Engineer with the Ministry of Defence (MoD), but life after the RAF led to alcohol abuse and eventually he lost his job, his family and even his home, ending up on the streets.
After numerous visits to court and desperate to overcome his addiction, Andy asked the judge to give him a custodial sentence, hoping this would break the cycle of his drinking.
It was in prison where Andy first had contact with the Legion. After serving his sentence, the Legion helped with one months’ rent and a deposit so he had somewhere to live to help him start his new life.
“When I felt that my life was becoming unmanageable, the Legion was like a circle of light around me. They helped me to get my self-respect back and regain my dignity.”Andy Davies
Andy has truly turned his life around: he recently completed a degree at the University of South Wales and is starting a PGCE at Cardiff University in September 2016. He also teaches English to international students throughout the summer.
Andy speaks on behalf of the Legion at a Welsh Parliamentary event (front; second from left)
Coping after tragedy
After the unexpected death of his 19-year-old daughter in 2014, Sergeant Trevor Bygate has been on a mission to raise as much money as he can for charity in Chloe’s memory.
Trevor is interviewed before taking on the London Marathon
The 41-year-old army soldier, who has served in both Bosnia and Afghanistan, was on a military exercise in the Arizona desert when he was told the devastating news.
In the aftermath of the tragedy, the Legion relieved some of the stress on Trevor and his wife by helping to fund Chloe’s funeral. The Legion also funded two Poppy Break holidays to Centre Parks and Torquay for the whole family.
“The Royal British Legion has always been there for me and shown me fantastic support during my darkest days,” said Trevor.
“It was invaluable to have that time away on the Poppy Breaks with my wife and children after Chloe died. The Legion sorted everything: the booking, the travel, the food. We really didn’t have to think about anything.”
Trevor regularly raises money for the Legion in Chloe’s memory, most recently completing the London Marathon and raising more than £6,000 for our organisation.
Host your own Royal British Lunch
Why not join in the Queen's birthday celebrations and host your own Royal British Lunch in your community? The Legion has created a special pack to help you bring the atmosphere of this historic day to your own neighbourhood. Register now to receive your special event pack.