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LONDON’S WAR HEROES AND TAXI DRIVERS NAMED UK’S BEST VOLUNTARY/CHARITY PROJECT

Strictly star Katie Derham was taken for a spin as she presented them with their National Lottery Awards trophy

The London Taxi Benevolent Association for War Disabled Charity is made up of volunteer taxi drivers and has been running trips for veterans since 1948, including an annual seaside visit to Worthing. Last year, the charity used National Lottery funding for 92 London taxi drivers and volunteers to take 120 WWII veterans and their carers on a five-day trip to the Netherlands where they received heroes’ welcomes on the 70th anniversary of the Liberation.

The charity received 3,995 votes to win the Best Voluntary/Charity project in this year’s National Lottery Awards – the annual search for the UK’s favourite Lottery-funded projects. The project wins a £3,000 cash prize, an iconic National Lottery Awards trophy and will attend a star-studded Awards ceremony, broadcast on BBC One in September.

Dick Goodwin, event organiser for the Taxi Charity, said: "We are absolutely delighted to have won a National Lottery Award. We'd like to say a sincere thank you to everyone that got behind us - veterans, cab drivers, family, friends and the British public - this award sends a great message to our veterans that people genuinely care about them and what they went through."

Fred Glover, a 90-year-old WWII veteran who recently undertook two parachute jumps to raise money for the Taxi Charity, said: "I'm over the moon that this magnificent charity has won a National Lottery award! The cab drivers and committee members are all volunteers. They look after us so well on our trips and outings. I'm proud to be associated with them."

Katie presented the veterans and taxi drivers with their National Lottery Award at a tea dance at the beautiful Royal Hospital Chelsea. She said: “I have been bowled over by the special bond between the London taxi drivers and the veterans. It is great that projects like this receive funding, thanks to National Lottery players who raise £36 million every week for good causes across the UK.”

The National Lottery Awards are a great way to shine a spotlight on outstanding National Lottery funded projects. Now in their 13th year, the Awards celebrate the talent and dedication of the amazing staff and volunteers that run incredible life-changing Lottery funded projects for the benefit of their communities and the people who live in them.

Seven projects competed for votes across seven categories, reflecting the main areas of National Lottery funding: arts, sport, heritage, health, environment, education and voluntary/charity.

Ends

For more information please contact:

Jay Epega: 020 7211 1931 / Jay.epega@lotterygoodcauses.org.uk


Notes to the editor

  • In 2015 the National Lottery helped fund a trip to the Netherlands to enable veterans to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Holland. The veterans included many who took part in the liberation of Holland, the remainder having fought elsewhere in the conflict. They attended the National Liberation Parade in the town of Wageningen, watched fly-pasts visited cemeteries and memorials to their missing comrades and attended Remembrance services at local town halls. Their last ceremony was to lay wreaths at sea as they sailed home.
  • The London Taxi Benevolent Association for War Disabled received £42,000 of National Lottery funding through the Big Lottery Fund.

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