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Posts Tagged ‘charities’

In the past I have mentioned an organisation called B.L.E.S.M.A., which does so much to help our boys and girls who have lost limbs in the wars.

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The particular branch I know is the South East branch, of which Bill Gillett is the welfare officer.  I first heard about them from my father-in-law Jack Pearce. Jack could not say enough good things about this organisation when he lost both his legs they were there offering support, advice and any help they could give.  Bill was fantastic as was Cath and the other hard-working members.  We try to get to the dinner as often as we can, so this year I delayed my Dr’s visit so that we would be there.  It was nice to see Bill again and he brought his daughter Sophie along.

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The dinner is held at a hotel in Emsworth, and everyone brings something for the raffle which is always large this year was no exception this photograph was taken before most people had arrived and as you can see the table is already well stocked. We brought bottles of St. Emillion wine where we stopped off on our way to England.

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The welcome I was given was very warm (these so I am informed, are my adopted daughters lol) they were both funny and bubbly bullying their brother when they started selling the raffle tickets.  I know he sold a lot to my wife.  Along with their mother they took turns sitting at our table during dinner, and this was only the second time we had met the first being at my mother-in-laws funeral.

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The table at which we were sat  also had the branch president and his family such nice friendly people.

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So to tell you that after dinner were introduced to CPO(D) Ian Fleming – no that is his name – we were treated to a description of his walk in aid of BLESMA dressed in full divers kit including the helmet.  He said the weight was horrendous and where the boots touched his legs they rubbed his skin away to the bone. He walked with his ‘crew’ for two days to raise money, and is already planning this years trek. It was so nice to hear this modest man talk and joke about his exploits.

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Also at the dinner was the Base Commander of Portsmouth Commodore Jeremy Rigby who is very supportive of BLESMA and all they do for the wounded service personnel.

We owe a debt of gratitude to all our service personnel for continually putting their lives on the line to protect us and allow us to live safe and in many  cases profitable lives. That they are dependant in many cases on charity is a condemnation of our society. Thankfully organisations such as BLESMA are there to do what Governments should do automatically.  My heartfelt thanks go out to all the fulltime workers and volunteers of this great organisation.

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I have been sitting here watching an advertisement for the Salvation Army.  These people are the quiet heroes of towns and cities all over Britain.  They open cafes for the lonely and homeless to meet have a hot meal, drink or both.  Then there are the shelters, here they try to assist people give them advice or help get them off the street and into a job if they can.   They go out into the community trying to help not just sitting on the end of a phone asking for money.

So why is this organisation which was first founded in the East End of London and been active since 1865 so forgotten? Since 1865 The Salvation Army has spread its wings to become Gods Army, with its own uniform and as far as its members are concerned  they are the ‘regulars’!

With such dedication for the welfare of others you will find it’s Officers and Soldiers on duty every day of the year, no closed signs here, no whingeing just a helping hand, held out to those who need it most.  Their three ‘S’s’ slogan can be listed like this” first soup, second soap and thirdly salvation, along with the listening ear of kindness.

Therefore why oh why in these times and days does such an organisation have to ask for help from us? help that we should be readily giving, even if its only 2 pounds a month – as the work they do is in this country, for our people, in the here and now.  There is an old saying “Charity begins at home”  every year I put money into the collection boxes of the Salvation Army, every year I watch them parade on Remembrance Day.

So come on people show a little love and compassion, when you are passing the Army in the high street  and listening to the carols being sung, or like us singing along  give a little even if its pennies everything helps to help others.

Merry Christmas everybody and in Tiny Tim’s words “God bless us every one!”

(c) Michael Douglas Bosc

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I would like to thank BLESSMA for the help and support my family received when my wife’s mother died recently. Bill, Kath and her husband have been there for everyone. A few years ago when my Father-in-law died they were a great support  and two weeks ago when my Mother-in-law passed the knowledge that they were there helped my wife and daughter cope.

These people work tirelessly to help and aid those service and ex-service people who have been injured, lost limbs or just need help. I can never thank them enough they made Jacks life easier and towards the end they were always there, when Kath visited Jack in hospital she always had a laugh and joke.

These people work along the south of England but there are others all over the country who deserve your support and thanks for the ceaseless support they give people. We (the family) are hoping to be at the annual dinner this year. When we have attended in the past it has been fun and friendly. We have always been, as has everyone else, made very welcome.

So as an ex-service person myself please everyone support this worthy organisation in any way you can after all you never know when you might be in need of it. They will be there for you, please be there for them you will not regret it.

Michael Bosc

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