Kind-hearted taxi drivers who give up their time for charity have clocked up 75 years of helping war veterans.
And it wants to celebrate the magnificent milestone with special events to treat veterans further, as well as recognising the fantastic contribution of the volunteer fleet of back cab drivers, without whom the charity wouldn’t exist.
The Taxi Charity for Military Veterans was founded in 1948 – three years after the end of the Second World War – to arrange days out for friends who had been injured in the conflict. As the capital slowly started to rebuild after the war, the drivers recognised that those who had fought for their country were struggling physically and psychologically and needed respite from the daily reminders of what they had been through. They donated their time and taxis to give the veterans a much-needed break.
The London Taxi Benevolent Association For War Disabled was founded by three London cab drivers and kept that name until 2016, when it became The Taxi Charity for Military Veterans to recognise its work supporting veterans of all conflicts.
Over the years, the charity – which is still run by volunteer London black cab drivers – has taken thousands of veterans to social events and organised days out. It provides free transport to veterans attending Remembrance Day services in the capital and went out of its way to help reunite a British war veteran with a young French girl he kindly gave food to 79 years earlier.
The charity does incredible work and it is always great to see London’s cabbies continuing to make a difference in the community for three-quarters of a century, as well as tackling the challenges that have affected their livelihoods. Their amazing efforts were rightly recognised by the Queen in 2021, when the charity received The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.
The charity continued its work wherever possible during the pandemic and is now looking forward to a year of bumper celebrations.
London cab driver and Taxi Charity chairman Brian Heffernan said: “If funding allows, we hope to celebrate this amazing milestone not only with our traditional trips, to the Netherlands, Normandy and Worthing, but also with an event on International Women’s Day, a party in the summer, a joint outing with the Household Cavalry, a shooting and a fishing day.
“To help fund these events, we have launched a ‘75 for 75’ campaign and hope that with donations from our supporters, friends and the cab trade we can reach our £75,000 fundraising goal.”
By enabling veterans to attend outings and events, the charity helps them maintain the strong and unique bonds they have with each other, after putting themselves in harm’s way to fight for our freedom.
The Taxi Charity patron Vice-Admiral Sir Adrian Johns said: “As this remarkable and unique charity celebrates its 75th birthday, I pay tribute to the wonderful service it has provided for so many of this country’s veterans over so many years. Recognising the significance of social interaction and camaraderie to former servicemen and women is as important today as it ever has been.
“At the heart of the charity are the cabbies who give so freely and cheerfully of their time – long may they and the Taxi Charity continue their great work!”
To donate to the anniversary celebrations, visit 75 for 75 – JustGiving
Image credit: The Taxi Charity
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