Since Golden Charter joined forces with The Royal British Legion and Poppyscotland four years ago, more than £280,000 has been raised for the charities. To build on the success of these previous fundraising campaigns, this year the plan provider hopes to get even more funeral directors involved.
It’s a special way for Independents to ‘Remember Together’ and help commemorate the contributions of all those who defended liberty. Philip Fuller, of family-owned Southgate of Newmarket in Suffolk, opted into the fundraising campaign when it began, and has enjoyed supporting the charities ever since.
“I’m more than happy to promote Golden Charter plans with a £25 donation,” he says. “Each donation helps members of the armed forces, and the charities can be a real lifeline to some people. We don’t tend to shout about it, but we have had a lot of success with the campaign and it goes down well with families. We always wear poppies during the week of Remembrance and it’s lovely to be part of a national event.”
Philip’s involvement doesn’t end there. “I’m a drone photographer, so I’ve taken pictures of Remembrance celebrations in the local area and also the cascade of poppies at the Tower of London. I offer prints of that with the money going to the charities too.”
Whatever you do, whether it’s creating memorable window displays honouring the services, or a tea party for the community, you’re part of the bigger national event. And by joining Golden Charter’s campaign you can join other Independents in honouring the wartime service and sacrifice of Britain’s friends, allies and Commonwealth nations.
“Why I remember”
A personal view from Paul Capper, Eastliegh’s Independent Funeral Directors
“Someone once said to me ‘no wonder you hang out with the Legion… it’s full of old people and you’re a funeral director’’. Funny to him, but a careless thought when you don’t know someone.
I was brought up in a military family with, like a lot of us, family members whose service to this sceptred isle goes back to the First World War and all conflicts since, so I have a reason to remember.
Two of my great, great uncles are buried at Delville Wood Commonwealth War Grave Cemetery on the Somme – aged just 20 and 23 respectively when they died. My maternal grandfather survived D-Day to become a decorated Normandy veteran and died on his 88th birthday, my late father was in The Royal Corps of Transport and, sadly, my cousin David was shot and killed by a sniper in the Gulf. So, you see this is why I ‘hang out with the Legion’.
Unfortunately, when I was making career choices, I was unable to join the armed forces but always made a pledge to myself and my grandfather that I would one day join and support a military charity. I have been a poppy seller for 20 years and a funeral director for over 30, so I appreciate the importance of a Union Flag coffin drape, The Last Post and Exhortation – key ingredients for a ceremonial funeral.
Our late branch President, Norman Brown MBE, and myself always felt that it was such a travesty that the only name to appear on our Borough War Memorial was that of the sculptor. So we set about to have a new war memorial erected and dedicated to not only those who died in combat, but also the civilians killed under aerial attack. Our dreams were realised in 2018 and we now have a new Town War Memorial. Sadly Norman did not live to see its completion, but we gained permission for his ashes to be interred within its foundations.
Also in 2018, I was greatly honoured to march in the Pilgrimage 90 Parade through Ypres and lay a wreath at the Menin Gate on behalf of our branch, along with 2,200 Royal British Legion personnel – 1,100 standard bearers and 1,100 wreath bearers – marching behind the Band of HM Royal Marines.
The town of Eastleigh is fortunate to have a theatre and we hold our own Festival of Remembrance there, which I compere each year. I am very pleased to say that our branch has raised £55,000 this year alone. I have always been proud of the association and partnership between the Royal British Legion and Golden Charter and I am honoured to hold the post of Chairman for Eastleigh, Chandlers Ford and District branch and the Royal British Legion Classic Vehicle branch.
As funeral directors there are so many ways we can tastefully use our vehicles and premises to the benefit of charitable causes to the benefit of our clients, our connections and the communities we serve.
We live on an island that has been unconquered for over a thousand years and this is down to our armed forces and associated organisations.
There are a great many charities worthy of our donations, however, we can do nothing without our security and freedom and our veterans of all ages and conflicts deserve our support. This is why I choose to sell only Golden Charter Funeral Plans, be an active member of the Royal British Legion and continue ‘To Serve Them All My Days’.”
It’s not too late to opt in
More than 300 funeral directors have opted in to this year’s campaign so far and it’s not too late to join with Golden Charter to Remember Together.
- It’s simple to take part. When you submit an order for campaign point of sale you will be automatically opted in to the campaign, and trigger a £25 donation with every plan you sell.
- To make participation even more flexible, this year you can choose to opt out of campaign donations on either 31 January or 31 July 2020 – the choice is yours.
- Speak to your local Golden Charter business advisor for more information or to order your point of sale materials.