Friday, 1 June 2012


Waitrose stores have these boxes near the exit and you are able to choose a local charity to support.
The green counters are given to you (or you can take one) when you leave the till.
They're local, mostly to Oxfordshire as Thame is in that county, but sometimes you get  Bucks charities, too. 

The labels at the top of the box give information and these three are for (on the left) Brain Research UK, in the centre is The Veterans' Charity and on the right it's Youth Cancer Trust. I know you make your choice depending on what is most important to you after you've read the text but I was surprised to see that The Veterans' Charity had the lowest collection rate.
I think this country has a poor record on the whole for looking after its discharged servicemen and women - no wonder so many charities have appeared which are fundraising for ex-service personnel.
I have an item from a Radio Times, undated unfortunately, but kept within the last year or so. It's by Colonel Tim Collins who fought in Iraq in 2003 and was once CO of 1st Battalion, Royal Irish Regiment. He stated that 1,100 ex-servicemen are homeless within 2 miles of the Cenotaph; 28,000 now suffer from alcohol or mental health problems. And that was many months ago. One charity, Combat Stress, supporting sufferers said it takes on average 14 years for the PTSD problem to emerge, so soon it'll be the turn of those who were in the Balkans.
I have no connection with any of the forces but it strikes me that not much has changed since Kipling wrote:
'For it's Tommy this and Tommy that, an' 
'Chuck him out, the brute!'
But it's' Saviour of his country' when the guns begin to shoot.


crafty cat corner said...

What a succinct post.
I have experience with a person who fought in the gulf war, he is a changed person and mentally affected but can get no recognition of this.
My Grandson was talking of joining the Marines and my first thought was don't do it.
I have just read a book on the seige of Leningrad and it speaks volumes on the subject of ordinary men used as fodder.
thanks for a thought provoking post.

Kath said...

My personal experience of this, is that the public tend to assume the forces look after their personnel, after retirement or injury and also their families. Little do they know.

Sylve said...

Thanks for your comments, ladies.
I seem to remember Col.Collins left the army, not liked by the Higher-Ups as he was too chatty with the media and Col. Bob Stewart was another officer, who served in Bosnia, was also media savvy - also retired.
I think it was very convenient for the Government that returning casualties don't go through Wootton Bassett any more. After all, that was a spontaneous reaction from the public...

Dutch Duo said...

They have those boxes here too, but usually for local childrens clubs, footbal or athletics or Gym, like you we choose the club/chartity we want and pop your token in.Not sure about how the trops are treated here not really anything thats spoken about to my knowledge.