A toast to donations helping The Royal British Legion transform lives

Suffolk-based brewer Adnams chose The Royal British Legion as their beneficiary for three months from November 2017. Customers shopping in Adnams’ stores and online rounded up purchases via Pennies in their thousands, to support the Legion’s work.
Two Royal British Legion veterans, a woman using a wheelchair, and man standing beside her. Their morning suits carry their medals, and both wear poppies.

Posted by Pennies

Published 27 February, 2018

Adnams has partnered with Pennies since 2012, collecting more than £200,000 for local and national charity partners to date. The famous Suffolk-based brewer and distiller chose The Royal British Legion as their beneficiary for three months from November 2017, and customers rounded up purchases in their thousands to support the Legion’s work.

There are around 6.7 million people in the UK’s Armed Forces community, roughly 10% of the country’s entire population. They may face a wide range of difficulties, from physical and mental injury to financial struggle or strain on relationships. The Royal British Legion has supported the community for almost 100 years and in the last year alone, the charity received over one million requests for help – from current Service people, veterans and families.

In total, more than £13,500 was raised via Pennies for the Legion between November 2017 and January 2018, from card-paying customers in Adnams stores and at Adnams.co.uk choosing to round up their purchases to the nearest pound for charity.

The generosity shown by Adnams’ customers in those three months will enable the Legion to continue providing vital support to the Armed Forces community and their families, just as they did for Anna, an RAF veteran who turned to the charity after experiencing a life-changing injury.

Anna joined the RAF as a 17-year-old. After seven years of service including a tour in Iraq, she left the Forces, but in 2013 Anna woke up in the middle of the night with agonising back pain. An hour later, she was paralysed from the waist down having suffered a bleed on her spine and after an emergency operation, was told she wouldn’t be able to walk again.

As the months passed Anna fought her way back to her feet, but only minimally. She was heavily dependent on a wheelchair and was mourning the person she had been:

“My whole life was gone. I had gone from being into fitness, three kids on the go, to being a shadow of my former self. I couldn’t get to grips with not being able to do everything that I could do before. I was letting the pain and my situation get the better of me. I was just existing, I wasn’t living.”

Anna’s turning point came when she went on a Legion break – her family’s first holiday since the accident.

“I was able to hold my child in my arms for the first time again in the swimming pool. It woke us up as a family to realise there was so much we could still do together. The Legion gave me the tools to fight back.”

Veteran Anna Pollock races using a recumbent bike. She is waving at the crowds in the street.
Veteran Anna Pollock races using a recumbent bike.

After that break, the Legion also part-funded a recumbent bike for Anna, something she could never have afforded alone, helping her find a way back to an active lifestyle. The charity also arranged for Anna’s family to travel to Florida to support Anna when she took part in the Invictus Games in 2016.

66,000 donations were made in support of The Royal British Legion via Pennies in three months, hundreds of donations each day.  To put this in perspective, £35 could help adapt the home of a Service person permanently injured in conflict – and Adnams’ customers were raising this much in just a few hours.

The impact of your donations is special, and will transform more lives like Anna’s.

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