Volunteer Cab drivers from the Taxi Charity for Military Veterans are taking Chelsea Pensioners to see the London lights.
The Taxi Charity and the Royal Hospital Chelsea have a very long relationship so when the Hospital asked if any of the charity’s volunteer cab drivers might drive some Chelsea Pensioners to see the lights, to ensure they can see them safely, there was no shortage of help.
London Cab Drivers and charity volunteers will be taking Chelsea Pensioners to see the lights on Regent Street, Oxford Street and New Bond Street in their iconic black cabs. With a fixed divider in the black taxis, the veterans are not in direct contact with the drivers during the Christmas lights tour and will not have to mix with the crowds who will be doing their shopping and admiring the lights in the West End.
Brian Heffernan, London Cab Driver and Taxi Charity Volunteer, said, “It has been a really difficult year for everyone, and especially our veterans who have missed out on so many events and I was delighted to pick up some In Pensioners from Chelsea and take them in to the West End to see the Christmas lights.”
Dick Goodwin, Vice President, The Taxi Charity for Military Veterans, said, “It is always a pleasure to support the Royal Hospital and we hope that the Chelsea Pensioners enjoy their private tour of London’s fabulous Christmas lights.”
Annie, one of the Chelsea Pensioner’s said, “London looks truly splendid, and we would like to say a huge thank you to the Royal Hospital Chelsea and the Taxi Charity for this lovely pre-Christmas treat.”
To find out more about the support the Taxi Charity offers veterans visit www.taxicharity.org
About the Royal Hospital Chelsea
The Royal Hospital Chelsea was founded in 1681 by King Charles II to provide a home for ‘the relief of veterans broken by age or war.’ Sir Christopher Wren designed the Royal Hospital Chelsea, and it was opened in 1692. Today the Grade I listed site is still home to nearly 300 Chelsea Pensioners, who are all former soldiers of the British Army. The Royal Hospital provides the Chelsea Pensioners with a home, comradeship, and the very highest standards of care during their advanced years, in recognition of their loyal service to the Nation.
About the Taxi Charity
The Taxi Charity is run by volunteer London black taxi drivers and has been supporting thousands of veterans of all ages since 1948. The charity arranges free trips to the Netherlands, Belgium, and France, for acts of commemoration and days out to museums, concerts, or fundraising events in the UK, to catch up with friends and comrades.
The Charity worked tirelessly during the pandemic to ensure veterans received regular contact by sending out a greeting card each month, gifts to mark the 75th anniversaries of VE and VJ day, stockings at Christmas and arranging Guards of Honour at veterans’ funerals. Volunteers have also helped with regular phone calls, food shopping, transport to hospital appointments, and more recently taking veterans for their Coronavirus injections.
The charity was awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in June 2021.
To fund and facilitate their work, the charity is reliant on generous donations from members of the public, businesses, and trusts.