Only a year ago, The Taxi Charity was planning international trips to Holland, Belgium and France, along with fun day trips in the UK, for Military Veterans. Today, it’s helping Veterans reach covid-19 vaccination clinics.
One Veteran who has received his covid-19 vaccination thanks to the support of the Taxi Charity is 100-year-old Major Ted Hunt. On the 20th January 2021, Major Ted was taken to Lancing Parish Hall by London Black Cabbie and Taxi Charity volunteer, Mike Hughes.
When Major Ted reached the vaccination centre, he was welcomed at Lancing Parish Hall by Tim Loughton MP for East Worthing and Shoreham.
“It was an honour to meet Major Ted at the vaccination centre in Lancing, fresh from having his jab,” Mr Loughton said. “He said to refuse a vaccine was like crossing the road without looking both ways first – I don’t think I could put it better myself! Fantastic to meet him and to witness the brilliant hard work of everyone involved with the vaccine rollout. I’m incredibly grateful to ‘The Taxi Charity for Military Veterans’ for arranging this visit for Major Ted and countless other veterans.”
The Taxi Charity For Military Veterans (formerly known as the London Taxi Benevolent Association For War Disabled) was formed in Fulham in 1948. Its object then was to help war veterans, in their homes and hospitals, throughout London and the home counties, by providing entertainment, outings and much needed specialised equipment. Today, their aim is to work for the benefit, comfort and enjoyment of military veterans, to the best of their ability.
For their annual Worthing outing, pre-covid times, the charity would collect veterans from all over London, including the Royal Hospital Chelsea and other Veterans’ Homes, as well as those who still live in their own homes. This amounts to over 300 ex-service men and women and over 130 taxis.
The charity is supported by volunteer London licensed taxi drivers, who provide their taxis and time for free.
Brian Heffernan recently added his name to the many London Licensed Taxi drivers who have supported the charity by taking WWII veterans from across London and the South East for their Coronavirus vaccinations.
He took veteran Ernie Davis from Hornchurch to the Victoria Centre in Romford for his injection. WWII veteran Ernie Davies joined the Royal Navy in 1943 and after involvement in the Atlantic and Russian convoys spent D Day in the Channel patrolling for German U Boats.
“It was a pleasure to collect Ernie and take him for his Coronavirus injection in Romford,” said Brian, Taxi Charity volunteer and London Licensed Cab driver. “The black cab is the safest way to travel during the pandemic, as we are partitioned from our passengers and the cab can easily be cleaned between each journey. The Taxi Charity is delighted that most of the WWII veterans we support have either been vaccinated or have an appointment to receive the injection very soon and if they need a lift, we are very happy to take them, and the meter won’t be on!”