Search

Romford & District Royal Marines Association: Probably the world’s most successful branch

09:15 19 February 2013

A group from the Royal Marines

A group from the Royal Marines' Association at a collection in Dagenham

Archant

Where in the world would you find the top fundraising Royal Marines Assocation district branch? Right here in Havering. Ian Weinfass spoke to branch chairman Les Wright about the group’s work.

From the City of London to the Gold Coast of Australia, the Royal Marines Association has branches which span the globe – and they all work to raise money for charity.

But it’s a branch that meets in Hornchurch which has raised more than any other in the world in recent years.

The East Anglia Region has been recognised as the most successful fundraising area for the past three years running, and the Romford and District Branch has raised more than 70 per cent of each year’s total.

The branch raises money to support servicemen and women injured in Iraq and Afghanistan, the families of those who died in service and veterans of previous conflicts.

Branch chairman Les Wright reflected on the fundraising success: “We’re chuffed about it and it’s nice to get recognition for your work, but that’s not the most important thing,” he said.

“Until three years ago when our region first won it, we didn’t even know there was a prize. What amazes us is the generosity of the public, who don’t stop giving.”

He explained: “We have a very good relationship with most local supermarkets and are fortunate that they support our servicemen and women wholeheartedly, so you will often come across us collecting somewhere in Havering.”

Formed in March 1995 by a small group of former Royal Marine Commandos, the first chairman was Ron Todd, the former chairman of the Transport and General Workers Union (TGWU) and one of the most influential trade unionists in the country.

At his funeral at Dagenham & Redbridge Football Club’s Victoria Road ground in 2005, attended by Gordon Brown, John Prescott and Tony Benn, the association formed a guard of honour with members of the Royal Naval Association.

Les has fond memories of his predecessor. He said: “We didn’t agree about politics, but he was such brilliant company. What impressed me most was that he was man of principle – at his funeral they laid on a London bus as he wasn’t the type to have a fancy car.”

The branch strives to continue the work started by its founders and is currently helping to raise money for The Fisher House Project, a multi-sports rehabilitation unit in Birmingham, which will provide a lifeline for some of the most seriously injured veterans.

Les added: “There are many projects which benefit our servicemen and women that we have undertaken and there will be many more needed.

But he explained: “Being a member of the association is not all work, we have a very active social calendar which includes dinner dances, nights at the dogs, and much more.”

The branch meets on the third Wednesday of every month at the Royal British Legion Club, High Street, Hornchurch at 8pm.

For more information call Les on 01708 509 673.

0 comments

Latest News Stories

08:42
The fire is believed to have been caused by unattended candles

Firefighters were called out into 70mph winds to reports of a barbecue fire last night.

07:00
Cllr Wendy Brice-Thompson

Members of a disabled sports group relying on community transport will have to make their own way to the club when funding is cut.

Yesterday, 18:35
The fire brigade was called after a whole roof lifted up in the wind

The roof of a block of garages completely lifted up in the wind and had to be brought to the ground by the fire brigade.

Yesterday, 17:37
Time FM Steve Allen hosts the weekly chat with the Recorder

Parking, Gallows Corner and Australia’s answer to Nigella Lawson were the topics dissected at last week’s Time 107.5 FM weekly paper review.

Yesterday, 17:08
Leah Clarke Dyer (Photo: Metropolitan Police)

Havering police are asking for help to find a 14-year-old girl, who has been missing for over a week.

Yesterday, 16:39
the dance-music festival We Are FSTVL will run from May 27 to June 1, 2016 in Upminster

Organisers of a dance-music festival have been granted a license after promising officials measures will be taken to avoid the chaos seen as revellers tried to leave last year’s event.

Yesterday, 12:04
London will not quite escape Storm Imogen (Picture: PA Images)

Londoners are being warned to expect gale force winds of up to 70 miles per hour and heavy rain on Monday as Storm Imogen sweeps over Britain.

Yesterday, 11:48
Who will you vote for? (Credit: PA/Jon Giddens)

Three charities in the borough will receive up to £12,000, and readers of the Recorder can help decide who should get the proceeds.

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

News from your area

WW100

Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.

Competitions

Sony Smart Ultra HD 55'' LED TV

Enjoy the ultimate entertainment experience in your living room with the Sony Smart Ultra 55’’ LED TV. Be the envy of all your friends with this huge TV- you can change your living room into your own cinema! Get the boys around to watch the football or get the girls around to watch the DVD of 50 Shades.. this is a prize that everyone would enjoy! Stand a chance to upgrade your current entertainment system by wining this fantastic prize.

Surface Pro 4

Technology is ever evolving. We are constantly being shown new technology that is innovative, revolutionary and designed to make life easier for us all. Gone are the days of dial up modems and computers so large you needed half a room to store it. We are in the age of smooth, small and sleek. Companies are all trying their best to create technology that is easy to transport and guaranteed to be user friendly.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe