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 Romford News Stories

46 minutes ago
NHS Logo Picture: PA Images

A community psychiatric nurse has been suspended from working for a year after she accessed medical records without clinical justification and acted aggressively in front of a patient.

Yesterday, 15:00
Sanders School pupil, Mark Trew, has been chosen to take part in a film promoting a mentoring scheme. Photo: Stacey Kyraciou/Sanders School

Eight teenagers are taking part in a one-of-a-kind mentoring scheme that gives them the opportunity to mentor nursery children to develop self-esteem and confidence.

Yesterday, 12:00
Left to right: Actors Charlie Borg and Jai Sepple

“I wish I were big” were the words that changed everything in hit 80s movie Big and theatre-goers will be able to follow what happens next as the musical adaptation makes its way to the Brookside Theatre.

Yesterday, 10:00
Roxana received plaque certifying her IQ results from the mayor

An 11-year-old girl has been awarded membership to an exclusive society, reserved for people with the highest IQs in the country.

Saturday, May 28, 2016
John Brouder, NELFT NHS Foundation Trust chief executive

A £12m grant is set to train talented graduates as social workers to help people living with mental health conditions.

Saturday, May 28, 2016
Tower blocks, Napier and New Plynouth house

The “forgotten flats of the Mardyke Estate” could soon be demolished and replaced with modern, affordable housing.

Saturday, May 28, 2016
Linda Borg, Maureen Ballard, Janet Abbott, Manvir Kaur and Charlotte Oxby

A retired district nurse will join hundreds of women for a moonlit walk through Romford to support a charity close to her heart.

Friday, May 27, 2016
A motorcyclist has been taken to hospital after a collision in Southend

A motorcyclist from Upminster has been taken to hospital after a collision in Southend.

Newsletter Sign Up

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

Win a BMW 1 series

There are fewer cars currently on the market more stylish and exciting than the BMW. Known all over the world as one of the best car manufacturers, the BMW is renowned for sleek designs and fantastic high quality workmanship.

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe