RIFT is honoured to work closely with ABF The Soldiers' Charity, bringing much-needed support to Armed Forces personnel and their families in times of hardship or bereavement. Here's a quick round-up of some of this month's ABF news and events:

£10,000 grant awarded to BASIC

Salford-based Brain and Spinal Injury Centre (BASIC) is an organisation specialising in helping people with debilitating injuries to either the spine or brain. It also offers support for those suffering from long-term neurological conditions. ABF: The Soldiers’ Charity was delighted to award the centre £10,000 to help fund its pioneering work in Virtual Reality therapies. As an emerging technology, we’re only just seeing the tip of the iceberg of VR’s therapeutic potential. BASIC, for example, is using it to break new ground with veterans suffering from PTSD. By combining a Computer Assisted Rehabilitation Environment (CAREN) with Eye Movement and Desensitising Reprocessing techniques (EMDR), this new type of treatment is already being used to help PTSD sufferers process distressing memories.

The Lancer Smoker Cycle Ride raises funds for ABF

Debs Loveland is a former Army Welfare Service Staff Sergeant, and widow to Warrant Officer 1 (Regimental Sergeant Major) Alan ‘Lugsy’ Loveland of the 17/21 Lancers. Back in 2016, Lugsy received an individual grant from The Soldiers’ Charity to make adaptations to his home. Now, Debs has leapt at the chance to give something back to by supporting her children, their families and friends as they tackled the 50-mile Lancer Smoker Cycle Ride from the Bovington Tank Museum to Moreton, Dorset. Proceeds were donated to the charity, and the ride was dedicated to Alan and other recently fallen veterans.

Tommy ale launches

Taking its name and inspiration from the widely used nickname for British soldiers, Tommy ale is the latest beer from family brewer Wadworth. The company’s CEO, Chris Welham, says:

“We are proud to be supporting The Soldiers’ Charity during their 75th anniversary year and to see that, to this day, they continue to ensure that all soldiers, veterans and their families are afforded the independence and dignity they deserve. We hope that Tommy will raise a fantastic amount of money for a cause that is close to our hearts.”

Tommy comes in 500ml bottles, with 5p donated to ABF: The Soldiers’ Charity for every pint sold.

Operation Bletchley

Feel up to going toe-to-toe with some of the greatest code breakers in history – all while trekking 50 miles on foot? That’s the task before you in the Operation Bletchley virtual challenge. All you need is determination, ingenuity and a smartphone or fitness tracker to take part, racing to secure new lines of communication for the Cabinet War Rooms of WWII. Visit https://soldierscharity.org/events/operationbletchley/ for full details – plus a chance to win a family ticket to Bletchley Park itself, including an overnight stay.

Nottinghamshire Clay Pigeon Shoot: 13th of July

Following up on the success of last year’s event, Brandon Wood in Stubton is again the venue for the 2019 Nottinghamshire Clay Pigeon Shoot. Here are the details:

Venue

Brandon Wood Clay Ground, Stubton NG23 5DA

Prizes:

  • £300 for best team
  • £75 for best individual

Prices:

  • Individual 50 sporting – £30 per gun
  • 50 sporting and flush for teams of 3 – £50 per gun

For more information, please call 0115 957 2103 or email nottsabfclayshoot@gmail.com

D-Day Anniversary Open Air concert: 21st of July

Tickets are available now for the 75th D-Day Anniversary Open Air Concert on the Chapel Lawns of Suffolk’s Woodbridge School. Performers will include the Band of the Household Division, the Swing Machine Big Band and the D-Day Tribute Singers. Refreshments and afternoon tea will be served. Admission costs £25 per person, including a welcome reception glass of Prosecco. See here for details: https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/75th-d-day-woodbridge-concert

Those are our top picks for current and upcoming ABF events and updates. Visit https://www.soldierscharity.org for more information, and be sure to check out their online shop. Once you're done there, come back and watch this space for more from the charity next month.