Wednesday, 13 July 2011

A Thank You

It's always nice to be thanked and last night I was at a Reception given by the Army Benevolent Fund-The Soldiers' Charity, to thank all those who support the charity and in particular the Big Curry Lunch. Thanks to the army curry is the country's favourite dish. Back in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries 20,000 British soldiers were stationed across the sub-continent and the cooks of the East India Company developed anglicised versions of of Indian dishes and curry was borne. Now in its fifth year the Charity's flagship fundraising event is the Big Curry Lunch in April. It is a national event and in London it is supported by the Lord Mayor and the event is held in Guildhall (see earlier blog)
Last night the Lord Mayor and Sheriffs attended the thank you reception from which we learned that the London lunch alone raised well over £200,000.The charity gives lifetime support to serving and retired soldiers and their families and has done so for 66 years. Purely from donations the charity raises around £7 million a year and half of this is given direct to individuals to help in areas like debt relief, mobility assistance, education bursaries, care home fees, and respite breaks; the other half is given as grants to other charities.

I discussed with a number of ABF staff who were there last night the idea of changing the charity's name. Army Benevolent Fund sounds vaguely Victorian to me and not particularly attractive. On the other hand the word 'Soldier' has considerable emotional resonance. Dropping ABF and renaming the charity simply 'The Soldiers Charity' seems eminently desirable to me. A marketing man's point of view I suppose.

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