On Thursday 25th October 2018, Just Rifles hosted their 8th annual dinner dance, in aid of wounded and sick Rifles veterans and their families. With 2018 being the centenary year since the end of WWI, the night was all the more poignant as guests remembered the sacrifices made both throughout history, and from the recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan
The annual event marks the pinnacle of Just Rifles' busy fundraising calendar, which has seen 17 Riflemen take part in individual fundraising efforts over the past 12 months. With an ever-expanding network of beneficiaries and supporters, Just Rifles continues to organise access career, lifestyle and medical help where it is needed most, and the ripple effect of support is starting to show.
Examples of projects this year have included new sails for triple amputee Craig Woods as he aims to sail the world; matching beneficiaries with anti-poaching roles in South Africa with Veterans 4 Wildlife; and placement of homeless veterans with Live In Guardians via Rifles Security Solutions.
With veteran suicide reaching an all-time high this year, Just Rifles have increasingly focused on the impact of PTSD within the service community. A resulting collaboration with ex-Rifles officer David Hill to offer Simplicity in Mind coaching has been one of the key initiatives this year, and is already becoming a vital resource to those in urgent need of support.
Lieutenant General Patrick Sanders gave an empowering speech that touched upon the need for psychological support to ex-servicemen and women, and the high price of PTSD. Praising the charity sector, Lt Gen Sanders said: "this is an enormously important event for us. The regiment is deeply grateful for the support we get from Just Rifles".
Guests on the night included Just Rifles beneficiaries Rifleman Gary Green and Corporal Ricky Ferguson MC, both of whom took to the stage to explain the impact of their own hidden wounds; as well as General Sir Nick Carter, and many other serving members of the Armed Forces. Also in attendance were Stephen Vause and his family, Dame Elizabeth and Judge Rinder.
Just Rifles would like to thank kind donations from Bud Light, Schweppes, and Bains Whisky.