The Army of Angels is a military charity that supports members of the UK’s armed forces who have been physically or mentally injured while serving their country in conflicts around the world. New Reach trustee Andrew McCartney has made a big impact on its board in a very short time.
The charity, based in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, supports all services and ranks and includes veterans of wars in Europe, the Far East, the Falklands, Afghanistan and the Gulf. Many of the men and women have mental health problems like post-traumatic stress disorder or physical ones such as amputations.
Reach introduced business-experienced trustee Andrew to the charity just six months ago. Working at Gloucestershire Council, he’s gathered lots of contacts and has been able to introduce them to the work of the charity. One of the most important of these has been Gloucestershire’s Rotary Club.
The charity’s co-founder, Cathy Skelnar, says, ‘After Andrew made this important connection for us, our colleague Steve Valentine gave them a short presentation about our work and they are now fundraising for us. They’ve also named Army of Angels as one of their charities of the year. A fantastic result for us.’
Andrew also helped the launch of the charity’s new shop, which opened this year, go with a bang. He arranged the attendance of Gloucester Quays Rotary President, Paul Kerrod, and for local MP Richard Graham to cut the ribbon. The shop is already a useful source of income and is set to develop even further with Andrew’s ideas and savvy business sense.
It’s the behind-the-scenes work of trustees like Andrew which enables established projects like the Route 66 bike tours to continue. The charity has just helped 10 wounded ex-servicemen and women to take part in this global motorcycle trip. Sometimes riding pillion, their involvement often increases self-esteem dented following physical and mental trauma.
On a practical day-to-day level, the injured also regularly express their gratitude for grants to buy basic living help such as a microwave, kettle or furniture. One soldier ‘couldn’t express’ how grateful he was for his mobility scooter grant, giving him the chance to leave this flat after months stuck inside.
During Trustees’ Week and beyond, we celebrate the contribution of our volunteers like Andrew who are the backbone of charities such as Army of Angels. The unseen but guiding hand through challenging times and the creative spark for sustainable development.