A local charity that was launched a decade ago to help military veterans has been presented with a cheque for £404.35 from a local funeral directors.
The Bournemouth Above and Beyond Trust said the money will go towards a new electric wheelchair.
The money was donated by AE Jolliffe & Son in Ferndown, which is part of Dorset’s Douch Family Funeral Directors group.
Set up by the then former town councillor Amedeo Angiolini, the charity has a base on the beach at Southbourne as well as operations at Avon Heath Country Park and Upton Country Park.
More than 400 veterans have been assisted since its inception and it has expansion plans.
Amedeo said: “When I was a town councillor a veteran in his 20s was found dead in freezing weather in a local church doorway. He had difficulty re-integrating after a tour in Afghanistan.
“It prompted me to start the charity as a place where veterans could meet and we could offer help through water-sports activities and working in woodlands.
“The group meets every Tuesday and Thursday morning on the beach at Southbourne near Gordon’s Zig Zag where we have a boat shed and provide hot drinks, food and therapeutic water-sports activities. Everyone is welcome.
“Many people go swimming throughout the year and we need a new electric wheelchair to help people gain access to the beach.
“We have plans to fund another building so we can widen our group to include the local community.
“We also help veterans at Avon Heath Country Park with woodland skills such as tree work, and at Upton Country Park where we have some bee hives.
“Working with other organisations we are able to offer one-to-one help as well as our group sessions.
“The donation is extremely generous and will be put to good use in helping veterans.”
Helen Deans, from AE Jolliffe & Son, said: “We became aware of the charity through someone in the town and it seemed a wonderful cause.
“And having met Amadeo and some of the veterans its clear what a great service the charity offers.
“Our company fundraises for many charities and good causes and we’re so pleased to have been able to help the Bournemouth Above and Beyond Trust.”
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