WW2 Spitfire pilot shares his wartime experiences for RAF Centenary

On 1st April 2018, the RAF will celebrate 100 years since its formation. The Royal Star & Garter Homes, a Charity that provides specialist care for veterans and their partners who live with disability or dementia, has been privileged to care for many RAF veterans in its 102-year history. Once such resident is Second World War Spitfire pilot Phillip Johnson. To commemorate the RAF centenary, here we share his incredible story.

Phillip joined the RAF on his 18th birthday and underwent the demanding Spitfire pilot training in the UK, Africa and Egypt. Once his training was complete Phillip was flown to Malta and joined 185 Squadron.

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HRH Princess Alexandra visits veterans at The Royal Star & Garter Homes

Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra visited the disabled veterans living at The Royal Star & Garter Homes, Surbiton, to mark the Charity’s 102nd anniversary. The Princess was received by the Charity’s Chairman, Major General Tim Tyler, Chief Executive, Andy Cole, Director of Care, Pauline Shaw, and Surbiton Home Manager, Barbara Carter.

Her Royal Highness was welcomed by Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) veteran Phyllis and presented with a beautiful yellow posy. Phyllis commented, “The Princess was absolutely delightful. She asked about my time in the WAAF and we chatted for a long time about all sorts of things. I will always remember today with great fondness and happiness.”

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British Empire Medal for Veterans Charity’s Oldest Volunteer

Mrs Betty Johnson, the oldest volunteer at The Royal Star & Garter Homes, has been awarded a British Empire Medal in the 2018 New Year’s Honours List for her service to charities and non-profit organisations.

Betty, who is 89, has been a volunteer throughout her life, working for the Girl Guides. She first started volunteering at The Royal Star & Garter Homes, a charity which cares for disabled veterans who live with disability or dementia, in 2000. Betty began volunteering originally at the charity’s former Richmond Home after her husband, who was a resident there, passed away.

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Veterans’ Charity Director awarded an OBE

The Director of Care at The Royal Star & Garter Homes has received an OBE in the 2018 New Year’s Honours List. The award was made to Pauline Shaw in recognition of her services to Veterans.

As a nurse, Pauline has worked in clinical practice and health & social care since 1982. She has held the position of Director of Care & Service Development at The Royal Star & Garter Homes, a charity which cares for military veterans living with disability or dementia, since 2002. This award acknowledges her passionate and unwavering commitment to improving care for older people, and her courage and determination in leading an innovative approach to care.

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Bestselling crime and thriller writer to host ‘evening with’ for local charity

International bestselling crime and thriller writer, Peter James, famous for the Brighton-based Roy Grace series, is to host an ‘evening with’ in aid of Sussex charity, Care for Veterans.
Mr James, author of 12 consecutive Sunday Times no.1s whose books have sold 19 million copies worldwide, will talk about his life and extensive career, as well as answer questions from members of the audience. Some of his works will also be on sale at the event, and guests will have the opportunity to get them signed by the author.

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Veterans and toddlers share festive fun

With Christmas just around the corner, disabled veterans at The Royal Star & Garter Homes welcomed babies and toddlers to a fun-filled, Christmas themed multi-sensory class held at the Charity’s Solihull Home. Residents were invited to join in the festive fun alongside the youngsters. The class was run by Hartbeeps, as part of an ongoing partnership between the Solihull Home and the local group to help bring generations together.

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Christmas Bazaar raises over £4,000 for disabled veterans

Worthing-based charity, Care for Veterans, held its annual Christmas Bazaar on Saturday 2 December, and the event raised a fantastic total of £4,200!

More than 300 visitors browsed the various craft stalls at the Christmas market as they enjoyed mulled wine and mince pies, while listening to carols sung by the Mid Sussex Choir. Children won lots of prizes on the teddy tombola, visited Santa in his grotto, and The Owls About Town even made a special appearance, which was enjoyed by visitors and Care for Veterans’ residents.

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Charity Glitter Ball is a dazzling success

On Saturday 18 November, the Worthing-based charity, Care for Veterans, held its second annual Glitter Ball at the Hilton Avisford Park Hotel in Arundel, and raised just under £14,000 for the disabled veterans who it cares for.

The 160 guests in attendance were welcomed with a drinks reception and were wowed by card tricks from magician, Harvey Woods. Then it was into the Grand Hall for dinner. Here, guests enjoyed a delicious three course meal, before everyone got on the dancefloor to dance the night away to the fantastic local band, The Alternatives!

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Serving soldiers visit veterans at local charity

On Monday 6 November, soldiers from 12 Regiment, Royal Artillery based at Thorney Island, joined Worthing Mayor, Cllr Alex Harman, to open the Garden of Remembrance at Worthing Town Hall.

The soldiers, along with representatives of local charity, Care for Veterans, local dignitaries, military associations and schools, attended the ceremony to launch Remembrance Week, which honours those members of the armed forces who have been killed in conflict.

Following the ceremony, the soldiers returned to Care for Veterans to meet with the veterans the charity cares for, which has now become an annual tradition.

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Princess visits charity that cares for veterans

Last week, HRH Princess Alexandra came to Worthing to visit residents and staff at local charity, Care for Veterans, of which she is President.

The charity (formerly known as The Queen Alexandra Hospital Home), has recently extended one of its wings, to enlarge and improve the facilities in two existing rooms and build two additional single en-suite rooms. This not only provides two more beds, enabling the charity to care for more veterans and their family members, but it also gives greater flexibility when admitting both permanent and respite residents.

Her Royal Highness came to officially open the extended ward, which has been renamed the Richmond Wing.

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