The 16th Lord Mayor’s Big Curry Lunch took place on Thursday 30 March at London’s Guildhall, hosted by The Rt Hon The Lord Mayor of the City of London Alderman Nicholas Lyons and The Lady Mayoress Mrs Felicity Lyons.
The Royal guests at this year’s Lunch were Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester. They met veterans and beneficiaries of all three services, sponsors, the teams running the Livery Stalls, guests and volunteers.
This year we were delighted that three of our Army veteran beneficiaries attended as special guests: Donna Purnell, Lee Harris-Hamer and John Cutting, all of whom have achieved so much since leaving the Army, both personally and professionally, with help from ABF The Soldiers’ Charity.
Since 2019, the Lord Mayor’s Big Curry Lunch has aligned with the employability strand of the Lord Mayor’s “A Better City for All” strategy, with the money raised helping Armed Forces veterans into stable and rewarding employment. This year we aim to fund up to 16 veterans through the Pain Management Programme at the King Edward VII Hospital’s Centre for Veterans’ Health, and 65 veterans through the RBLI’s Lifeworks programme, which helps to prepare veterans for employment in the civilian world.
The three single Service charities (ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity and the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund) are very grateful to The Lord Mayor of London for hosting the Lunch; the principal sponsor, Phoenix Group; the Lord Mayor’s Big Curry Lunch Committee; and all the supporters, volunteers and guests who again made this year’s event such a memorable occasion.
Given this year’s record attendance of around 1,500 guests, we expect to add significantly to the £2.85 million raised by the Lunch since 2008.