Press Release: Taxi Charity voted UK's best voluntary/ charity project in the National Lottery A

Ted pieri and Fred Glover with Katie DerhamTed pieri and Fred Glover with Katie Derham

The London Taxi Benevolent Association for War Disabled, also known as the Taxi Charity, was presented with a National Lottery Award today, after the British public voted them UK’s Best Voluntary/ Charity project. Taxi Charity veterans, committee members and volunteer drivers were attending a summer tea dance at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, when broadcaster and Strictly star, Katie Derham appeared to present the award. The charity beat off stiff competition from over 600 organisations to reach the public voting stage in the annual awards to find the UK’s favourite lottery-funded projects. It received a funding boost from the National Lottery for last year’s trip to The Netherlands to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Dutch liberation. 92 taxi drivers and volunteers transported 120 WWII veterans plus their spouses or carers on a memorable five-day trip. On arrival in Holland, they were given a true heroes’ welcome, flagged by police outriders and cheering locals lining the roads. The veterans, including many who took part in the Dutch liberation, attended the National Liberation Parade in the town of Wageningen, visited cemeteries and memorials to their missing comrades and attended remembrance services. Their last ceremony was to lay wreaths at sea as they sailed home. Dick Goodwin, event organiser for the Taxi Charity, said: "We are absolutely delighted to have won a National Lottery Award. We'd like to say a sincere thank you to everyone that got behind us - veterans, cab drivers, family, friends and the British public - this award sends a great message to our veterans that people genuinely care about them and what they went through." Fred Glover, a 90-year-old WWII veteran who recently undertook two parachute jumps to raise money for the Taxi Charity, added: "I'm over the moon that this marvellous charity has won a National Lottery award! The cab drivers and committee members are all volunteers. They look after us so well on our trips and outings. I'm proud to be associated with them." The charity competed against six other projects to be crowned the winner of the Charity/ Voluntary category and plans to put the £3,000 cash prize towards next year's veterans' trip to Normandy. Dick Goodwin added: "Now the fun starts - we have to decide who will attend the awards ceremony in September!" The Awards will be broadcast on BBC One on Monday 12 September 2016 at 10:35pm (subject to confirmation).

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