They didn’t plan on becoming volunteers, but after unexpectedly enjoying one of Help for Heroes’ Tesco national collections a couple of years ago, Jacqui and Neil Hogg were determined to become part of a cause that “we should all be grateful for”.
The husband and wife from Staines had supported the Charity in the form of regular donations since its creation in 2007, and they said they were surprised by how they felt after meeting and speaking to the public.
Neil said: “We never really considered volunteering, and stupidly we just thought it was the military people who were doing it.
“But when we did the national collection (Tesco), we were shocked at the positive attitude and support for Help for Heroes from the public. It filled us with a really warm feeling and we decided there and then that we wanted to increase our support in any way we could.”
During the last two years, the couple have often been seen with their collection tin in and around London and have taken to Twickenham station in recent times ahead of rugby internationals, tin in hand.
They regularly hold stalls at supermarkets and events, and have planned an exciting collection this spring, namely, a trip to Windsor where the Hogg’s hope to capitalise on the jovial spirit of the Royal wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, and raise some essential funds for our wounded, injured and sick Service Personnel.
Jacqui said it was essential to give something back to the men and women of the Armed Forces who “give us so much protection”.
She said: “The military have enabled our freedom, and if they are willing to risk their lives then it is only right that they receive the best care and support possible thereafter.
“Because of Help for Heroes, when Servicemen and women do suffer and get injured, there is the necessary assistance that they require. But it is also the crucial support of the Great British public that has helped make this possible.”
Due to the Hogg’s tireless fundraising efforts, they were recently presented with an “Over and Above” award, given to those who have gone the extra mile for the Charity.
The couple said they were proud and “very humbled” to receive the award, but added that volunteering was just a small effort, and they would keep on collecting as much money as possible.
“Our soldiers, sailors and airmen receive help from Help for Heroes, both mentally and physically, but it is not a five-minute fix.
“Volunteering can be so rewarding, and I would say to those looking for a new hobby or interested in helping out to join up.
“It is fantastic to meet people, and you really do feel part of a team. So, if you think this is something that would suit you then please sign up and join us!”
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Regular donations provide a sustained focus on rebuilding the lives of our wounded Servicemen and women.