My first introduction to the Officers’ Association came when I was a case worker with the Royal British Legion (RBL) and a request from the OABF led me into the world of the ‘Honorary Representatives.’
Some years before that I was working in business administration while also being a carer first to my father, then my mother, and finally, in 1999, my daughter, who had been diagnosed with a brain tumour. After a six-year battle with cancer, she died at the age of 38, at which time I felt I needed something to take the place of the loved ones I had lost. I trained as an RBL case worker in 2005 after being nominated by my local branch. When I left the RBL, I was asked to continue my OABF role and have since had the privilege of meeting and working with many people.
What made me go down this voluntary road? Well, in the early 1960’s I joined Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps (RAMC) and was posted first to Woolwich and then to Singapore for three years. I have many happy memories of my time spent there and making lifelong friendships with fellow nurses and members of the RAMC. Following marriage to a Royal Marine, I then experienced life as a Service wife, bringing up two children while moving to different houses, schools and even different countries.
What wonderful opportunities and what better way of giving back than to devote a few hours a week or month to helping Veterans and their dependants. It has been so rewarding being able to ‘make a difference’ and to hear how just a little help at a time of need has turned lives around and enabled people to move forward with hope and confidence.