Meet our members
Some of our members explain why they joined and the benefits of Legion membership for them.
Kevin Madge is both leader of the Carmarthenshire Council and Chairman of the Garnant Branch of the Legion; the Community Covenant scheme is proving to be a perfect blend of his skills in these roles.
Kevin's grandfather founded the Garnant Branch in 1923, but although he became a councillor in 1979, Kevin was not involved with the Legion until he was asked to be President 20 years later, a position he has now held for 10 years.
Reaching out to new generations
Garnant Branch has found a particularly powerful connection to the local school, where the Legion memorial to the fallen is located and where the Branch President gives talks to the children.
"Each November we share Remembrance with them,” says Kevin, “and as well as the children being engaged, the parents come to the event as well. So we have this younger generation joining in with us."
In association with the Community Covenant Scheme, Kevin is also the council's Armed Forces champion.
"As leader of the council it felt right for me to take the lead on this,” he says.
“We're trying to draw down Community Covenant money to help us provide the best service possible. I've learned over the years that people come out of the Forces and often get a raw deal. They don't get the treatment they should, so we’re trying to make a difference there."Kevin Madge
He also works to ensure the Legion's message is available to the whole community, working closely with the Wales Area staff to ensure that frontline council staff in contact centres are informed about the needs of ex-Armed Forces people.
"Working in partnership with the Legion has been a very positive step for all concerned. It's about getting across this message: the Legion can help, this is how it can help, please make sure people who need help are told about us."
JJ Jarvis joined the 5th Royal Inniskilling Dragoon Guards in 1985, which became the Royal Dragoon Guards in 1992, and currently serves as a WO1 with HQ Land Forces in Andover as a training analyst.
"I originally joined the Legion as a member in 1989 and the Riders Branch in 2005. There are currently plenty of Service charities you can donate your time to, but only the Legion reaches across the full spectrum helping anyone who qualifies as a beneficiary without a single focus.
“There have been several highlights since I joined the Riders, which include everything from putting a smile on a youngster's face as they sit on a bike at a show; to receiving applause for what we have achieved by the veterans during the Weymouth Veterans parade; having 30 bikes ride through Beaulieu for the launch of the Poppy Appeal; to the afternoon we spent in the company of Prince Charles at Clarence House.
“To have 90 bikes within the grounds was an achievement and certainly made a quite a spectacle. Plus we’ve raised £250,000 for the Poppy Appeal over two years - not bad for a bunch of bikers.
“Do as much or as little as you like within your Branch, just show your support for our Service personnel."JJ Jarvis