The Not Forgotten Association – the difference we made

As long as there are those who suffer from their service, so long will The Not Forgotten be needed.” 

Remaining true to our founder’s words in 1919 (above) and wishes, ‘The Not Forgotten’ provides specially designed and individually tailored recreational activities and events. These  aim to combat isolation and loneliness, thus enabling our wounded and disabled service personnel and veterans to live a life with dignity and independence. An inclusive organisation, with no membership, supporting regular and reserve members of the Armed Forces, Merchant Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary who have been injured, disabled or are suffering from mental illness, regardless of age, rank or length of service.

Cardiff Christmas Lunch 2019

The Arms and Armoury Heritage Trust have in the past provided funding which has helped to support our programme. This dynamic and varied programme, whilst not clinical in nature is designed to support the individual’s personal recovery pathway. We receive no statutory funding and are therefore, heavily reliant on grant income from trusts such as the Arms and Armoury Heritage Trust in order to run our programme. 

The activities and events be they social events or Challenge activities, enable the individual  the opportunity to mix with others who may be experiencing similar feelings of isolation and loneliness.

In a typical year, ‘The Not Forgotten’ supports over 10,000 eligible beneficiaries. We do this through close working and support from many military charities and associations in order to target help where it is most needed. For many of these organisations, we are the partner of choice for entertainment & recreational events.

Beneficiaries meeting HRH The Princess Royal at the Christmas Party 2019

Our dynamic programme includes: –

  • Over 100 concerts in Care homes and Hospitals across the UK
  • Christmas lunches at Glasgow, Newcastle, Liverpool, Birmingham, Plymouth
  • Afternoon tea parties with entertainment at Leeds Castle, Taunton, York and Cambridge.
  • Numerous outings/visits to Sporting & Cultural events – including a Battlefield tour, Trooping the Colour, Highgrove Gardens, Bluebell railway, A Boat Trip on the Solent, Ascot, Wimbledon, Twickenham to name a few.
  • Respite holidays to Majorca (3 x 1 week) and Southern France (1 week)
  • 2 Royal parties – Summer Garden party at Buckingham Palace and Christmas Party at St James’s Palace
  • Individual holiday grants
  • Challenge activities including Adaptive Skiing at the Breckenridge Outdoor Education Centre, Colorado, Alpine Canoeing in France, Carp fishing Weekends, Israeli Veterans Games, Trek and ascent of Mount Triglav, and an activities weekend at Bradenham rolex sky dweller mens m326238 0007 rolex calibre 9015 mingzhu engine black tone
  • The provision of a Television, a TV licence or Computer tablet to those beneficiaries that have limited mobility and are unable to attend our events. This is aimed at combating social and digital isolation of beneficiaries.
Beneficiaries enjoying the activities weekend at Bradenham Manor 2019

‘The Not Forgotten’ has helped many hundreds of thousands of eligible beneficiaries during the past 100 years. An organisation that does not judge and importantly believes in helping a beneficiary through enduring support rather than a ‘quick fix’. A sample of some of the positive feedback we regularly receive:-

“what makes The Not Forgotten stand out is that they will give you a challenge; they take you out of your comfort zone and push you to do things you hadn’t ever imagined doing. Whether it’s taking younger injured veterans or injured serving service personnel skiing. Or taking Normandy veterans back to the beaches where they landed in 1944 – everything is done with love, compassion and a cheeky smile. The Not Forgotten brings you into their family and makes you feel human again. Put simply, without The Not Forgotten, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”  – Afghanistan Veteran

“I never thought retirement could be so full of life. The Not Forgotten has given me so many opportunities to meet other veterans, young and old, and I have made so many good memories” – World War II Veteran.advice

“There have been moments this week that I have felt completely normal, like before I was diagnosed. I have felt relaxed and positive for the first time in months  – Iraq veteran“From the moment your invitation arrived in March, they have been planning and working towards this date. I called in to see Evie on Friday afternoon; taking her age aside; she was as bright as a button and chattering nineteen to the dozen of her experiences at the Palace” – Beneficiary Chaperone

Norwich Castle

Due to the generous donation received from the AAHT, Norwich Castle has significantly supplemented its collection of replica medieval arms and armour. Previously, visitors to the castle have found the arms and armour talks to be one of the most engaging events held at Norwich Castle, with 90% of visitors rating it as excellent in 2015 and 92% in 2016. Thanks to the AAHT’s grant the Arms and Armour Talks received an incredible 98% excellent rating last year (2018).

Swords aren’t always pretty

The additional equipment that the AAHT grant allowed us to produce has filled significant gaps in the timeline of the evolution of medieval arms and armour. As a result, we have been able to depict a range of historic soldier’s equipment across different strata of feudal life throughout the middle ages. Visitors of all ages, interests, backgrounds and genders have been able to understand the variety of equipment that was used and develop a greater emotional connection to the past. Importantly, we have also used examples of skeletal remains to ground the talk with the reality of medieval warfare, revealing the true, terrifying effects of the weaponry to highlight why evolving designs of armour were essential to surviving the medieval battlefield.

Norwich Museum at Night
Discussing converted farming tools

The Arms and Armour Talks have been enjoyed by thousands of visitors since the collection was improved and have featured throughout the summer holidays and at all the major public events held at Norwich Castle such as Heritage Open Day, Museums at Night, and televised on Children in Need!

We have received heartfelt feedback from visitors who have really begun to appreciate the skill, science and engineering that can go into making arms and armour – or the hurried conversion of farming tools to makeshift weapons. Visitors can now appreciate the sense of panic that peasants would feel as trained and armoured knights charge towards them, or the replica designer rolex daytona 40mm mens 116568 watch oyster bracelet feeling of invulnerability that a full harness of armour could provide. We have received wonderful stories from children who have been inspired by the collection and adults who have taken their new-found interest to the next level by taking up blacksmithing.

Hands on with a 140lb longbow

The benefits of the improved Arms and Armour collection have been felt beyond the public Arms and Armour talks. Summer schools, scout groups, home educators, and youth groups have all requested arms and armour sessions as part of their visit to Norwich Castle. The daily tours of the castle now use the hand-crafted 140lb draw weight longbow to engage with visitors, dispel myths, and help them to appreciate the incredible strength that would have been required to use this iconic weapon. School groups have been requesting additional sessions on medieval arms and armour to begin their topic on medieval history. Our upcoming outreach program, ‘A Knight Out’, will be taking the show on the road to thousands of people at events across the country next year. The improved arms and armour collection now features proudly in the visitor experience of Norwich Castle.

The grant received from AAHT has allowed all of this to happen, fascinating people with the history of arms and armour, which we shall continue to do for years to come.