In times where the world witnesses constant change, one constant remains: our undying gratitude and commitment to our veterans. These brave men and women have given their all, and as communities, we have a role to play in ensuring they receive the support they deserve. Fundraising for charities has become increasingly important, especially in our current climate. Charities rely heavily on the generosity of the public to sustain their noble missions. And today, we are spotlighting a special fundraiser that aims to do just that, in honour of Paul “Woody” Woodland.
Remembering Paul “Woody” Woodland and the Origin of Woody’s Lodge
October is the month we’ve chosen to remember and celebrate the life of Paul “Woody” Woodland, a steadfast advocate for veterans and their families. As a proud Royal Marine and member of the Elite Special Boat Service, Woody tragically lost his life in 2012 during a training exercise, just before he was set to return for a second tour of duty in Afghanistan. Born and schooled in Penarth, South Wales, Woody had a burning passion to serve as a Royal Marine from an early age.
Upon completing his service, Woody had a dream – a simple yet profound one. He envisioned building a log cabin, a sanctuary where he could dwell with his family in peace and safety. This very dream laid the foundation for what we now know as Woody’s Lodge. After two rigorous years of planning and the invaluable support of the Royal Navy in Wales and Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Associations, this dream became a reality.
In the autumn of 2016, dedicated ex-service volunteers refurbished the residential housing at Royal Navy Wales’ HMS Cambria, which led to the establishment of the first Woody’s Lodge in February 2017. This serene location, set within tranquil green spaces and offering panoramic views of the Bristol Channel, provided a comforting haven for veterans and their families.
Woody’s Lodge serves as a pivotal communication and social hub for veterans. Within just the first six months, the lodge welcomed over 1,200 visits from veterans spanning the Vale and Cardiff regions. Not just a retreat, the lodge also facilitates the operations of over 20 charitable and statutory agencies, including The Royal British Legion, NHS, Dept. of Works & Pensions, and many others.
By 2018, the expanding vision of Woody’s Lodge was realized with its relocation to Amelia Trust Farm, near Barry, and by branching out with additional lodges in North and West Wales. The ethos of the Amelia Trust Farm, which resonates with the core values of Woody’s Lodge, provided an ideal setting for the charity’s growth.
In 2017, Woody’s Lodge, alongside partners Age Cymru and Age Alliance Wales, secured Armed Forces Covenant Funding. This supported their mission of assisting veterans aged 60 and over, addressing challenges they face, especially concerning physical and mental health, finances, and housing.
The legacy of Paul “Woody” Woodland lives on at Woody’s Lodge. By naming this Armed Forces Charity in his honour, we continuously commemorate his life, his service, and his indelible mark on the community. His belief in unity, the power of community, and the change instigated by acts of kindness is the cornerstone of our mission.
Helping Veterans, One Treat at a Time
As autumn leaves start to fall and the air becomes crisp, it’s the perfect time to embrace the warmth of community, coffee, and cakes. This year, let’s come together for a heartwarming cause in remembrance of our dear friend Paul.
Join the Nationwide Bake and Brew Event
Imagine walking into a room filled with the comforting aroma of freshly brewed coffee mingling with the scent of just-out-of-the-oven cookies, cakes, and muffins. These delightful sensations are more than just a feast for the senses. They represent love, remembrance, and unity. And we’re calling upon you to create this atmosphere in your locality!
How Can You Help?
Bake! Gather your colleagues, friends, or family, and prepare those mouthwatering delights. Whether it’s cookies, brownies, scones, or any other delicacy, your contribution counts.
Brew! Serve your cakes with a side of freshly brewed coffee or tea.
Donate! With your generous contribution, we can lift the heavy burdens these brave heroes carry. By making a donation today, you can bring joy, purpose, and life-saving services to those who have sacrificed so much for our safety and freedom.The funds raised from your bake sale will directly support Woody’s Lodge, continuing the legacy of providing essential support to veterans and their families.
Businesses, Schools, and Communities Unite
This is an excellent opportunity for businesses to showcase their commitment to the community. For schools, it’s a chance to teach students about charity, service, and the value of community. And for everyone else, it’s a moment to come together, share stories, and remember the incredible impact of one man’s mission.
Be Part of the Change
Are you ready to become a beacon of hope this October? Join us on Thursday, 5 October for this event or hold your own event anytime in the month of October. To register or to get more details, please reach out to us at [email protected].
This autumn, let’s not just watch the leaves change. Let’s be the change. Bake, brew, and bring about a better tomorrow in remembrance of Paul “Woody” Woodland.