Wearing our poppies with pride

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BES Utilities has always had strong ties to The Royal British Legion and the Poppy Appeal either through members of our team serving in the Armed Forces or their families. When Joel our Head of Regulatory Affairs & Compliance joined BES in 2014 he strengthened those ties even more. Joel is a key member of The Royal British Legion, taking on the role of Chairman for his local branch and the year-round fundraising that is involved. Joel is passionate about his role within The Royal British Legion and we are proud of him for his commitment to such a worthy cause.

As we mark Remembrance Sunday we have asked Joel a few questions about his role as Branch Chairman and his work with The Royal British Legion.

How did you first become part of The Royal British Legion?

“I first got involved with my local Branch back in early 2013.  I’d always been a supporter and had worn my poppy with pride, but by this time a few my close friends were serving in the armed forces, so it felt even more personal.  When my best mate started his Royal Marines training I found myself with some spare time and I wanted to do something to support what he was doing by volunteering with a forces charity.

What does your role as Branch Chairman for The Royal British Legion entail?

“As well as chairing our regular meetings I’m essentially a figurehead for the Branch, so in addition to helping with fundraising events, I also deliver presentations about our work to various organisations as we try to attract new members and financial support.  I also help to manage the Branch’s social media accounts and spread the word about the work we do locally.”

How does BES support you in your role within The Royal British Legion? 

“I have been involved with the RBL in various roles throughout my entire career at BES and I can’t thank the directors and my colleagues enough for all their support, both in terms of their generous donations to the Poppy Appeal but also in allowing me the time to carry out my duties if they occasionally cross with the working week. Luckily mine is the sort of role where I can work remotely and don’t need to be in the office all the time, but I’m grateful for the flexibility the company shows me.

What do you most enjoy about being part of The Royal British Legion?

“Through my involvement with the Legion I have made some amazing friends, so although there is a fair bit of work involved we manage to have plenty of laughs along the way. First and foremost, though, I’m so proud to be involved in remembering the fallen but also raising funds to support those who have served or continue to serve in the armed forces. One of my closest friends served in Afghanistan and hearing his stories always bring home to me how important our work is.”

What has been the highlight of your time with The Royal British Legion?

“Without a doubt, it was taking part in this summer’s trip to France and Belgium to commemorate the 100 years since the final 100 days of the First World War. As well as taking part in battlefield tours, on the final day of the trip, 2,500 Legion members from the UK and abroad gathered for a parade and service in Ypres. I was honoured to march along so many friends and colleagues and to lay a wreath on behalf of my Branch. It truly was one of the proudest days of my life.”

On behalf of BES Utilities, we would like to honour those who have served for their country and their families. We will stand with the nation today to remember the fallen in a 2-minute silence.

If you would like to donate to The Royal British Legion to help keep supporting communities across the globe then click here.

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