Celebrating 20 Years of Partnership between The Royal British Legion & The Westminster Collection

The Westminster Collection has been in proud partnership with The Royal British Legion for over 20 years – since 2004. This makes us one of the charity’s longest-term partners.

Ben France, the Head of Corporate Partnership at RBL says: “We are hugely proud to have The Westminster Collection as one of our longest-standing partners, a business that shares the Royal British Legion’s commitment to being there for the entire Armed Forces community…we are incredibly grateful to The Westminster Collection and its collectors for 20 years of dedicated support and look forward to reaching many more partnership milestones together.”

We couldn’t agree more, so wanted to put together something to show our appreciation to all the collectors who have supported this partnership – providing unwavering support for all these years. Keep reading below to read about the impact of collector’s donations and how this helps support the admirable work of the RBL’s Independent Living Advisors.

The impact of collectors like you

Over the remarkable 20 years of partnership, collectors have raised over £1.3 MILLION for the Royal British Legion. To mark the previous milestone of £1.25 million reached in 2023, we had the pleasure of presenting the Royal British Legion with a cheque from collectors for the incredible amount.

RBL cheque - Celebrating 20 Years of Partnership between The Royal British Legion & The Westminster Collection

The RBL’s Independent Living Advisors

In 2023 alone, our collectors raised a staggering £99,800 for the RBL which could fund three specialist Independent Living Advisors for a whole year.

When every day challenges get too much for someone living in their own home, RBL Independent Living Advisors make sure that they and their carers have the essential support that helps them live safely and independently. The specialist team helps people access services and funding, from Local Authorities and other groups, for home modifications, in-home care support, and much more.

Independent Living Advisors 1024x683 - Celebrating 20 Years of Partnership between The Royal British Legion & The Westminster Collection

Kingsman Anthony Cooper MBE

The RBL’s Independent Living Advisors provide support for people like Kingsman Anthony Cooper MBE:

Anthony was told he would never walk or talk again after suffering life-changing injuries in Afghanistan.

Anthony lost both his legs in a Taliban roadside bombing in Helmand Province in July 2010, and was left in a coma for five weeks. Anthony was unable to speak for several months and had to learn how to talk again, beginning with the word ‘hello’. He returned to Lancashire having defied the medics. 

Anthony Cooper - Celebrating 20 Years of Partnership between The Royal British Legion & The Westminster Collection

With the help of Karen Watson, Senior Independent Living Advisor, Anthony’s home was adapted to suit his needs, which included a series of repairs to the property. The RBL worked in conjunction with his local Council who carried out the major works.  

Anthony still struggles with PTSD but the home improvements have made a vast difference to his mental wellbeing. He says: “The house is brilliant now, I can’t thank everyone enough, I’ve built up a good relationship with Karen from the Royal British Legion, and it all came from there.”

Last year, Anthony Cooper was awarded an MBE for voluntary services to veterans in HM The King’s Official Birthday Honours List 2023. 

It’s because of support from our wonderful collectors that the Royal British Legion could do this for Anthony and many more.

In 2022-2023, RBL’s Independent Living Advice service provided advice, support, and advocacy to enable 921 people to live safely and well within their homes. 

Make a donation to help the RBL give life-long support to every generation of our Armed Forces Community: https://www.britishlegion.org.uk/get-involved/ways-to-give/donate

“We retraced the steps of the Dambusters”. How these pilots raised thousands for the RBL.

Last month we travelled to Compton Abbas Airfield in Dorset to meet two pilots who have raised thousands for the Royal British Legion.

Jason Davidson and Simon Shackell flew in specially to tell us all about a remarkable challenge they took on in May.

To mark the 80th anniversary of the Dambusters Raid, they undertook a commemorative flight to recognise the technical skills, ingenuity and courage of those who conducted the legendary air operation.  

And in doing so, they have already raised over £3,000 for the Royal British Legion!

Watch below as we meet Jason and Simon, who tell us about the challenge and why they chose to raise funds for the RBL.

We were delighted to gift Jason and Simon a 2023 Royal British Legion Poppy® Silver Proof £5 each as well as the FINAL 2023 Poppy® Silver Masterpiece Coin to be struck to honour their achievements and thank them for their fundraising efforts…

Watch the interview and gifting in full below or read on to find out more about Jason and Simon’s story…

Click here to view Jason and Simon’s fundraising page >>

Jason and Simon’s Story

Both Simon and Jason have a close connection to the military – Jason served in the Parachute Regiment for over 22 years and his twin brother was also in the RAF. Simon’s father was a navigator in the RAF during National Service.

1 1 - “We retraced the steps of the Dambusters”. How these pilots raised thousands for the RBL.
Jason and Simon took on the challenge to honour the skill shown by the 617 Squadron.

They took on the challenge as they were inspired by the bravery and skill that the 617 Squadron showed. Simon said that the idea was to “champion the engineering aspect” as well as the airmanship. “It really struck home how difficult that would have been, and how dangerous. The airmanship was what blew me away”, Jason said.

2 - “We retraced the steps of the Dambusters”. How these pilots raised thousands for the RBL.
As part of the commemorative flight they passed over 8 locations with links to the Dambusters, including Chesil Beach in Dorset.

On 16th May 2023, the 80th anniversary of the Dambusters Raid, Jason and Simon began their challenge – departing from the RAF St Athan airfield site on a mission to pass over 8 locations:

  • Chesil Beach, Dorset – testing location for the “bouncing bomb”
  • Reculver Bay, Kent – testing location for the “bouncing bomb”
  • East Kirkby Aviation Heritage Centre, Lincolnshire – a unique living museum to the Dambusters and home of ‘Just Jane’.
  • Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire – home of the Dambusters Memorial
  • RAF Scampton, Lincolnshire – the wartime base of the 617 Squadron and location where the Raid was launched
  • Derwent Dam, Sheffield – a location closely resembling the Möhne Dam where the Dambusters practiced for the Raid.
  • Nant-y-Gro Dam, Rhayader – the site where Barnes Wallis successfully demonstrated the concept of the depth charge mine.
  • Penarth, Glamorgan – the site of Wing Commander Guy Gibson’s memorial and his wartime home.

Jason and Simon conducted each flight using only maps, stopwatches and compasses to navigate as the Dambusters did.

4 - “We retraced the steps of the Dambusters”. How these pilots raised thousands for the RBL.
Jason and Simon used only maps, stopwatches and compasses to navigate as the Dambusters did.

You can find out more about the challenge and donate here >>

The 2023 Official RBL Poppy® Coin Range

For nearly 20 years, The Westminster Collection has released coins in support of the Royal British Legion – and collectors have raised over £1.25 million for the RBL.

The 2023 coin range is available to order now but with stock selling fast, you’ll need to act today to secure your tribute…

RBL BLOG IMAGES - “We retraced the steps of the Dambusters”. How these pilots raised thousands for the RBL.

Prices start from JUST £25 (+p&p) – Click here to view the range >>

Crafting History: the Royal British Legion’s 2023 Silver Masterpiece

Remembrance Sunday is an important time for the nation to honour the valour, sacrifice, and enduring spirit of all those who have served. Now as tribute, a remarkable Masterpiece has been released…

Introducing the Royal British Legion’s 2023 Masterpiece Silver 5oz Coin

Click the black dots on the image above to learn about each of the key features of this year’s masterpiece – and then continue reading below to get the full story!

Let’s journey through the truly unique features of this brand new ‘Masterpiece’.

At the heart of this stunning coin lies a tangible connection to one of the most iconic events of World War II – the Dambusters Raid. This year marked the 80th anniversary of the raid.

Let me explain. At the centre of the coin, you can see there is a Lancaster aircraft. This feature has been crafted with the metal from the starboard outer engine housing of Avro Lancaster PA474 – the same type of aircraft that participated in the historic mission!

This bridges the gap between past and present, allowing us to hold a piece of history in our hands.

The artwork on the coin showcases a powerful scene – a Lancaster dropping the two petal Poppy® over The Mall – this touching image is inspired by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight’s tradition of dropping poppies to commemorate those who lost their lives fighting for our freedom. The scene pays tribute to the sacrifices of those that have fallen.  

The original piece of Lancaster included in the Masterpiece is from the exact same plane that has participated in this symbolic act of Remembrance by the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

Click here to secure yours >>

Struck from pure Silver the ‘Masterpiece’ design is completed with the Lancaster being flanked by a Spitfire and a Hurricane – two legendary aircraft that played pivotal roles in defending the skies during WWII – representing the courage of the pilots who used them to fight for our freedom.

Look closely, and you’ll discover another layer of significance in the coin’s design. In the background, Buckingham Palace is also featured on the map. This stands as a poignant reminder of Royalty’s role in difficult times for the nation – as well as a nod to the significant year the Royal family has had.

Click the video below to see the unboxing of the Masterpiece.

A donation to the Royal British Legion

The 2023 Masterpiece Silver Coin holds an opportunity for anyone passionate about helping veterans, to contribute to a noble cause. With each purchase – 10% of the sale will be donated to the Royal British Legion. This gesture not only enriches the value of the coin but also helps to ensure that the legacy of those who have served lives on through meaningful initiatives.

ONLY 250 AVAILABLE – secure yours while you can!

Each coin in this limited-edition release is accompanied by an individually numbered certificate – so you know which number you have secured out of the tiny worldwide edition limit of 250.

But that’s not all – the coin also comes with an informational booklet that delves into the historical significance of each design element.

From the inclusion of an actual Lancaster plane fragment to the poignant artwork of aircraft, two petal Poppy, and royalty, every detail has been meticulously crafted to honour the sacrifices made by those who came before us.

RBL 2023 Poppy Masterpiece Comparison with 10p - Crafting History: the Royal British Legion’s 2023 Silver Masterpiece
A size comparison of the Masterpiece beside a ten pence piece.

Click here to own yours >>

By securing this coin, you not only possess a piece of history but also contribute to the Royal British Legion’s vital work in supporting today’s Armed Forces community.

As of this year, The Westminster Collection has raised a remarkable £1.25 million for the Royal British Legion through the creation of Remembrance and Poppy-themed coins click here to read more about where your donations go >>

We have plenty more fantastic coins and commemoratives issued in support of the Royal British Legion just like today’s new release so…

Click here for the range of 2023 Remembrance Poppy coins issued in support of the Royal British Legion >>

10% from the sale of this product will be paid to The Royal British Legion Trading Limited, which gives its taxable profits to The Royal British Legion (charity no. 219279) or Poppyscotland (Scottish charity SC014096).