Leading regional law firm Peter Lynn and Partners Solicitors have made a charitable donation to Woody’s Lodge, the Welsh charity founded to support the Armed Forces, Emergency Services and Reservists.
The donation, which was made by Partner Catrin Stephens, took place at the charity’s Annual Ball in Hensol Castle. The ball closed the charity’s Inaugural cycle event from Cardiff to Paris which collectively raised a phenomenal £85,000.
“We work extensively with members of the armed forces and emergency services,” said Catrin, “So when the Woody’s Lodge charity was brought to our attention, we were only too happy to support them.”
Founded in 2017, Woody’s Lodge commemorates Paul ‘Woody’ Woodland who was tragically killed in a boating exercise serving with the Special Boat service in 2012.
Sian Woodland, Paul’s wife and Co-Founder and Deputy CEO of Woody’s Lodge, said,
“When Paul died, the thought of him not being remembered for the amazing man he was, and what he put himself through to get to where he was in his career killed me.”
“So for 4 years after his passing, I fundraised in his memory for military charities where I raised over £100,000. That figure would not have been possible without the support of his family, friends, and the military community within Wales.”
Whilst spending time fundraising, it became apparent that there was a need for somewhere for veterans and their families to go to socialise and be with like-minded people.
“Paul’s dream had always been to build a log cabin where we would be able to live once he completed his Armed Forces career, so we decided to take Paul’s dream and give it to the Veterans, Emergency service workers and their families across Wales.”
And in 2017, this dream became a reality with the first Woody’s Lodge opening at RN HMS Cambria as a communication and social hub, offering safe, peaceful and familiar surroundings for veterans and their families.
“In 2018, we moved the charity to the Vale of Glamorgan,” continued Sian, “and thanks to the hard work of our amazing volunteers and fundraisers, we now have 3 farm sites across Wales, with 15 satellite drop-in centres.”
Within these sites, the charity supports their patrons through socialisation, isolation, referrals to other agencies, activities, benefits, pension support, an ear to listen, space and time. Over the last 6-months alone, they have supported over 1,100 veterans and drawn down over £430,000 in unpaid benefits and pensions.
“Our vision at Woody’s is to build on the support we offer veterans, and thanks to the support of the likes of Peter Lynn and Partners, we are well on track to achieving our goals and keeping the memory of Paul very much alive.”