Prince Harry gives his support to Salisbury charity

Prince Harry gives his support to Salisbury charity

Published by The Spire FM News Team at 12:40pm 16th November 2017. (Updated at 12:47pm 16th November 2017)

The Royal hosts a 'Remembrance Dinner' to celebrate an armed forces charity that's close to his heart.

Prince Harry has hosted a special 'Remembrance Dinner' celebrating the work of Salisbury based 'The Gurkha Welfare Trust'.

His Royal Highness welcomed guests to the black-tie fundraising event last night (Weds 15 November) at the State Apartments in Kensington Palace.

The Prince has a special interest in the local charity having served with the 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles during his tour of Afghanistan in 2007-2008.

During that trip Prince Harry memorably said:

"When you know you are with the Gurkhas, I think there's no safer place to be, really."

GWT Kensington Palace Fundraiser 6 - 2017 11 15 (credit Mark Brightwell The Gurkha Welfare Trust)

PRINCE HARRY: Royal praises Salisbury's Gurkha Welfare Trust

Among those attending were Gurkha Welfare Trust (GWT) Vice Patrons Joanna Lumley and Field Marshal Sir John Chapple.

GWT Kensington Palace Fundraiser Joanna Lumley - 2017 11 15 (credit Mark Brightwell The Gurkha Welfare Trust)

GWT Vice Patron Joanna Lumley with Prince Harry

ABOUT OUR LOCAL CHARITY:

'The Gurkha Welfare Trust' has headquarters firmly rooted in Salisbury, based at Cross Keys House on Queen Street in the city centre. Their mission is to ensure that Gurkha veterans, their widows and the wider Gurkha community can live with dignity, with GWT providing financial, medical and community aid in Nepal. Here in the UK, along with other service charities and government bodies GWT provide advice and support to help thousands of retired Gurkhas and their families who've chosen to settle in this country.

REMEMBRANCE DINNER:

Speaking at the start of the event Prince Harry said how despite his association with the Gurkhas not equalling the 40 years of his father, it is a relationship which is similarly important to him:

"The men of the Royal Gurkha Rifles are some of the most dedicated, caring, humble and courageous soldiers I have ever had the privilege to meet. They are an inspiration to me and to anyone fortunate enough to meet them. I am honoured to call them my friends."

"The Gurkha Welfare Trust provides the most incredible support to these men, their families and the communities in which they live; the charity doesn't pretend to have all the answers but listens to what its beneficiaries need and provides it in the most efficient way possible."

HARRY'S REUNION:

The event, attended by some of the charity's long-standing supporters and major donors, also saw a reunion between Prince Harry and GWT team member and retired Gurkha Major, Bishnu Pun. Bishnu formerly served as an Orderly at The Prince of Wales' household and once hosted a young Prince Harry during his father's official visit as Colonel-in-Chief of the 2nd Gurkha Rifles in 1991 (below).

GWT Director Al Howard, a former officer who served with the Gurkhas in Hong Kong and Brunei before leaving the Army in 1998, said the dinner was not only a suitable Remembrance tribute to all the brave Gurkhas who have lost their lives, but also a celebration of the difference the charity makes to Gurkha veterans, their families and their wider communities in Nepal:

"We are extremely grateful to His Royal Highness for hosting this successful and very well received event and for his ongoing support of The Gurkha Welfare Trust. We are also very grateful to everyone else who attended and for the ongoing support of our Patrons and Ambassadors who continue to play a vital role in supporting the charity and championing the work we do."

Bishnu Pun, who first met Prince Harry in 1991 when His Royal Highness was a boy, said:

"Prince Harry does a huge amount to support a number of military charities. Having spent time with the prince when he visited the regiment as a 6 year-old boy I am delighted to see that his enthusiasm for the Gurkhas hasn't faded. We're all incredibly grateful for his support."

SUPPORTING GWT's WORK:

In 2016 Prince Harry visited Nepal to see some of the vital work GWT were doing to rebuild the homes of Gurkha veterans and widows after the earthquake in 2015, as well as the wider support they provide to communities through school and water projects.

In June 2015, Prince Harry attended the Trust's Gurkha 200 Pageant, celebrating two centuries of loyal and distinguished service to the Crown. Also present at the event were The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh and The Prince of Wales, in honour of the Gurkhas' significant contribution to the British Army.

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