Lee West a Royal Marine Colour Sgt veteran Tramp 1, Paul O’Dwyer a Royal Engineer veteran Tramp 2 aka Trampface. Carl Dent local fundraiser, Marty Stronach a Royal Marine Colour Sgt, Darren Liney a Parachute Regiment Colour Sgt and Reeco Rees local fundraiser and owns his own soccer schools for children.
Lee and Paul were considering starting a not for profit armed forces charity along with Carl Dent and also Lee’s friend Marty Stronach. At the same time The Evening Post did a story on Reeco wanting to start an armed forces charity which was read by Lee, Paul, Carl, Marty and Daz. The six of us then got together and had a meeting to see what vision we all had that would be beneficial to the veteran community.
All we had was a collective idea and a dream. We decided after that first meeting that we would join forces and become a charitable organisation. SA1UTE was chosen as the name because we are a Swansea based armed forces charity and the Swansea postcode is SA1. We all liked the word SALUTE as in we SALUTE our veterans. 18 months had passed and a collective decision was made that we were going to become a registered charity, so in May of 2019 we started the process. We all have to thank Paul for his relentless efforts in helping us become a registered charity. Our number is 1187954 and was awarded to us on 13/2/20 it was a long nine months but well worth it.
From the start until the present day a lot of kind people including Ryan Pridmore, Claire Rees, other organisations, The Wave and ourselves have raised much needed funds and in November 2019 we bought a parcel of woodland in Brecon under the watchful eye of Pen Y Fan for £ 12,000. It’s just over one acre but it’s enough to get us started and this is where the armed forces veterans retreat will be.
We held our first annual general meeting online on 6th September 2020 to discuss phase two of the retreat and to find out how we take SA1UTE forward. It’s going to be an exciting time especially for our veterans and their families.
What is the cost of a veteran and his family coming to spend time at the retreat?
Payment can be made in full with a smile and a handshake.
We have got other ideas but they are for a later date.