The charity that looks after the national Battle of Britain memorial says has been forced to ask for public donations in order to stay afloat as the Covid-19 crisis continues.
The Battle of Britain Memorial Trust has seen all its usual fundraising activities cancelled and the memorial closed to visitors as a result of the pandemic.
Now it says it has been forced to ask for the public’s help to “weather this particular storm”.
The charity looks after the National Memorial to the Few at Capel-le-Ferne, Folkestone in Kent, at a cost of about £240,000 a year, but receives no public funding.
Trust chairman Richard Hunting CBE said: “We tell the story in the Wing of how the heroes of the Battle of Britain refused to be defeated as the Luftwaffe attacked through the summer and early autumn of 1940.
“And while we wouldn’t put ourselves on a par with the men who fought the Battle of Britain, we are equally determined to weather this particular storm.
“The problem is, it’s getting increasingly difficult to see how we can do that without the public’s help.”
Mr Hunting said the charity needs help to be able to continue its important work of keeping the public informed and educated about the events of 1940 and to preserve the memory of Churchill’s Few.
He added: “While we pay our respects at the Memorial to the ‘Few’ who defended this country from invasion in 1940, we also pay tribute to the many – the ground crew, Waafs, observer corps and thousands of other people whose selfless and unstinting work allowed the aircrew to take the fight to the enemy.”
Commemorations for the upcoming 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain have shifted online this year.
The famed Second World War air battle is normally marked with a service on a Sunday in early July but the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted plans.
There are a number of ‘thank you’ gifts available in return for donations to the charity, which can be made at: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/save-the-national-memorial-to-the-few