On Friday 10th July, I had the pleasure of attending my very first virtual whiskey tasting evening. In fact, I may change the wording of that slightly,... I attended my first whiskey tasting evening, delivered virtually; at 54% ABV and above, there was nothing virtual about the whiskey!
The Armour Group Whiskey Evening
30th July 2020
The event was a collaboration between the wonderful people at a UK Cyber Security Company, The Armour Group and The Lakes Distillery in Cumbria; all in support of the UK Military Charity I represent, Walking With The Wounded.
Before the evening took place, I joked on LinkedIn that attending this event would provide a legitimate excuse to drink from home for the first time since the global pandemic took hold in the UK. Although a jest at the time, regarding my recent, heightened appetite for alcohol, upon reflection it made me appreciate that these unprecedented times have affected everyone in a variety of ways; and that the reality is, lockdown and the threat of coronavirus has been a very tough period for a vast number fo the population.
This is why, during my overview of Walking With The Wounded, I informed those attending the evening of our mission to ensure there was no reduction in our services throughout the pandemic.
Providing support to ex-servicemen and women that have fallen on hard times post their service, our charity was acutely aware that the care our team provided was vital for those individuals, and their families. A significant proportion of our service users have mental health issues including, but not limited to, Depression, Anxiety, Adjustment Disorder and PTSD. During this time of heightened social exclusion, our services are essential to ensure that these individuals do not withdraw even further out of the reach of those that can help them.
For me, the whiskey tasting evening was a much needed reprieve from the stresses and isolation brought on through COVID-19. It was brilliant to be in a "room", albeit virtually, with a group of lovely people. Just like the whiskey we had the pleasure of tasting, the evening was a perfect blend; containing elements of networking and knowledge-sharing, mixed with having a good time for a good cause. It really was the perfect tonic to end the working week.
However, I believe that the opportunity to share the work of my charity to those in attendance brought about a more sobering reality. That our charity is also fighting an invisible enemy, with equally devastating impact should we fail to deliver the necessary treatment.
Support from businesses like The Armour Group enable our frontline team of Care Coordinators, Mental Health Therapists and Family Support Workers to continue delivering vital support to ex-servicemen and women at risk of withdrawing further during this time of increased social exclusion. Thank you to all those who put on the event, and for all those that attended and made the evening what it was.
Importantly, to all those reading this, I wish to invite you to join our mission to support those that have served us. www.walkingwiththewounded.org.uk