What does a donation mean for the Commonwealth War Graves Foundation?

Ever wondered what your donations do for us? Discover how your generosity powers the work we do at the Commonwealth War Graves Foundation.

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What the Foundation does with your donations

We tell their stories

CWGF Guide talks to a veteran.However much you choose to donate, the core of our remit at the Foundation is to tell the stories of those who gave their lives during the World Wars.

It’s our mission to make sure their sacrifice is not forgotten. We can do just that through our various projects, events, and volunteers' efforts. Let’s look at how your generosity supports what we do.

Education & outreach

Education is at the heart of our remit. We’ve millions of individual stories to tell from the men and women who served and sacrificed their lives during the World Wars.

We’ve always spoken a lot about our Interns (now known as Guides), but we think they’re worth shouting about.

The recently relaunched Guides Programme takes young history lovers and places them in some of the Commission’s key sites. They become the face of the Foundation and the Commission, guiding visitors to Thiepval or our Experience Centre in Beaurains, France.

It’s a great way to help spread the word on the casualties we commemorate and give a new generation of history enthusiasts confidence and public speaking skills they can take on their careers. Reaching younger generations is imperative in ensuring the memories of our war dead are not forgotten. Donations allow us to fund work like the Guides Programme so you’re helping us to deliver a unique experience and build that bridge between the past, the present, and the future.

Our volunteer speakers are also vitally important in connecting our work with the general public.

Supported by the MacRobert Trust, CWGF volunteer speakers connect with schools, colleges, universities, and social and community groups to explain the Foundation and Commission’s work.

They give talks on a wide variety of engaging, informative topics. These might cover our history, horticultural work, or a closer look at the life and times of some of the casualties we commemorate. It’s all about spreading the message.

Volunteering

An Eyes On, Hands On volunteer scrubs a headstone.Some choose to donate their time to our cause too. Volunteer speakers are volunteer roles, but we also work alongside the Commonwealth War Graves Commission on other vitally important volunteer projects.

The most prominent of these is Eyes On, Hands On.

Did you know the Commission looks after over 160,000 war graves in the UK? While the facilities and horticultural teams do a fantastic job looking after them all, sometimes they need an extra helping hand.

This is where Eyes On, Hands On comes in. Since 2019, we’ve been recruiting history lovers up and down the country to help us inspect, clean, and maintain headstones all over the UK. Under supervision, they head into our cemeteries and memorials to give the headstones and plots a once over, before reporting any damage and getting stuck in cleaning if necessary.

Nearly 94,000 headstones have been inspected so far thanks to the great work of our Eyes On, Hands On volunteers.

It costs around £20 to outfit an Eyes On, Hands On volunteer with all the equipment they need to look after and care for headstones in their local area. Each volunteer can cover up to five cemeteries, meaning they can cover as many as 60 headstones by themselves!

Volunteering is a great way to support our work and feel good doing it. With continued donations, we could look at expanding our volunteer schemes moving forward, giving you more chances to get involved.

Donating to the Commonwealth War Graves Foundation

If you are feeling generous, there are multiple ways for you to donate to the CWGF, including:

Head over to our Donate page to learn more.

Thank you for choosing to support the Commonwealth War Graves Foundation. Together, we can keep the stories of the fallen of the World Wars alive for generations to come.

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