Imagine setting out 60 Land Rovers of various models arranged in the form of the Red Cross flag in the quadrangle of Buckingham Palace. Then handing over the keys to HRH The Prince of Wales. Now that's how you celebrate sixty years of service to Queen and Country!
On July 9, 2008, Land Rover donated 60 vehicles - a mixture of Defenders, Discoverys and Freelanders - to the British Red Cross Society and its sister national societies around the world. The vehicles were officially handed over to the President of the Red Cross, HRH The Prince of Wales, during a garden party at Buckingham Palace. The move actually commemorated two landmark anniversaries, Land Rover's 60th and the 100th anniversary of the Royal Charter being granted to The British Red Cross by HM King Edward VII. It was an ideal opportunity to celebrate the tireless work of Red Cross volunteers, staff and supporters, as well as the muscular contribution Land Rover has made to the global aid agency over the past 60 years.
Half of the donated vehicles will be taken across the globe where they will deliver vital supplies and emergency response personnel to those in desperate need. This includes natural disaster operations such as cyclones, floods and earthquakes. National societies in Sierra Leone, Lesotho and Mongolia are among those who will receive vehicle donations to ensure they can access rural and harsh-terrain territories.
The remainder of the donated vehicles will be dispersed throughout the UK to help with regional operations such as local flooding, off-road emergencies and public events. Some of these Land Rovers will undergo minor ambulance conversions and will be fitted with emergency vehicle equipment as well as stretchers and medical kits.
Sir Nicholas Young, Chief Executive of the British Red Cross said: "We are absolutely delighted to be accepting these 60 vehicles from Land Rover on behalf of The British Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies around the world. It is a fantastically generous way for Land Rover to celebrate its 60th birthday, and the 100th anniversary of our own Royal Charter, and will make a very real difference to some of the hundreds of thousands of people the Red Cross supports globally each year. Often those who are most in need are in the places which are hardest to reach; these vehicles will help make sure our staff and volunteers can continue to reach the most vulnerable."
Phil Popham, Managing Director of Land Rover said: "We are delighted to celebrate our 60th anniversary by donating 60 much-needed vehicles to the Red Cross. Land Rovers have optimal capabilities for harsh and remote terrain access and this donation will ensure that those who are most in need are reached quickly and effectively. We already have an association with the Red Cross through the Land Rover G4 Challenge and this donation furthers that relationship."
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