For the first time in over 30 years, I wasn't on Parade as member of GirlGuiding for Remembrance Sunday this weekend and it was somewhat of a surreal experience to watch the scaled back national service of remembrance at Whitehall.
However you watched or participated this year, the tribute to those who gave their all for our freedom today remained a poignant moment for me - and probably one that will stick in the memory for a long time.
The reflections of remembering the sacrifice of generations past and the service of those present, coupled with the two charities at the forefront of my personal Remembrance Day experience - The Royal British Legion and GirlGuiding UK - made me reflect more widely on the impact of the current pandemic on charitable funding, gifts and fundraising. It will come as no surprise that many 'normal' sources of funding - the 'street' sale of poppies perhaps being the most visible at this time - have had to change, adapt or simply fall away due to the pandemic.
Whilst not an immediate replacement for lost income, the value of legacy income from a deceased's estate for charities has perhaps never been more vital - nor more fundamental to basic survival.
Not everyone is aware that they can leave a gift in the will to a charity or charities of their choice. That gift can be a specific financial sum or legacy, a specific item or a percentage share of the whole estate. Any charitable gift made in someone's will, no matter how small, can make a material difference to charities, especially at times such as these. Providing notification to a charity that you have included them in your will and providing a line of sight on future potential funding can assist charities with their planning and investment to ensure their services and support can be available long into the future.
Gifting to charity does need a proactive decision and action to make a will and for a chosen charity to be named in it. Without a will, the Intestacy Rules will operate and charity will not be considered.
With the possibility of a bit more time due to lockdown, maybe getting your Will done can make its way up the priority list. And if not, there is always the ability to make a one off donation to your favoured charity or set up a regular payment in lifetime too.
The Queen has led the nation in marking Remembrance Sunday, as people around the UK privately paid their respects at home due to the coronavirus pandemic. She was joined by family members and the PM at the scaled-back service at the Cenotaph in London's Whitehall. Social distancing measures were in place and the service was closed off to the public for the first time. Following a two-minute silence, wreaths were laid by Prince Charles, Prince William and the PM, among others.