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In 2021 The Black Farmer is supporting Remembrance with the launch of our special ‘Poppy sausage’ fundraising packs. The beautiful painting featured on the packs was painted by former Grenadier Guardsman Dougie Adams. As a courageous war veteran, Dougie finds comfort, solace and peace of mind in painting following the emotional trauma experienced at war in Afghanistan and a diagnosis of PTSD.

Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones aka The Black Farmer “Today I witnessed true courage. It came in the guise of a sensitive, vulnerable young man whose demeanour tells of such trauma and emotional pain that his whole body has been affected by the experience. His mind has visited the very dark side of human nature, a place that we as humans have evolved never to visit. But in order for us all to stay safe in our democracy, we need our young men and women to be prepared to go to this place from where they may never return – if they do, the experience can scar them for life.

Every year in November we remember those who have given their lives for our freedom. This is a time to reflect, appreciate and honour the men and women who went on this journey never to return. Our liberty is the gift they have left us. Remembrance Day is when our leaders bow their heads to the fallen for one minute before we go about enjoying the spoils of their sacrifice.

This should be a reminder to us all to put our hands in our pockets and give generously to support those who have given so much for us, not just in November but all the year round.

After hearing Dougie’s story and many more like his, I figured that the one thing all we humans have in common is food. Here lies the opportunity to raise awareness of the ongoing support that these heroes need, and this is how my ‘Poppy’ sausage was born – a delicious Pork Tomato & Basil and a Chicken Tomato & Basil with a significantly red look.

I have managed to get the major supermarkets on board with this very important initiative (the notable exceptions being the German owned retailers). 10p from every pack will be going to charity. Wherever this ‘Poppy’ Sausage is sold people can be confident that a donation will be going to The Not Forgotten, a charity which has been an important source of support for Dougie in his recovery.

The Not Forgotten have been proudly supporting wounded service personnel and disabled veterans for over 100 years through a tailored and varied programme of social activities, challenges and peer-to-peer events. The Not Forgotten is an important and inspiring charity.

Dougie is one of thousands of ex-service personnel trying to find a way back from the dark side. Now, thankfully, this trauma is recognised and has a name – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

For Dougie, his condition is managed with medication and weekly therapy. His one comfort is painting and it seemed only fitting that I ask him to paint the picture that would appear on every one of these special edition packs of sausages. For a brief moment his face lit up at the idea that through all his darkness there was something he could do to give back to his friends and colleagues who didn’t make it back.

At the end of our long Zoom conversation, which at times was a struggle for him, when he revisited the horror of doing three tours of duty in Afghanistan as a 23-year-old. The only luxury he wanted was to be able to travel to visit his great friend’s grave. The last time he was with him was when he escorted his coffin onto the plane that was flying his body home. His friend was a Fijian and his final resting place is in New Zealand.

Still in his recovery, Dougie shows great courage and for those of us lucky enough not to have experienced hell, I hope the ‘Poppy’ sausage will be a way to show our military personnel that we honour them.”

A 10p donation from each pack sold will go to the extraordinary charity – The Not Forgotten, which has been an important source of support for Dougie in his recovery.

The Not Forgotten have been proudly supporting wounded service personnel and disabled veterans for over 100 years through a tailored and varied programme of social activities, challenges and peer-to-peer events. The Not Forgotten is an important and inspiring charity.

It has a very worthwhile mission of seeking to improve physical and mental health, address isolation and loneliness and promote a sense of community and balance, enabling beneficiaries to live a normal, if not better life. That’s why The Black Farmer has chosen The Not Forgotten to support their invaluable work, which helps over 10,000 veterans restore dignity, confidence and independence every year.

If you’d like to donate to this amazing charity, The Not Forgotten, please click here.