In 2018 a group of like minded friends got together and made a pact to create a Royal British Legion affilliated orchestra in Wales. In order to support that orchestra they set up a charity known as 'The Friends of the Royal British Legion Band of Wales through which they could apply for grant funding and financially support the orchestra and its members.

In 2019 the world was struck down by the COVID 19 pandemic and the orchestra had to cease all perfoirmances and practicing as a group. 

Patrick Nettesheim
In 2020 the founders of the orchestra and the charity trustees had a meeting to discuss the future and one of the main agenda items was to investigate how we could prepare for post COVID and reach out to more military veterans as we believed there was going to be a hightened need for the healing power of music after the world re-opened, seeking ways to combat what the shutdown would have done mentally to our military community members and their families. The investigation brought us in to contact with Pattrick Nettesheim in the United States wjo had been running a very successful Guitars for Vets program with the US Military and he kindly allowed us to bring the programme to the UK and start in Wales.

In 2021 , with a small pilot study funded by Adferiad Recovery and the Armed Forces Covenant Fund we put out a trial and was inundated with interested parties, not just members, but also other organisations and groups that would host the programme. By the end of the year we had built up ten groups throughout Wales supporting sixty veterans.

By 2023 that had grown to fifteen groups and some one hundred and fifty veterans and family members taking part in the programme. To achieve this we obtained funding from Veterans Foundation, Postcode Lottery, Foyle Foundation and public donation.. We contnue to grown with new groups and a host of new members. 2024 is going to be very interesting..

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