About the event
Flanders has been a place of Pilgrimage since the Great war took the lives of over three quarters of a million British men. This guided tour provides a poignant opportunity for our Members to visit a variety of Memorial sites to pay their respects, from Tyne Cot Cemetery to the Somme and beyond, while gaining a richer understanding of the history and events of World War One.
One of the most poignant events in the Blesma Calendar
Pay respects from Tyne Cot cemetery to the Somme and beyond
Gain a richer understanding of the events of WW1
- Members must be double vaccinated
- Members must have a valid passport with six months validity
"It was a very special moment for us all. Everyone experiences the week in their own personal way. It’s really taught me to step back and look rather than just act all the time. It’s not something I thought I’d ever experience in my life.”Tom Gowar
- Will it cost me to attend?
Blesma activities are free to all Members – the only expense is getting yourself to and from the initial meeting point. If funding your travel costs could be a problem, speak to your BSO.
- What is the selection process?
The activities selection process is done on a needs basis. Those who will benefit the most from attending an activity will be given priority. This is done on the recommendation of their BSO. Those Members who have not attended any activities before, or who have not attended that particular type of activity before are considered next. Once the initial list is selected, all other applicants go on the reserve list. Should someone drop out, the same process is applied to select someone from the reserve list.The activities selection process is done on a needs basis. Those who will benefit the most from attending an activity will be given priority. This is done on the recommendation of their BSO. Those Members who have not attended any activities before, or who have not attended that particular type of activity before are considered next. Once the initial list is selected, all other applicants go on the reserve list. Should someone drop out, the same process is applied to select someone from the reserve list.
- How much notice will I be given?
Currently, Members who are selected to take part in an activity are given three months’ notice. If this notice period is increased, it is highly likely that the drop-out rate will also increase. If you are selected from the reserve list, your notification will depend on when the person whose place you are taking dropped out. This is why we ask Members to contact the Activities Team as soon as they become aware that they will not be able to attend an activity. In doing so. That way, we have the best opportunity to offer the place to another Member.
- How does the reserve list work?
Being on the reserve list does not automatically mean you will not get to attend the activity. In 2017, 54 per cent of people selected for an activity dropped out, meaning that almost half of attendees for all activities were selected from the reserve list. In 2017, 97 per cent of slots were filled despite the high drop-out rate. The remaining three per cent were mostly last-minute cancellations that were too late notice to fill (i.e. the day before).
- I have never been on a Blesma Activity?
Currently, only 4.3 per cent of Members apply for activities. If you are one of the 95.7 per cent who hasn’t been on an activity before, perhaps because you have concerns about how you will cope, or you don’t know what to expect, please get in touch with either your BSO or the Activities Team directly on 020 8548 3519. They can advise on what might be suitable for you.
- Who will lead the activity?
Blesma Support Officers and Outreach Officers lead the events. In addition, of around 50 activities run in 2017, 22 were led by Members. We rely on Members volunteering to lead an activity, so if you are interested in doing that – please let us know! Do note that you will need to be qualified for some events.
- Am I deserving of a Blesma activity, what if others are more in need?
We do not discriminate! Activities are there for all Members and Widows to enjoy.