MORE than a dozen Tommy figures will be on show at a developer's sites across Somerset ahead of VE Day on Saturday (May 8).

Barratt David Wilson Homes, a corporate patron of the Royal British Legion's Tommy Club which supports armed forces veterans, is displaying the figures in its show gardens.

Former Royal Engineer Chris Spencer, who will be managing the construction of the Blackdown Heights development in Crimchard, outside Chard, said it's a great honour to be installing the figures.

Mr Spencer served for 11 years in the RE's counter IED taskforce, including in Iraq and Afghanistan, and began working for Barratt Homes five years ago under the company's Armed Forces Transition Programme.

Barratt Homes has donated £100,000 to the Tommy Club and bought 300 full size Tommy figures to show their support for the charity.

The Tommy Club helps veterans gain independence and overcome challenges including mental and physical disability.

Mr Spencer said: "It's a real honour to be able to put the Tommy figure in pride of place in our show home gardens across Somerset and the South West.

"I've been very fortunate to start a new career with Barratt Developments after leaving the army five years ago, but it's not always an easy transition for everyone.

"The RBLI does fantastic work improving the lives of people who have given so much and we're proud to be able to support their work."

Chris Spencer with a Tommy

Chris Spencer with a Tommy

Each garden Tommy is put together by veterans working for the RBLI's unique social enterprise; Britain's Bravest Manufacturing Company, which creates more jobs for ex-armed forces personnel and raises crucial funds for the charity. The RBLI has been providing jobs, homes, and mental health support for ex services personnel throughout the worst of the current pandemic.

The Barratt and David Wilson Homes developments in Somerset with a Tommy figure in their show home gardens are:

  • Blackdown Heights, Chard, Barratt Homes;
  • Coat Grove, Martock, Barratt Homes;
  • Elworthy Place, Wiveliscombe, Barratt Homes;
  • Nerrols Grange, Taunton from Barratt Homes and David Wilson Homes;
  • Northwalls Grange, Taunton;
  • Patch Meadows, Somerton, David Wilson Homes;
  • Moorland Gate, Bishops Lydeard, Taunton, David Wilson Homes.

Nicki Reid, sales director with Barratt David Wilson Homes, said: "We're incredibly proud to be the first corporate sponsor of the Tommy Club.

"We have been really moved and impressed by the amazing work the RBLI does providing rehabilitation centres, adapted apartments, nursing care, employment opportunities and emergency accommodation for homeless veterans.

"This is a cause we know is important to lots of our staff, many of whom have proud military careers themselves, and to our home buyers.

"We hope that by installing these iconic figures in our show home gardens we can inspire more people to join Tommy Club. "