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Help for Heroes Partner with Jelly Babies to Honour 80th D-Day Anniversary

British military veteran’s charity Help for Heroes and confectionery brand Maynards Bassetts have joined forces to launch a special edition of the best-selling sweet Jelly Babies.

The packet pays tribute to the 80th anniversary of D-Day on the 6th of June 2024, with £25,000 from sales being donated to Help for Heroes, providing physical and mental support and financial grants to past and present military personnel.

Jelly Babies have had strong ties with the armed forces for more than 100 years after being initially launched in 1918 under the name of Peace Babies to mark the end of World War One. They proved exceptionally popular and, even today, remain Britain’s most-loved sweet.

At the beginning of World War Two, production was temporarily seized as sugar began to get rationed across the United Kingdom. It was a lengthy 13 years before the sweet treat made its comeback in 1953 under the more recognisable name we know today, Jelly Babies.

While the fruity sweet was originally invented in the 1860s in Lancashire, North-West England, under the name of Unclaimed Babies, it did not reach peak popularity until Maynards Bassetts’ reinvention of the classic.

Tim Richardson, the author of Sweets: A History of Temptation, explained how dark humour was quite common in Victorian England: “It’s the era when (abandoning babies) was a fact of life more.”

“There was quite a lot of humour in sweet names. You had humour around things to do with war.”

It is not the first time the brand and charity have collaborated. In 2018, limited-edition Peace Babies packets were released to commemorate the First World War Centenary.

Amy Lawson, the Senior Brand Manager at Maynard Bassetts said: “The Maynards Bassetts brand has long been associated with supporting and helping our military heroes. Today, the brand’s continued partnership with Help for Heroes allows us to celebrate this heritage whilst supporting the crucial work Help for Heroes does.”

“Life-changing support”

Help for Heroes was founded in 2007, six years into the Global War on Terror. The war in Iraq took the lives of 179 British servicemen and women, and the war in Afghanistan claimed 454 lives, with thousands more being injured.

Husband and wife, Bryn and Emma Parry sought to create a private and peaceful space for injured soldiers to recover, designed to meet their individual needs. With some help from UK newspaper The Sun, the couple gathered enough funds to build a swimming pool at Headley Court Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre.

More than £2,180,000 had been raised just two months after the launch of Help for Heroes.

Now 17 years on, Help for Heroes is a household name across the UK, raising hundreds of millions of pounds and helping almost 30,000 people.

The support on offer ranges from physical healthcare to welfare support, financial grants and counselling. They also work with families to offer mental health support, as often families bear the brunt of their relatives’ deployment and injuries.

The impact report from 2021/2 highlights that 3,481 servicemen, women and their families received help from the charity. There were also 244 Recovery College sessions, with 98% of those in the sessions saying they would recommend the courses. Over £28,000 was also distributed as cost-of-living support.

British soldiers are not the only people to receive support. Help for Heroes has helped 175 Afghan civilians who worked alongside the British Military after fleeing from the Taliban in 2021.

The limited edition packet is on sale now.

Image credit: Maynards Bassetts/ Help for Heroes


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