THE love of a great charity has helped a couple find a lasting relationship thanks to Help for Heroes.

Jilly Burr, 51, met her partner, veteran Phil Bartlett, as a result of her volunteering work for the military charity.

Phil and Jilly’s love story began in 2018 when Phil decided to undertake a challenge, called the Garrison Gallop, to run 268 miles to the military charity’s northern recovery centre, Phoenix House in Catterick Garrison, from the one in the East, Chavasse VC House in Colchester.

Phil, 61, who was a Corporal in the Royal Corp of Transport for 18 years put out a call for supporters to cheer him on his way, and Jill answered the call. After completing his Garrison Gallop on his 60th birthday, it wasn’t long before Phill and Jilly soon became an item.

Twelve months after conducting a long-distance relationship, Jilly decided to sell her house in Lincolnshire and relocated to be nearer to Phil. Jilly now works for Crafter’s Companion Crafter’s TV at their head office in Newton Aycliffe, while Phil is an Optical Technician at Dunelm Optical.

The couple has continued to support Help for Heroes, combining to become an even bigger force for good with their amazing fundraising events. These have included Phil doing ‘Garrison Gallop 2’ which was a walk the 150 miles between Help for Heroes’ other two Recovery Centres – in Plymouth and Wiltshire - but this time, with Jilly driving the support vehicle.

Phil also runs an annual Help for Heroes Charity Clay Pigeon Shoot at Spennymoor, now in its 11th year, and the dynamic duo are also in the process or organising their biggest fundraiser to date - a Hero Ball. This will be taking place on Saturday 4th July at the Redworth Hall Hotel, just outside of Darlington, which will include a three-course meal, live musical entertainment and a charity auction. More information at

Jilly concludes: “Separately, Help for Heroes was an important part of both our lives, but it’s wonderful that it has brought us together too. It seems that passion for a good cause can ignite passion across the rest of your life – so we’d recommend to others to do their bit, volunteering or fundraising. You just never know where it may lead.”