The Lord Mayor of the City of London, along with HRH The Duke of Kent, unveiled a garden in Guildhall Yard today which illustrates the difficulties faced by veterans suffering with physical and emotional pain.

Gianna Utilini, a member of the Society of Garden Designers, designed the garden to support the annual Lord Mayor’s Big Curry Lunch which takes place next month. This year’s Lunch supports King Edward VII’s Hospital’s Centre for Veterans’ Health, which has developed and tested a six-month Pain Management Programme specifically for veterans.

The garden is based on a maze to symbolise a journey from darkness to light, with obstacles and challenges to overcome. Help is not always easy to ask for: the black Cornus and Ophiopogons depict the seemingly impenetrable barriers faced along the way. The three mosaics in the middle represent the Hand, which is derived from an ancient North American symbol representing physical, emotional and spiritual healing; the Sun, which is a source of life, light and energy and the Rainbow, which brings the promise that the troubles of today will disappear tomorrow. The seat at the end offers a place of rest and reflection at the end of the journey.

The Lord Mayor’s Big Curry Lunch has been a fixture in the City since 2008. The Lunch supports ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity and the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund. Before the end of this year’s Lunch, it will have raised more than £2 million.

Each year, the Lunch is attended by a Royal Guest of Honour. HRH The Duke of Sussex attended the Lunch in 2016, HRH The Duke of York attended in 2017, followed by his daughter HRH Princess Eugenie last year.

Tickets for the Lunch on 4th April 2019 are available and cost £100, which includes unlimited curry, beer and wine. You can purchase tickets here.