Vital support for vulnerable veterans across the UK

June 5, 2020

The Veterans Should Not Be Forgotten programme was launched with funding from HM Treasury, to support vulnerable veterans currently experiencing reduced social contact.

We were delighted to award 119 projects at a total of £2,044,698.

We’ve worked closely with the Association of Drop-In Centres (ASDIC), Age UK and Cobseo to ensure those organisations working with the most vulnerable veterans had the opportunity to apply for up to £20,000 to offer much-needed support.

Read on for a roundup of the inspirational work that is taking place…

Age UK Bradford District received £19,688. Chief Executive Mark Rounding explains:

“This funding will allow us to respond to the significantly increased demand for providing wide-ranging assistance during the Coronavirus pandemic. 

Rather than delivering ‘off the shelf’ solutions we will be listening to what veterans are telling us they need, such as the delivery of books and newspapers, wellbeing phone calls, household repairs and loan of computers to improve communications and assist with online shopping.”

Over in Lancashire, Alison Read of Age UK Lancashire, which received £20,000, tells us what a huge difference this funding will make to them:

“Reaching out to Lancashire veterans through a daily telephone call will help combat loneliness and isolation at this difficult time, through a friendly chat, as well as enabling us to check on each person’s wellbeing and welfare and identify any issues or problems at an early stage.”

Supporting local clubs and centres

The programme also supported several projects within the ASDIC network.

Lothians Veterans Centre received £19,302. Chief Exec Ian Stewart told us:

“This money is a Godsend for us, it will allow us to continue supporting our vulnerable veterans through the Covid-19 emergency. Since the middle of March, we have been available to give support to all our veterans by phone. The two staff this money pays for shop for shielding veterans and deliver food, medicines and other vital supplies, so they can remain safe in their own homes.”

Littlehampton AFVBC received £20,000. Chair Ian Neville said:

“We’ve been delivering meals to isolated, vulnerable veterans since the 20th March as a pilot project. Now we can provide a comprehensive package of support – not just meals, but with additional planned essential shopping items as well as supplying Android tablets to those most-isolated veterans in our area. This will enable them to access digital technology to help maintain social connections. Without the funding being available, all of this support would not be possible and as a small local organisation we are very grateful to be given the opportunity to assist our fellow veterans.”

John Joyce, Founder of the Veterans’ Support Association told us about the activities they have planned. Their group received £5,000:

“Something that has taken off is our association modelling club…this gave us the idea to see if we could help others.

We looked at lots of different ways and eventually came up with activity packs for veterans – basic model kits for those who are into modelling, mindfulness, puzzle and colouring books, art canvasses and paints for artists.

This will enable us to support our veterans to avoid isolation and detachment from society… and will have a massive impact on our members’ wellbeing.”

Service charity network steps up

Amongst the Cobseo members to receive funding from this veteran-focused programme were Groundwork Greater Manchester, which received £20,000 for their ‘operation re-org project’.

Terry Morley, Veterans Programme Manager, told us more:

“Our main focus was on training and employment; however, since the Covid-19 pandemic we we are now supporting the Armed Forces veterans in a variety of different ways, from picking up essential items, liaising with local councils and arranging food parcels, providing up-to-date information on the Facebook page, making regular calls to the more vulnerable veterans, as well as still providing employment support. This would have been so difficult to continue to do without the support and funding received.”

Meanwhile, Hilary Pearce from Communities Fiji Britain, which received £11,631, said:

“Funding that is given so quickly and without a long drawn out application process is an absolute lifeline to small charities like CFB.  We are now in the fortunate position of being able to respond to specific communities and their needs and requests for help.”

Find out more

A full list of those who were awarded is available on our programme awards page. Look out for more on the positive impact of this programme on our website and social media channels.