men standing in rubble
Grant Updates
Learn how Veterans save lives in disaster zones
January 26 2021

How does Serve On support Veterans?

Veterans’ Foundation is proud to support the work of the humanitarian, Veterans charity Serve On. The charity provides high levels of support for people in crisis across the globe using the unique skills and experience of Veterans. 

A core belief of Serve On is that Veterans should not be seen as heroes or victims but as a highly effective resource. Much of what members of Serve On’s response team are asked to do is dangerous, physically and emotionally demanding and requires calm and order in high-intensity situations. British Armed Forces Veterans embody these qualities and have proven commitment and leadership skills. In disaster situations, there is a real need for calm and leadership under incredibly stressful circumstances. It can be said that Veterans have been trained for much of their lives for these exact situations.

Serve On are best known for their International Response Team (IRT), who over the past 20 years have been deployed internationally 22 times. This team was deployed to disaster zones including India in 2001, Pakistan in 2005, Haiti in 2010 and Nepal in 2015 to be on-hand for search and rescue support within hours of a disaster taking place. Members of the IRT set up a headquarters in or near the disaster zone and bring enough supplies with them to ensure that they don’t need to rely on the supplies used by the local communities. Often, the disasters IRT respond to are Earthquakes. Underprivileged areas are usually the most negatively affected areas during natural disasters as the buildings in those areas tend to be built to a lower standard than 1st world country equivalents. When disaster strikes, these buildings are more likely to collapse, trapping occupants beneath the debris. IRT members are highly trained to locate and rescue people trapped under rubble and the like. 

Alongside the Search and Rescue services provided by the International Response Team, Serve On also maintain a specialist dog team. This dog team currently has 5 dogs who are trained to a high standard to locate humans who are trapped or who can’t be found using sight or sound by utilising the dog team’s advanced olfactory systems.

Serve On also provides resilience, disaster risk reduction and search and rescue training in disaster-prone countries to help them respond well to disasters quickly and well, to ensure the best chance of lessening casualties. 

After leaving the Armed Forces, many Veterans find themselves missing the purpose, routine and camaraderie that were constant fixtures during their lives in the services. Serve On provides Veterans with the opportunity to use their unique skillsets and training once their life in the Armed Forces is over. Due to the specific demands that working with Serve On has, Veterans are once again given the danger, purpose and camaraderie that made up much of their life in the services. Knowing that they still have a clear, meaningful purpose can go a long way to helping Veterans integrate into civilian life.

How can you help?

Veterans’ Foundation believes that the work Serve On does around the world is incredible. Utilising the skills and training of Veterans is superb and helps promote the concept to Veterans that they are valuable and can do things many of us cannot. Veterans’ Foundation can give large grants to Charities only because of the generous support of our supporters. We want to continue giving grants to charities but can only do so with your help. Please donate today or sign up to the Veterans’ Lottery for your chance to win £35,000 every month and help support the British Veterans’ community.

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