At the end of January, the trustees of the Veterans’ Foundation will again be allocating grants of about £850K to many charities and other organisations that are helping members of the armed forces community who are in need. It is a particularly hard time for charities as their face-to-face fundraising has been detrimentally affected by the consequences of the pandemic and I have heard of income in this period dropping by up to 60% in one charity’s case; there may be others that are worse hit. Your support of the Veterans’ Foundation, through donations and by playing the Veterans’ Lottery, is therefore even more important.
Currently, all donations to the Veterans’ Foundation are passed on 100% to other charities – 100%. There has been one exception - a donation that has specifically been made to help us develop an initiative that you will see in the next couple of months. So, if you make a donation, and until we say otherwise, all of your donations will be passed to benefiting charities and their beneficiaries.
The pandemic and its knock-on effects have also had a huge impact on mental health and some of the support received by people with mental health challenges has had to be delivered through virtual arrangements. From what I have heard from the charities the Veterans’ Foundation supports, these virtual arrangements - using internet-based programmes such as Zoom, Skype and Teams - and telephones have been almost as good as face-to-face work but not as good; closer human interaction is usually more effective. So, while we have to use these virtual arrangements, the Veterans’ Foundation has been providing grants to charities to buy phones and tablets that they and their clients can use.
The Veterans’ Foundation has also provided grants to organisations that get out and meet veterans, sensibly distanced, making sure they are OK and in some cases providing much-needed food and other household supplies. None of this would occur if you hadn’t continued supporting the Veterans’ Foundation, so again, we offer you our heartfelt thanks. We also admire the work that charities and other organisations are doing to help people in their communities.
Let’s hope 2021 is much better than 2020 for all of us; the vaccination programme gives us hope. Please continue to play the Veterans’ Lottery and note that we are planning initiatives this year to encourage donations so we can help more people who are less fortunate than most of us.