I hope you are enjoying the steady reduction of pandemic restrictions. Clearly, it’s a time to enjoy the freedoms, but also a time to continue to be careful. I am very aware that the various organisations that we support are increasing support to, and activities for, veterans and other members of the Armed Forces community now that more and more of us have been vaccinated.
The trustees of the Veterans’ Foundation considered grant applications of well over £1M last week and I am delighted to say that we allocated over £900K in grants. The trustees were also briefed by Nikki Scott, founder of the wonderful charity, Scotty’s Little Soldiers. It is a charity dedicated to supporting children and young people who have experienced the death of a parent serving in the British Armed Forces. We were able to award Scotty’s Little Soldiers a grant to help them with the costs of their major Christmas event, when they bring together as many of the children and young people they support; it is an important time to build friendships and help one another.
The trustees also awarded grants to The White Ensign Association, a Naval charity that supports all serving and former members of the Royal Navy and the Royal Marines, including dependants. The grant will fund the salaries of two of their caseworkers who directly support veterans and their families who are in need. We support a number of charities that help veterans with mental health challenges. We were delighted to hear of the NHS’ ‘Op Courage’ initiative. Its intent is that NHS staff will work with military charities to provide therapy, rehab services and, in extreme cases, inpatient care to hundreds of former soldiers, sailors and RAF personnel each year. Those needing urgent help will receive a same day referral. We look forward to hearing of the positive outcomes from this.
However, the trustees also awarded a grant last week to PTSD Resolution, whose aim is the relief of the mental sickness of veterans, reservists and family members of the Armed Forces with post-traumatic symptoms, in particular by the provision of counselling, therapy and support. The grant will enable them to help many veterans directly and quickly.
Finally, thank you for your important continuing support. In the last year the Veterans’ Foundation has given £3.3M away in grants to help members of the Armed Forces' community who are in need and this has been achieved because YOU have supported us.