I recently attended the Confederation of Service Charities' (Cobseo) AGM in London. Some interesting facts were presented: there are 1.85 million veterans in England and Wales (1 in 25 people over 16) of which about a third are over 80. In addition, there are about 230,000 veterans in Scotland and around 50,000 in Northern Ireland.
Clearly there will be a drop in the number of veterans in UK over coming years and there is a continuing need for care in older age for so many veterans. This sort of knowledge will shape the grant-giving policies of the Veterans’ Foundation.
Minister for Veterans Affairs, the Rt Hon Johnny Mercer MP also spoke at the AGM and, amongst other subjects, he highlighted the millions of pounds that the Government had put into ending veterans’ rough sleeping in the life of this Government.
Several of the housing organisations to which the Veterans’ Foundation has given grants, including Launchpad, Healthier Heroes, Stoll, Alabaré and Riverside, have benefitted from an increase in funding; together we should be able to make a positive difference. Let’s hope that if necessary, the new Government sustains the effort.
The Veterans’ Foundation is only seven years old and yet it has provided nearly £17 million of valuable grants through Veterans’ Lottery subscribers and donors to the Veterans’ Foundation.
We have seen terrific growth in this period, enabling many organisations to help thousands of veterans.
Sadly, one person who was partly instrumental in that, Paul Heward, the Veterans’ Foundation’s CFO, died recently.
Our condolences have been passed to his family; he played a major role in the Veterans’ Foundation and we will all miss his kindness, good humour and valuable work. People make organisations good to work in, or not, and Paul certainly made it a pleasure to work with the Veterans’ Foundation.
Our next round of grants will be awarded in September and October, so if you are involved in a charity that helps veterans and their dependants, consider getting your bid in to us over the next couple of weeks - the deadline is Monday 7th August 2023.
Thank you again for your magnificent support which has allowed us to provide £5 million to help members of the armed forces community who were in need in the last year.
CEO & Founder, Veterans' Foundation