Help for Heroes has awarded its 10,000th grant to wounded, injured and sick (WIS) veterans, service personnel and their families to enable them to rebuild their lives post-injury.
Military charity Help for Heroes (H4H), which offers support to those who have suffered life-changing injuries or illnesses during, or as a result of their service, has been providing financial assistance since 2010.
This month, the 10,000th individual grant was awarded, meaning H4H has awarded more than £12,000,000 in total. In 2016 alone, 1,182 grants have been given, totalling more than £1,140,000.
40% of the grants were given to injured and ill service personnel and veterans living in the South region.
One of the veterans that has benefitted from grant funding is Rob Swindells, a former Lance Corporal who served with the 1st Battalion before a back injury abruptly ended his 13-year military career. He fell from a Warrior Tank in 2014 which caused irreparable damage to his lower spine and in November 2015, he was medically discharged from the Army.
Last year Rob was referred to the H4H/The Prince’s Trust partnership by Step Together Volunteering Manager, Elaine Corner, based at Help for Heroes Recovery Centre, Tedworth House. Rob blitzed through Team Leader Training and has since set up a very successful team in Bath and now runs courses for 16-25-year-olds to help them develop the essential skills required for both independent life and work.
“When your military career ends unexpectedly, it’s really daunting, you feel a bit lost. But thanks to Help for Heroes and The Prince’s Trust, I was able to pick out a different future for myself. Working alongside young people, who have quite often had a really difficult life, is so rewarding. You feel like you are making a difference to them and in turn that helps with your own recovery.
“It is definitely an eye opener and makes you realise how lucky you are. You can really teach the young people something because, as a wounded soldier, you have so many parallels with them: resilience, overcoming adversity, needing to adapt and the will to fight no matter what life throws at you.”
Since 2012, H4H has grant funded £1million to The Prince’s Trust to ensure WIS gain valuable experience in working with young people and developing leadership skills. Our partnership has already supported over 112 WIS to further develop their confidence, life skills and employability; with over 14 veterans moving directly into work across the past year alone.
Claire Barnes, Head of Grants at Help for Heroes, said: “At Help for Heroes, we are passionate about ensuring our wounded, injured and sick get the very best support to rebuild their lives. Often, they need financial support to kick-start a new career, receive psychological support, make necessary adaptations to their home, take up a new sport or in some instances, relieve their debt.
“We could not have delivered this essential support without the generous donations from the public who have answered the call to help our brave men and women of the Armed Forces. It is vital we can support our wounded swiftly and remind them that we are here to help them, for life.”
Of the 10,000 grants, 20% were for sporting activities, 18% for vocational purposes, 10% for housing and 18% for non-debt financial reasons. Grants are also given for issues such as debt, respite breaks, white and brown goods and psychological wellbeing.
If you’re wounded, injured and sick and need support, please go to www.helpforheroes.org.uk/get-support/