Discuss Holidays4heroes (Sitrep and update) in The NAAFI Bar on The Army Rumour Service; November is often a time for reflection so I thought it poignant to add a few words about the goings on with Holidays4heroes.
I know I am guilty of not putting up as many sitreps ...
November is often a time for reflection so I thought it poignant to add a few words about the goings on with Holidays4heroes.
I know I am guilty of not putting up as many sitreps as I could but the reasons are two fold. Time is a major factor, I know most of you will understand that time taken typing here is better spent squaring clients away, and the majority of cases simply can't be plastered all over the internet and clients / recipients aren't here as a spectacle. The other reason is that I am concious that the whole charity theme p1sses alot of people off and not everyone likes it forcing down their throat and rubbed in their faces.
About 100 ish families have been away to Spain since April, others have been to Gibralter, France, Portugal, Turkey, Cyprus and the US. Either Widows, injured, traumatised or on their uppers, we've flooded destinations with Servicemen past and present, the youngest being 20 the oldest being 91
Other have been to locations within the UK from respite care in the lakes to adventure holidays in Scotland.
Currently we are running two locations in Spain, one being Le Torre although there are now no flights there until April, when its hoped the route will be resumed by a number of operators. We've become established there and its been a kick in the balls to move from there and recce other places. The other is a resort just outside Alicante, but in no way is it permanent, its just not the same as Le Torre.
Homeless, hungry, skint, separated, imprisoned, raped, robbed, buggered and burgalled, we've had them all. Illness, disease, stranded.... The limits of the problems that Ex serviceman and serving blokes can get themselves into is as vast an varied as the areas on the planet they populate.
Its very very rare we have to turn a case away, when that's happened its usually as a result of not having the resources of the other, grown up types of organisation (SSAFA, Combat Stress, RBL, ABF) can better deal.
I've not added numbers but we've dealt with well over 100 cases in the last six months.
Still, in my mind one of the best parts of this organisation. We can lift a bloke off the streets in ten minutes flat, no red tape, no committees, no grand board meeting, just a quick check on service number etc and its dealt with in an instant.
Its allowed us to put food on the tables for families of blokes who (and this is an ongoing problem) simply cannot admit that they need help.
How we spend money
We've bought cars and people carriers in Spain, insured them, maintain them, run them, we rent villas (peoples good will can only stretch so far, and we've have that many to spain this year I am considering approaching the resort and asking for a NAAFI bar) pay for flights, train tickets, give spending money where needed, fund passports, pay rental bonds, maintain Ian (the Hols4heroes rep) in Spain.
I haven't added up yet and had the accounts auditted, thats imminent, but I reckon we've raised around £150k this year, and if you look at how far thats stretched, we have done well.
We'd be goosed without input and help from you lot. Am particularly greatful to Blue Sophist, GRB, YIM, Shop Girl, Meridan, Banker, Mitt Mayo, Bumper, (Bumpers Ozzie mates and endless contacts list) PRT,Dale and countless others. All of which lightening the load and allowing me the time to take calls from Welfare officers and remain at the coal face getting things sorted.
You will notice at the top of the forums there is a page of Auction items, run separation and for one week only to raise us, and others some much needed cash.