Forces Charities

I've just read this on the BBC website and I began wondering why there's a need for several forces charities instead of them grouping together: surely the economies of scale mean that the administration of one big charity means that more money would go to the needy than that which is passed on by smaller charities (even non-profit organisations have costs). I accept that many Regiments and Corps like to look after their own and that charities such as St. Dunstan's and BLESMA are more specific with the help that they offer, but I was wondering why the RBL, ABF and Combat Stress aren't amalgamated.

Apologies if this is a stupid question, but I am curious! If it's just a politics thing then it seems a little silly.
They could be amalgamated in order to save costs, but there is the argument that each covers their own ground and if there was just one big hat to cover all service casualties they would concentrate their efforts on where they saw the greatest need, missing out the cases that the smaller charities cover. Amalgamation would also mean a cut in case workers and the ex-forces that are employed by these charities, many of which were welfare cases themselves and have been helped out by the offer of employment. I don't think that would be all that charitable. You'd also have the nightmare of trying to sort out who gets the jobs and who goes. It's not like one business taking over another or one government department joining another. These are self funded charities that are self contained and run privately without having to return money to shareholders. Not at all easy even if it was on the cards.

It's not unusual for someone being passed from one charity to another if they feel that the case would be better handled by another. It's not as if they are in competition with each other.
Thanks for that - I've only read the online info of the charities and they seemed to cover similar, if not the same issues, but if there are elements of specialisation then that makes sense. When I mentioned admin economies of scale I didn't mean the reduction of case-workers (I see these people as the essential help that more money could go to supporting), I was referring to general overheads, publications, correspondence etc.
I have been the in reciept of help from Combat Stress (This is their new street friendly name, their correct title is Ex Servicemen's Mental Welfare Society.

Their help is entirely based on your Mental welfare, when other welfare issues become apparent they liase with RBL,your old regiment etc.

They helped me slightly but my family much more, Where I live I have a very poor mental health team/ coverage and they provide a life line with their welfare visits etc.

Unfotunately before they can offer you 'away breaks' you must have a war pension as the War Pension Office pay the charity a fixed fee for your break that covers thier costs. They will assist you in your war pension application if it is on mental health grounds.

The visits to their houses give mixed results, but you often find some benefit because you are around other service men/women who are in the same boat. They offer some alternative treatments while you are there is one to one counseling sessions. Their resident consultant Dr (Mr) Morgan O'Connell is very good with you (being ex services himself) and can often be seen on TV giving his opinion with Services related mental health problems. He is a Top guy! even if he does not come across so on the TV, He gave my doctor a real rollicking and got me the treatment I wasn't getting in the area I live.

Sorry about the grammar and spelling, as I have explained on here before I am on medication that makes forming sentences and typing quite difficult.

Combat Stress are excellent - I have referred several people to them. They do, incidentally, treat people who are not war pensioners, but funding is always an issue. The scandal, of course, is that their existence is entirely due to the failure of successive governments to look after service and ex-service personnel properly.

In general the main service charities work together very well, once accessed; in my experience, there can be a certain amount of 'sorry, we don't help with x', which may put some people off, but most will provide guidance to somewhere else that can assist.


All make valid points but I would add.
Service charities work together all the time. I would think that in the not too distant future, say 5 to 10 years, at lot of the Regimental Benevolent Funds will come under the umbrella of the ABF. This is mainly due to Regiments no longer being in existance and the chaps who were members slowly dying off. These things are constantly under review and the Charity Commission take an active interest in what is happenning because of the large amounts of money involved.
It is not quite true that vast amounts are employed by Service Charities, there are a number with The Royal British Legion Industries who make, amonst other things, the poppies & wreaths and in the office of the charities there are paid administrators but the vast majority of work carried service charities is done by volunteers. There are exceptions to this of course, Combat Stress by the vary nature of their work need salaried staff but then again if one of their councellors find a client of theirs has a financial problem they hand it over to SSAFA.
To combine ABF & RBL would be the most difficult, don't forget RBL take in Navy & RAF as well.
The RAF only have one Benevolent Fund, RAFA is a membership organisation not a Benevolent Fund. The Navy have taken steps over the last few years to bring the top ten Navy charities together & have done it successfully.
So the short answer to the original question by DozyBint is that Service charities do work together & slowly they are bound to amalgamate.

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