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Help For Heroes Comes Under Fire

T

Tremaine

Guest
#2
How many buildings can we put up? "Former Royal Marine Ben McBean, a double amputee and one of Help for Heroes' patrons, said that Help For Heroes and other military charities have been "getting cosy with the MoD". Other charities stand accused of cozying up to Guv to further their own aims, and raise their profile. Even to extend their funding. Truth?
 

elovabloke

ADC
Moderator
#3
It is a shame that the head sheds of the bigger militatry charities feel they must have a large expensive HQ close to central government. Help for Heroes initial projected started with good intentions and then became the clebs favourite toy without realising what the initial aims and purpose was. I supported their efforts until the drip feed of information on what the money was being used on post the Headley refurb started coming to light.

IMHO they should stop funding projects that are the countries responsibilities and use the funds to assist ALL and not the selected few members of the armed forces and veterans.
 
#4
How many buildings can we put up? "Former Royal Marine Ben McBean, a double amputee and one of Help for Heroes' patrons, said that Help For Heroes and other military charities have been "getting cosy with the MoD". Other charities stand accused of cozying up to Guv to further their own aims, and raise their profile. Even to extend their funding. Truth?

Isn't the question whether MOD have been using H4H funds to provide infrastructure that they shoudl be putting in place and thus depriving wounded servicemen of the care specific to their needs.

Who owns the buildings that H4H have been paying for and who directs the use they get put to. The charity or MOD? If the answer is MOD the charity funds could legitimately be said to have been appropraited to cover MOD's responsibilities.
 
#5
I would like to know what was so wrong with our traditional military charity's such as RBL, SSAFA, Combat Stress ect to warrant for even more?

The more charity's we have, the less credible they then become.

Someone obviously saw a gap in the market to make a lucrative living off the backs of our wounded and hard up Veteran Community.

The more charity's we have, the less the government will care about our veteran community as all the work is being done for them.

H4H will just go on the defensive in tonight's 22.30 hrs showdown, they will simply deny everything and anything regarding allegations of any financial wrong doing.

Just watch it happen!
 
#6
I would like to know what was so wrong with our traditional military charity's such as RBL, SSAFA, Combat Stress ect to warrant for even more?

The more charity's we have, the less credible they then become.

Someone obviously saw a gap in the market to make a lucrative living off the backs of our wounded and hard up Veteran Community.

The more charity's we have, the less the government will care about our veteran community as all the work is being done for them.

H4H will just go on the defensive in tonight's 22.30 hrs showdown, they will simply deny everything and anything regarding allegations of any financial wrong doing.

Just watch it happen!
They are hardly likely to say " Ok its a fair cop guv. We have been fiddling the books and robbing the wounded but society is to blame" now are they?
 

elovabloke

ADC
Moderator
#7
I'm sure there have been no financial wrong doing on behalf of H4H. Its just that H4H is providing much of the capitol project funding that central government should be supplying. Unfourtunatly the RBL has also become snared into this by providing much of the revenue costs for the same projects leaving the MOD with not much to pay for.

As to the point on the many charties that have sprung up, yes they are taking much needed public money and support from the traditional military charities which obviously some of the public must feel are not providing the support they should. But that is for another thread.
 
#8
It is a shame that the head sheds of the bigger militatry charities feel they must have a large expensive HQ close to central government. Help for Heroes initial projected started with good intentions and then became the clebs favourite toy without realising what the initial aims and purpose was. I supported their efforts until the drip feed of information on what the money was being used on post the Headley refurb started coming to light.

IMHO they should stop funding projects that are the countries responsibilities and use the funds to assist ALL and not the selected few members of the armed forces and veterans.
My thoughts exactly, as soon as the Sun started bigging them up it started to look iffy from a "charity" point of view I'm suspicious of any celeb backed outfit
 
#9
I don't see any fiddling claims. I do see H4H paying for stuff MoD SHOULD be paying for, that's the rub. The very ex-service members that H4H should be paying to help are now cut out because they're ex-service and H4H is paying for support that MoD should be paying for. Maybe H4H should turn round and say to MoD "Money back, or open up what WE'VE paid for to all ex-service membesr"
 
#10
I have been increasingly uncomfortable about the H4H spending. It appears to be a new revenue stream for MoD allowing them to spend less, relying on charitable money to fund core activity. Why for example is £20m being spent on an old officers' mess. Surely a new build would have been cheaper and better. I suspect that MoD was failing to maintain a grade 2 listed building and passed the problem over to H4H. Charitable donations have got the DIO out of a hole and will continue to fund an expensive (but attractive) white elephant.
 
#11
So far, reports indicate that it is the dead hand of the MoD which is causing problems: "The charity has been overly reliant on the MoD for advice on where to allocate funds".
Incidentally this is why H4H got into the fund raising business in the first place, to allow the building of specialist facilities which MoD said it could not afford. Same argument as the closing of the military hospitals, too expensive.
Obviously not the same team who found funds for the two new carriers etc.
Perhaps it's just a question of priorities.

B
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
#12
Service people and ex-service people who have been damaged by their service are the absolute morsal responsibility of the GOVERNMENT. It is a national disgrace that a Govt that wilfully sends money to Uganda and goodness knows where else will not take responsibility for its own damaged servants. In a fair country there would be no need for charity in this sphere.

This Govt will be only too delighted to sit back and let H4H take the flak.
 
#13
H4H has become a victim of its own success. MOD and HMG have seen that Charities can raise the cash and they have left them to it abdicating their responsibilities but offering, I am sure useful advice. It is called the Big Society! And that in common parlance means well done guys you can now do it all yourself!
Are the H4H patrons governing body and CEO capable of playing in the big boys league and doing the politics so dictating the pace, or are they being played by MOD and having their egos massaged, I do hope not ,as I have a lot of time and respect for them all.
 
#15
Be in no doubt that as much as there is a "poverty industry" there has over the last few years been the development of a "services charity industry". There is much good work being done in the space but one facet that concerns me is the regimental funds that appear to be squeezed out of the "market" and they are often closer to the needs of servicemen, veterans and their families.
 
#16
From Help for Heroes

BBC Newsnight tonight features a report on Help for Heroes, including a series of interviews with former Servicemen who suggest that Help for Heroes has been misled by the MOD into funding building projects that that are not available to veterans, rather than providing money for prosthetics.

We are deeply upset at these accusations and the misleading nature of the report and would like to set the record straight.

It is the responsibility of Government to provide prosthetics, but H4H has been a key driver behind the scenes to ensure that the MOD and NHS deliver the best to both the serving injured and to veterans. In certain cases where we feel that support is not fast enough or the requirement is specialist we reserve the right to fund prosthetics.

H4H, together with BLESMA and COBSEO, has led in the area of prosthetics support and was behind the Murrison report. We are now confident that the provision of prosthetics is being correctly supported by Government.

In 2008, H4H identified a need for a national network of Recovery Centres to support both those who are serving and those who subsequently become veterans. We work tirelessly to ensure that this is delivered with speed, to the highest standard and at a competitive price. We believe that the four centres that H4H is creating, together with the three where the Royal British Legion are the principle operators, will give us a world-class support network that will endure.

We work closely in partnership with the MOD but continue to drive the agenda and challenge the status quo. We are fiercely independent and far from getting our orders from the senior officers, we listen to the wounded themselves and then see how best we can support them. Our relationship with the MOD and Government has at times been lively, but has been instrumental in improving the provision of the support we are able to give now and in future.

The individuals who have chosen to speak out against H4H today state that they have not received the support they required from us. In each of these cases we have provided significant support, some as recently as within the last 9 months. We can only assume that, as the funding is sometimes administered by a third party, these individuals are unaware that the support they have received has come from Help for Heroes.

We are immensely proud of what we are doing at H4H, and are grateful to the generosity of the Great British public who have shown their support and helped us to change the lives of so many incredible individuals. We understand that some of our supporters may be concerned by what they see in this report, and would like to reassure them that we are committed to providing the very best support to our wounded heroes, not just for today but for life. We have committed over £121m worth of support, the largest single contribution in British military history, both directly to individuals and to provide world class facilities that would not otherwise have existed. We have championed the cause for the wounded injured and sick and we will continue to do so.
 
T

Tremaine

Guest
#17
It's fair to say, as said earlier in the thread and from professional experience, that in the past H4H has excluded a lot of people by concentrating on recent conflicts only. Whether funds have been misused or misappropriated seems a bold accusation. There are several agencies and charities involved with H4H for admin and distribution. H4H joined with the RBL who were also involved with the recovery centres (PRC and PRACs) and also the Battle Back programe. There are several charities working together. Worth a thought.
 
#18
I dont think there is any aligations of actual financial wrong doing.
I think it is more to do with the public not actually being informed about what H4H is actually
doing, and what their aim is ( or was in the first place) .
Most charities state what their aim is, RNLI builds and operates the Lifeboats, the RNIB helps blind people.
But H4H seems to have expanded its aims without informing the public successfully. Instead of doing one major project and then moving on to another, and explaining along the way what they are doing , they get carried away with their own success.
I get the impression from people I talk to that they are frieghtened of H4H. I give money to RBL, Scottys Little Soldiers and Afgan Heroes, but if I walk past somebody collecting for H4H the expression and vibes given off is that I am against our troops.
 
#19
IMHO H4H are all shop window and no substance. I volunteered to collect for them last year, got no response despite emails as I couldn't get through on the phone. Then a story came out about a bogus collector so don't seem to have good admin. I'm sticking to the established charities to send my dosh.
 
#20
I have been increasingly uncomfortable about the H4H spending. It appears to be a new revenue stream for MoD allowing them to spend less, relying on charitable money to fund core activity. Why for example is £20m being spent on an old officers' mess. Surely a new build would have been cheaper and better. I suspect that MoD was failing to maintain a grade 2 listed building and passed the problem over to H4H. Charitable donations have got the DIO out of a hole and will continue to fund an expensive (but attractive) white elephant.
I visited Tedworth House recently and it is superb; probably better than a new build. One of the great things about it is its surroundings; I'm not sure you could get an empty building plot in a similar place. It is absolutely the best quality it could be, as are all the facilities it provides, which are the really important things. There are also many military charities in one place there - the Hub.

Of course MoD should have provided it, but look at their track record - if it was left to MoD it would be nowhere near as good, not on time and probably 'run' by one of the contractors that ruin messes all over the place.

The simple fact is that MoD would not, and probably could not, provide the same level of facilities that H4H, RBL and all the other charities have done.

Surely no-one would say no to charity funding just to allow MoD to prove what a mess they can make of a project - again?

As for the Rev Dannatt's suggestion of a mil charity czar - the last thing we need.
 

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