Help for Heroes v. BLESMA/Combat Stress/St Dunstans/SSAFA/ABF Etc

Discussion in 'Charities and Welfare' started by Obadiah_Octavius, Jul 11, 2010.

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  1. Went to Ascot yesterday with friends whose children were participating in the "Horses 4 Heroes" sponsored ride around Windsor Park and Ascot Racecourse in aid of H4H. A marvelous day was had by all and, I'm told, £750,000 has been raised/promised.

    Menwhile, while lounging in a deck chair enjoying something long and cool while admiring much crumpet in sprayed on jodphurs, an elderly "Duchess" type came by, we exhchanged pleasantries and commenced conversation.

    Apparantly, she is a regional coordinator for the ABF and commented on how H4H has captured the public's imagination to the detriment of the other Service Charities. She then banged on about BLESMA, claiming that injured serving pers get the best of the best when it comes to replacement limbs but, once discharged, are at the mercy of their local NHS PCT for support and servicing etc. Many PCT's are slow at coming forward to support discharged service pers with replacement limbs who then turn to BLESMA who are desparately short of donations while H4H has around £19,000,000 in the bank and no way to spend it on those who have been discharged as their trust deed is for "serving personnel".

    So, running the risk of a metaphorical stoning, should H4H step their profile down a gear or two and allow service charities a slice of the action or, is everything fine and she was some old (well spoken) biddy having a unjustifiable rant?!
  2. Gremlin

    Gremlin LE Good Egg (charities)

    It's certainly something that has been mentioned the odd once or twice!
  3. It's my understanding that H4H are now looking at working alongside exisiting Forces charities as a direct result of these numerous mutterings.
  4. Gremlin

    Gremlin LE Good Egg (charities)

    BTW, this part:

    is absolute rubbish:
    From Help for Heroes governing document.

    I may not be their greatest fan, but at least we should try to get the facts correct!
  5. Gremlin

    Gremlin LE Good Egg (charities)

    Well their returns for 2008/09 show that they intended to give Combat Stress a grant of £3.5m.
  6. Thank you Gremlin but I thought it was quite clear that I was quoting from the lady I was speaking with. However, and without degenerating into an early slagging match, if that is the case, why are such comments considered necessary with support here in this thread? Just to clarify, I'm not anti-H4H and I wear a H4H wristband, and have done for over 18 months.
  7. I'm agreeing with you Gremlin. I expect more to follow.
  8. elovabloke

    elovabloke LE Moderator

    The ladies right - however H4H is starting to get the message and assisting the other charities. The unfortunate side is that something like H4H had to be put in place as their original aim was to provide facilities that the state should have been responsable for in the first place.
  9. not entirely rubbish Gremlin - there is another paragraph on the H4H website re charitable objects:

    The charity’s objects are to assist persons who are currently serving or who have served in the Armed Forces, and their dependants, by any lawful charitable purpose at the discretion of the trustees and in particular but not exclusively;

    1. To promote and protect the health of those that have been wounded whilst serving in the Armed Forces by making grants to purchase equipment for their rehabilitation; and

    2. To make grants to other charities that assist members of the Armed Forces and their dependents.

    Our current grants policy is to look for strategic partners that are developing the rehabilitation infrastructure required by those Servicemen and women injured in the line of duty, both in action and in more general service. Mindful of the work of other service charities, we currently restrict our grant making to support those affected by the current conflicts i.e, since 9/11
  10. elovabloke

    elovabloke LE Moderator

    And there lies the rub.

    Other services charities have been supporting serving and ex personnel in some cases for over 100 years where as H4H is assisting the Government of the day to make a two tier system. Many service personnel prior to 9/11 are in a situation where they would greatly benifit from a rehab infrastructure.

    Why does H4H feel it should not involve itself with the care of personnel prior to 9/11.
  11. Goatman

    Goatman LE Book Reviewer

    Guys, for what it is worth I have run marathons for both Combat Stress and BLESMA. I have also raised money for both ABF and Help for Heroes. ( Big whoop ...where's ma medal then, whataboojie Betty ? )

    Slightly brow-furrowed that the fact that H4H donated 3.5M DIRECTLYto Combat Stress last year (not planned, given) is so little known. Especially by the moderator of this Board !

    In one fell swoop H4H matched the Annual sum which Combat Stress receives from MoD......ker-chingg!

    I was at Tyrwhitt House on Friday last week - the £3.5M which has been donated by Help for Heroes is paying for the new extension which is rising up there as we speak. If any journalists or indeed Arrsers want chapter and verse on the H4H donation, when it was received by C_S and how it has (already) been spent, they can contact Combat Stress Press Office on 01372 587167 and ask them all about it.

    There is another thread on here in which a poster who is involved with another charity has had a rather bitter pop about 'The H4H OBE's '. I've met the Parrys......they are decent people, whose son is currently serving in AFG .

    When H4H started up, the Army Ben Fund wanted initially to 'take it under their wing'. It would have resulted in a shortlived campaign which would have withered on the vine within a year I suspect.

    They have captured Joe Public's imagination in a way which the older charities have tried desparately to do. Good on 'em. Surely all the Service charities are straining mightily in the same direction anyway ?

    And, having stood in the market place in Andover ( a not particularly well-off but staunchly pro Services locstat) two years ago and had people stuffing fivers in the H4H tin whilst muttering fiercely 'Great to see you - but Gordon bloody Brown should be payin for this ! ' then I am all too well aware of that viewpoint.

    Truth is, going back to Nelson's day, when both the Royal Hospital Chelsea and the Greenwich Hospital were built, the charitable side of British public life has ALWAYS been asked to pick up where the State has left off. Governments NEVER have enough money to give veterans what they deserve. ( although some have been more willing to acknowledge the debt than others)

    ' Plus ca change, plus que c'est la meme chose ' as the Tonkinois say

    TRANS: 'Same shit, different day '

    My two sestercii for what it may be worth,

    Don ' Donde es mi dos equis?' Cabra
  12. Gremlin

    Gremlin LE Good Egg (charities)

    There is a massive difference between a Charity's governing document, and its current grants policy.

    One is a legal requirement, the other is set by the intention of its Board of Trustees. Ergo what was stated to O_O (in the original post) was indeed rubbish.

    H4H's 'charter' allows it to assist both serving and former personnel, which is what I pointed out in my original post. Whether it does so or not is an entirely different matter, and as Elovabloke (almost) says: 'Therein Lies the Rub'.

    The fact that they are now restricting themselves to post 9/11 support (Grrrrr - it's 11/9) means that H4H still have not fully grasped their importance in the services charity market place.

    They (H4H) may believe that by narrowing their targeted support areas, they are actually helping other charities by not treading on their toes/encroaching on their ground. The opposite is actually the case. Most of the general public now view H4H as the equivalent of a services charity Panacea, and donate with that view in mind. As a result some of the traditional funding for charities that deal with pre 11/9 matters (and that is a very large area) is drying up. H4H need to recognise the fact that they potentially have a strangle hold on the Services sector, or at least a very substantial influence on it, and address that fact.

    Help for Heroes has had a huge effect on the profile of Services fundraising since they were set up, but they need to take on board that this fact means that they now have certain responsibilities. I, for one, would like to see them being slightly less blinkered in their view of their remit, and equally as important, address the negative side that the greater publicity has bought; namely the massive growth in Not for Profit organisations, or Donation by Proxy, to put it another way. The Wounded Warrior Project (UK version, not the US one, which is entirely legit) is a classic case in point!

    H4H are also causing massive problems as they are assumed to be the public face of Services Charities. I've spoken to numerous people who have tried to donate either time, facilities or events to them only to have their approach ignored or rebuffed. One of these was a multimillion net-worth UK company! Those people have frequently been on the point of approaching other charity sectors by the time that I have spoken to them.

    H4H need to get a grip of their comms and PR in this area. If they can't use resources, then they should be forwarding the requests on to other charities that can, or at least redirecting the donor.

    They also need to clarify what is viewed as their possible transient nature. H4H was set up as a result of Brynn Parry's reaction to Headley Court. The speed and success of their growth shows that they caught the public imagination in a way that the more traditional fundraisers had failed to do. Now that they are in this position they need to make it clear whether they are in this for the long haul, or just for the duration of the current level of Ops in AFG. I'd also like to see clarification of why they are not currently a member of COBSEO.

    I've heard an awful lot of negative comments over the last two years from inside the charity sector, and more importantly inside the Forces themselves, about H4H; some of which is valid, and a lot of which is not (as pointed out by Goaty). Help for Heroes now ranks in the top tier of Forces support, alongside the RBL, SSAFA, ABF et al, and they need to start acting accordingly. They have had a very fast learning curve, and have had a growth in stature and available resources that would take any normal organisation years to achieve. At the moment they are a bit like a precocious teenager, and it is time to mature in to adulthood.
  13. oldbaldy

    oldbaldy LE Moderator Good Egg (charities)
    1. Battlefield Tours

    When H4H have given grants to other charities they have been for, in the main, bricks and mortar type facilities but the problem for the established charities is the sheer weight of people needing ongoing assistance. As I mentioned on one of the other posts about this (& as Gremlin says it keeps coming up as if the writer has has a eurka moment) recently the ABF have had a 30% surge in applications for assistance and at present need to raise £7 million to meet the need, they see this sum rising to £14 million by 2015. Blesma, St Dunstans, Combat Stress etc all face similar challenges.
  14. Glsagow has now got a one stop office in George Street (280) This is for all service personell who need help....It is for both Serving and Exserving SSAFA/H4H Glasgow council and beneits staff are on hand 5 days a week this office only just opened and the Idea is a one stop help shop for all.....Staff from here can access the Glasgow housing and the benefits agencies are working with the staff from here al staff are Ex forces..................Cn be accessed by Phoning the Glasgow SSAFA OFFICE.......OR as they prefer just walk in....
  15. oldbaldy

    oldbaldy LE Moderator Good Egg (charities)
    1. Battlefield Tours

    This initiative has nothing to do with H4h it is a join venture between SSAFA, Poppy Scotland, Combat Stress, TRBL and some local and national government agencies:
    Helping Heroes AFD

    There lies another rub, H4H get credit for schemes they are not involved in.