Help4Heroes - MOD Bidding

#1
Olen said:
When Help4Heroes announced its Headley Court Project, Gordon Brown, instead of cringing with shame and robustly declining the H4H offer, openly welcomed the initiative on National TV. He even went so far as to appeal to the public to support them.

H4H now dominates the Service Charity sector. Apart from a grant of £3.5 Million to Combat Stress, sadly used to build a new Admin HQ and not directed into frontline PTSD treatment, most of its money is spent building Medical facilities to treat serving Soldiers. These include the Headly Court project and 4 Army Recovery Centres. The MOD does not ask charities to build workshops, stables, cookhouses, officer’s messes or billet blocks, yet it has no qualms about begging for funds for Medical facilities. Using H4H fundraising potential allows them to abdicate their statutory responsibility for the recuperative care of its most precious commodity, Tommy Atkins. It is another stealth Tax, cynically exploiting those who contribute to the publicity and marketing savvy H4H.

The H4H website states that is free from the restrictions of normal Service Charities, responding instead to Service Chiefs and Directorates. In fact unlike all other Service Charities it is now a revenue raising branch of the MOD. The latest online Soldier magazine has an article on how the MOD are deeply concerned about the numbers of injured serving soldiers awaiting rehabilitation treatment, hence not deployable, it tells how they, in collaboration with H4H and TRBL, are going to tackle the issue. Both charities are going to cough up £30 Million to build the Army Recovery Centres. (We had excellent Army Recovery Centres in Catterick, Tidworth, Colchester and Aldershot, they were called Military Hospitals by the way.) To compound this, a review of long term rehab provision is underway, it is highly likely that the DMRC will move to Brum to be next to the Orthpods and other specialities. This effectively means that the Swimming Pool and Gym, funded by H4H may well have a limited lifespan. If MOD have clearly identified the Army Recovery Centres as an operational requirement, it follows that they should fund these under the UOR scheme instead of pleading poverty and begging for support.

Whilst H4H continues with its quest for charitable donations to fund buildings and facilities on behalf of MOD and the Service Chiefs, the rest of the Service Charities, who will always be there for all veterans, are struggling to make ends meet. This is partly due to the recession but mainly to the H4H drive to meet new targets. H4H states on its website that its profile has actually helped other Service Charities, this is not true. The Public tend to give to one Service Charity, currently H4H through high profile marketing. Nearly all Service Units and many individual Servicemen are engaged in H4H Fundraising in some form or other, often through CoC and Peer pressure influence. Two years ago this effort would have been directed towards long established Service and Regimental Charities. I read in the Mail that the ABF must now find money for grants for the ever increasing numbers of penniless Ghurkhas arriving to live in the UK following the Joanna Lumley campaign. Perhaps H4H or TRBL could redirect some of their affluence towards those Veteran Ghurkhas.

Having spoken to many UK visitors and Veterans coming to Ypres over the past 6 Months I was amazed to find that the majority think that H4H is building modern Royal Chelsea Hospital type facilities for the full life care of the medically discharged. They were dumbfounded to find that H4H was being used to provide essential facilities for serving Soldiers. I have no doubt that H4H and its people are highly laudable and full of good intentions, but I believe their outstanding fundraising efforts must be a source of great comfort the Gordon Brown and his cronies.

The H4H website tells how the MOD had to prioritise its spending and the new Charity was chartered to meet any shortfall in Medical care provision. For that I read that providing a seamless, properly funded Medical system from point of injury to full recovery or medical discharge, was not an MOD priority, just bits of it. The £40 Million they have saved by H4H activity can now be channelled to New Labour PC projects such as its equality and diversity programmes or wasted by MOD on procurement mismanagement. It is less than 1% of the MOD budget and 0.1% of that spent on Social Security for the workshy and other spongers. It would pay just 40 of the 1000 Bonuses recently given to the Taxpayer funded RBS or pay the Annual Bonuses of the top layer of Civil Servants.

On the other hand that £40 Million would have made a huge difference to the lives of Veterans of past and future conflicts. Many Veterans, who suffered appalling mental and physical injuries, are now largely abandoned by the MOD and UK Government. Their only sources of assistance from poverty, misery and the cold are grants from the long established Service Charities, now side lined by the H4H revenue generating machine. A fraction of that £40 Million would have helped refurbish all of the Sandes Soldiers Homes, a worthwhile, struggling Charity which provides good facilities and Family meals for Soldiers in Garrisons such as Catterick.

As an unashamed supporter of all those currently serving and fighting and my comments here are not directed at them in any way. My gripe is with MOD for using H4H as a begging bowl to fund its responsibilities and with H4H for unwittingly collaborating with them. I know that I will be roundly abused for publically airing my views; nonetheless I am not alone in thinking as I do. Many feel it is not PC to speak out against H4H and its cynical exploitation by the Government, opting to stay silent instead.
This was posted on the RHQ, Pay and Personel Forum. I post it to this Forum as i appears more relevant. Although I have supported H4H extensively, I must agree with Olen they are doing the MOD/Govment work for them

Forgot to add Link:

http://www.arrse.co.uk/Forums/viewtopic/t=145506.html
 
#2
It's not much difference for a lot of other 'charities'. For example why are the air ambulances run on donations, why do local people have to dib in their pockets for a new scanner at the local hospital.

You could say that most charities are a result of failure of the government at the time, to prioritise its spending?
 
#3
RNLI recieve no government money in the UK (though I believe they do in the ROI which they also cover) and they do absolutly sterling work I'm sure we'd all agree.

Even if 'everything' was fully funded by government, someone in Joe Public would still want to do something for certain causes, whether it be H4H, RBL or guide dogs for the blind.

The fact that provision for those injured in HM Forces isn't fully funded is disgusting and is something I hope the next 'elected' prime minister does something about.
 

oldbaldy

LE
Moderator
#4
There are hundreds of charities whose, it could be agrued, activities should come out of the public purse. As STP says RNLI, TRBL & Guide Dogs, I would add the Mountain Resue, McMillan Nurses, Hospices, the list could go on and on.
Until the advent of H4H, except for the Poppy Appeal, service charities were not considered 'sexy' and so the public would be more likely to give money to an animal shelter than to say SSAFA, ABF, Combat Stress, BLESMA or St Dunstans.
OK H4H might have deflected some money away from older charities but a lot of those have benefitted from the new money brought in by H4H, a good example is the Norton Homes in Ashtead & Birmingham run by SSAFA which received half a million go get them going. Should the government (MOD) have provided somewhere for families to stay, quite possibly, but they didn't & so it was left to the charity sector to fill the gap.
A sad state of affairs I know but we are where we are & have to made the best of it whilst at the same time badgering our MPs to provide better facilities for Vets of all age groups, not those injured since 2005.
 
#5
The money for the Norton Houses was, ofciurse, very welcome; but it's worth pointing out SSAFA raised over £5 million itself.

On balance, I think H4H has brought new donors into the Service charities, but I think there is a lot of misunderstanding about what they do. My pet peeve is the number of people who think they raise money for Headley Court (right now, they've paid their proportion of the swimming pool costs, and nothing new is earmarked for there). And I think there are widespread misconceptions about assistance to individuals; I don't think H4H has misrepresented itself, but the general public has made an assumption that it is somehow synonymous with helping with everything. This could prove a tragic mistake if either specialists such as St Dunstans have to curtail any activities, or if SSAFA (with it's unique network of caseworkers (on which so much of the Benevolent effort rests) cannot raise the funds it might otherwise have hoped for in this, it's anniversary year.
 
#6
It is also surprising the number of people who think their wristband and sticker money (along with all other products) is raising money for the charity. In fact the proceeds pay for the running costs, which include the salaries for the founders and other paid staff. The first year of operations saw a total of £90,000 paid to the two founders in 'consultancy' fees, not including transport and expenses. Thats a lot of wristbands.

They are both now salaried but released accounts to date have not shown at what remuneration.

I appreciate that all (most) charities have paid staff and directors, but when you see the wristbands and badges being sold, how many people think they are donating to the charity itself?

No-one can deny it has raised a fortune, but has it not just become a huge donations hoover and a nice little earner for the founders, to boot?
 
#7
All proceeds from the Sale of Wristbands, have counted as 100% donation to the charity since October 2009. they haven't been a "merchandise item" for almost 6 months now and their production costs are absorbed by the sale of other Merchandise Items.
 
#8
Azrael2006 said:
All proceeds from the Sale of Wristbands, have counted as 100% donation to the charity since October 2009. they haven't been a "merchandise item" for almost 6 months now and their production costs are absorbed by the sale of other Merchandise Items.
I stand corrected then. I take it all other merchandise pays for the running costs/salaries/company cars and expenses then?
 
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