Will the next nouveau Service Charity be Wksps4Tanks?

Discussion in 'Army Pay, Claims & JPA' started by Olen, Mar 8, 2010.

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  1. 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.
     
  2. To be honest. without H4H the medical service would be on par with the way it was in the F***ing Crimea, and Scutari before Florence arrived, because the New Labour wonkers could't give a shite
     
  3. I complete agree with the original post - spot on. We have entered a brave new world of charity money replacing main stream funding.
     
  4. oldbaldy

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

    & don't get me started on local authorities playing fast and loose with DFGs as they want a service charity to fund instead.
     
  5. Lets be honest the fact that we ex service people have to depend on charity is a fuc**g disgrace, it should be the responibility of the government to look after the wellfare of its ex service population not the RBL, and to need a charity to ensure that serving soldiers get the equipment and treatment they need is really outragous, but what can we do with these cnuts we have running this loony government
     
  6. Not quite so Trooper 66. The H4H projects have no influence on the excellent Medical Care provided in Afghanistan, Sellly Oak and Hedley Court. The DMRC Gym and Swimming Pool is not yet commissioned and the 4 Army Recovery Centres are only in the planning stages. I am not sure what the Edinburgh project contributes to overall rehab. One long term problem looming for current Amputees is over who will provide replacements for their very expensive prosthetic limbs long after they are Medically Discharged. Most NHS PCT's are broke and quite frankly I just cannot see them forking out £Thousands for state of the art legs/arms. They will try use the cheapest product going. If the long established Service Charities remain underfunded through H4H competition then that source of finanancial top up is also limited. Incidentally is H4H a member of the Confederation of British Service and Ex Service Organisations (COBSEO). The reason I ask is that on the Wounded Warrior Project Thread an MOD Spokesman states that they only deal with organisations registered with COBSEO.
     
  7. oldbaldy

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

    No they are not.
     
  8. Strange, If H4H is not in COBSEO and MOD is happy to use them to fund Capital Building Projects then they are applying double standards to the Wounded Warrior Project
     
  9. Is H4H doing good? Undoubtedly.

    Should they be raising funds to pay for things that are the government's obligation? No.

    If they didn't raise funds and profiles in this way, would HMG cry uncle and pay their whack? No. The cheapskate sods, politicians and civil servants both.

    Should this debate continue, even if there was a risk that some people might opt not to dib in to H4H claiming that this encourages the government to renege on its responsibilities? Yes. Otherwise the sods will continue to pay for duckhouses and flat screen porn, rather than hydrotherapy pools and relatives accommodation during rehab.
     
  10. Well done Olen, for having the bravery to say such things that lesser mortals think but dare not say.

    For having the understanding to realise that H4H dominates all other service charities to their detriment, despite its recent 'lets be pals and we will work with you all ' newsletter.

    It is the high street shop and out of town supermarket scenario.

    Is H4H the cartharsis of the guilt ridden British middle classes? They have done a great job in waking the public up to the lack of preparation that went into these wars but now they have a great responsibility to all servicemen and women.

    Lets be realistic about this, if you were in government you would be overjoyed that someone had come along and offered to pay some of your bills thus freeing up vital funds prior to an election.

    I too, like Olen, am a massive supporter of the military but I am worried that the huge amount of money that flows into H4H will go to what they feel is necessary and not the smaller service charities who address the needs of soldiers and veterans more directly.

    There, the head is above the parapet.

    Ask me no more, for fear I should reply;

    Others have held their tongues, and so can I;

    Hundreds have died, and told no tale before:

    Ask me no more, for fear I should reply—



    How one was true and one was clean of stain

    And one was braver than the heavens are high,

    And one was fond of me: and all are slain.

    Ask me no more, for fear I should reply.
     
  11. oldbaldy

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

    Unfortunately non of this is new.
    H4H are just the latest in a long line of charities set up because of the failing of government.
    2010 is the 125 anniversay of the formation of SSAFA, when Major James Gidea wrote a letter to the Times to appeal for funds to assist the families of those on the 2nd Expeditionary Force to Eygpt. The Royal Britsish Legion was founded in 1921 to give a voice to WW1 vets. The Not Forgotten Association founded in 1919 does what is says on the tin.
    If the goverment of the day did it's job properly all the various Regiment Associations would not have to be involved in benovolence.
    H4H is only the latest in a long, long line!
     
  12. There were thirty million English who talk of Englands might
    There were twenty broken troopers who lacked a bed for the night
    They had neither food nor money,they had neither service nor trade
    They were only shiftless soldiers, the last of the Light Brigade

    They felt that life was fleeting,they knew not that art was long
    That though they were dying of famine,they lived in a deathless song
    They asked for a little money,to keep the wolf from the door
    And the thirty million English sent TWENTY pounds and FOUR

    Kipling
    The Last of the Light Brigade

    In 1891 there were twenty survivors of the charge, a public apppeal for funds to assist the veterans raised £24

    So nothing new there then
     
  13. And for interest compare with the detail in the recent briefing to the US Congress by the Commandant of the USMC.

    "Wounded Warriors. About 9,000 Marines have been injured or fallen seriously ill while
    serving in support of Operations IRAQI FREEDOM or ENDURING FREEDOM. We are
    deeply committed to their care as well as the welfare of their families. Since activation in April
    2007, the Wounded Warrior Regiment has provided a wide range of non-medical care for the
    injured and ill. The Marine Corps now also has wounded warrior battalions at Camp Pendleton
    and Camp Lejeune.
    • Infrastructure. The Marine Corps is investing $50 million from the 2009 Overseas
    Contingency Operations supplemental for the construction of resource and recovery centers
    at Camp Pendleton and Camp Lejeune. These recovery centers will provide spaces for
    counseling, physical therapy, employment support, financial management, and other training
    and outreach programs in support of our wounded.
    • Outreach. With a 24-hour call center for wounded Marines and their families, the Wounded
    Warrior Regiment has contacted 99.4 percent of all Marines (7,654 out of 7,703) who were
    wounded since the beginning of Operations IRAQI FREEDOM and ENDURING
    FREEDOM, in order to determine their health status. We also maintain a toll-free number to
    the medical center in Landstuhl, Germany for families to contact their loved ones who have
    been wounded.
    • Recovery Care. The Marine Corps has 42 recovery care coordinators, who coordinate nonmedical
    services for Marines and their families during recovery, rehabilitation, and transition.
     
  14. As a H4H supporter I thought that Olen was overstating his case in his initial post. Having looked closely at what he has stated and what H4H is doing I find myself in full agreement. Withoubt doubt H4H are fund raising on behalf of the MOD/Govment. I had not realised this at all. I will now switch my giving to St Dunstans instead. The USMC is of like size to our Army, if they can switch contingency money to care of their injured then surely MOD can do the same. It is a shame that H4H is used and abused in this way.
     
  15. It never ceases to amaze me how much grass roots support there is for our soldiers. Even the Chavs seem to be behind our soldiers, probably because a significant proportion of our Armed Forces come from the Council Estates of the UK.
    I agree with everything Olen says but, and this is the big but, to stop funding H4H would have a detrimental effect on the care of our wounded. Stop funding H4H and you condemn our wounded to sub-standard rehabilitation. I give to H4H although recently I make sure to send a few bob to Holdiays4 Heroes too, mainly because it feels very in-house, it's us doing something for our own.
    The problem of wounded troops is very here and now and it maintains a high media profile, it's almost inevitable that a charity set up specifically to deal with that problem would receive the lion's share of the public's attention. Dignified old men who fought their way from Africa to Berlin tend to get forgotten in the rush to look after the butchered youth of today. Perhaps H4H should be lobbied to provide more for other Service charities but I rather suspect that Joe Public might object to that and they are, after all, the ones digging into their pockets.
    I once went to St Pancras Hospital and saw a little sign on a door to the Continence Advisor's office, it said something along the lines:
    "I long for the day when the Army has to hold a jumble sale to raise money to buy a missile and the NHS has all it needs". It looks like that day has sadly arrived only it's not missiles but basic follow-on care.
    It's my understanding that Blesma is now working harder than it has done for many a year and St Dunstan's, the RBL etc, these charities cannot be left to dwindle but perhaps, especially the RBL needs to reinvent itself if the Legion Bars aren't pulling in the revenue and look at other ways to raise money.
    The other problem with relying on charitable donation is that public opinion is of a capricious nature and attention can easily be diverted to other causes if the need is seen as more pressing. Relying on charitable effort is certainly no way to cater for the long term and is yet another manoeuvre of a largely cynical and uncaring Government.