Veterans Aid was founded in the aftermath of WW1 by Mrs Gwen Huggins, an officer’s wife who was moved by the plight of the many homeless ex-servicemen she saw sleeping on the Thames Embankment – jobless, homeless, hungry and in despair. It has provided continuous support for veterans in crisis ever since. It spends very little on advertising and marketing but the impact on what it invests in changing lives is phenomenal – a fact acknowledged in 2011 when it received the Institute for Turnaround Award, Europe’s top benchmark of organisations that have effected inspirational transformation.
Veterans Aid operates a Drop-in centre and a Hostel; it provides accommodation, outreach services, helpline and a diverse range of solutions to those in need. It doesn’t ‘hand out’ money, it gives individuals a positive ‘hand up’ providing bespoke help with education, skills training, mental health and homelessness issues. The Charity’s key aim is to break the cycle of personal crisis by immediate, needs-led intervention.
Arguably, no charity in its sector has had such an impact on the perception, understanding and welfare of Veterans in Britain today. VA has both challenged assumptions and sparked national political debate on wider aspects of legislation, welfare and Veterans wellbeing issues – a significant outcome from a charity with an annual turnover of just £1.9 million and staff of 19.
It is a place of hope and humour with an unparalleled track record of turning lives around. The funds it attracts are spent exclusively on those it exists to help and its focus is on long term sustainability rather than quick fixes.
Through Veterans Aid, we’re currently privileged to support the ‘War Requiem’ (link opens in new window) World War I centenary event at the Royal Albert Hall, on Remembrance Sunday, 9 November 2014, a signature musical event that will raise funds exclusively for Veterans Aid. It marks a milestone in world history and is a poignant reminder to all associated with the charity of how little its core values have changed over the decades. Concept looks forward to continuing to provide sponsorship for future Veterans Aid events.
Veterans Aid, along with its sister charity ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, have partnered with the Homeless Veterans to become recipients of the Independent & Evening Standard’s Christmas Appeal. They are taking up the cause of our country’s Homeless Veterans for this year’s Christmas campaign.
Homeless Veterans along with their partner charities, ABF The Soldiers’ Charity and Veterans Aid, want your help to do all we can to ensure that where ex-servicemen and women have fallen into hard times, we are there to offer them the helping hand they need. The aim is to raise £1M.
We encourage you all to read these two excellent articles from the Independent and don’t forget to donate!
The Independent: Homeless Veterans,those who served their country now need us to serve them
The Independent: Homeless Veterans, back home without a home
Veterans Aid is delighted to be affiliated with Concept Building Services. The generosity and support that Concept Building Services has shown to Veterans Aid is phenomenal.
Concept Building Services help Veterans in our care who have reached the point when they are ready to work again. By training and employing our clients who are interested in working in the Construction industry, Concept Building Services are helping to give them their lives back.
Concept Building Services play a key role in the “hand up, not a hand out” ethos of Veterans Aid. The Veterans must pass interview and show suitability for employment in the Construction Industry in their own right. This is all part of helping the individual to have mental, physical, psychological and financial independence that will lead to a fulfilling life and Concept Building Services will help them train into an area of the industry in which they would like to specialise.
Veterans Aid is extremely grateful for the endless enthusiasm that Concept Building Services shows to us whenever we need a helping hand; be it at an event or by helping us raise awareness of the charity to those that may need us, and when they do we are always here.
Ms Delia Holdom, Events & Development