This is my 8th year as the CEO. I am proud of the achievements this tiny charity has continued to produce. By every measure we, and how others use to judge our work, results have been bettered year on year, this reporting period more than any other in our history.
The charity has assisted 108 Homeless Veterans during this reporting period.
Last full 12 months it was 99
Previous year to that it was 90
Total around 900 since we began 10 years ago.
We have handled referrals from many sources in this time.
We reached a decision effective from the 1st February 2023 to restrict our support to veterans in future to those in the:
South, East, North & West Yorkshire and North and NE Lincolnshire
as the call on our service, the number of other regional similar charities that have grown and importantly OP FORTITUDE, MODs initiative for homeless veterans was due online wef 1st April to share the load amongst providers.
The FUEL SUPPORT GRANT was introduced on 1st October 22 in partnership with the Veterans Foundation. Since then, we have disbursed over 80 x £100 grants to veterans taking the total number of veterans receiving help from us to almost 1000!
The big news for us in the past 12 months was the opening of our new DROP IN Hub in Barnsley Town Centre without BMBC or anyone else’s help. We very recently celebrated its first birthday with a number of high-profile visitors as well as many veterans, some who have become regulars.
It is proving a useful resource with veterans visiting for hot food, Food Vouchers, comradeship, practical assistance and advice. It has a computer room that can be used by veterans. It is a focal point now for our activities and has become our Head Office.
We exchanged our exhibition trailer for a Van that was an RAF Recruiting vehicle in a past life just like me!
The other mechanical update is we have upgraded our 6-seater minibus for a 12-seater with disabled ramp access to use on Therapy farm and other days out we plan to introduce.
We recently restocked our Lock up store with essential items such as cookers, fridges washing machines microwaves kettles cups plates KFS etc ready for issuing to veterans in need.
Last May we donated a Remembrance Bench to RMBC Town Hall.
Therapy Farm visits began again on 21st March. Anyone who has already visited will tell of the enjoyment it gives. The funding for this project came from THE VETERANS FOUNDATION. That cash is virtually all spent now but the benefits to veterans, quite a few who have had more than 1 visit are immediately apparent.
Now some exciting news, H4HV profile is going to be lifted by the production of a TV series and the publication of a book of poems by our own ambassador Amber which was launched on 28th April at our Drop In birthday party.
This may be my final CEOs report; both age and illness are gaining on me, I need to start taking more time to help me combat the cancer illness and treatment. After my forthcoming discussion with the consultant, I will decide when I wish to retire.
I want to place on official record my enormous admiration for Tom Wood our Founder. Thank him also for giving me the opportunity in 2015 to take the reins of his charity.
I believe we have made a first-class team providing most of the front-line support to so many vulnerable veterans. See below for a selection of the thankyou messages received from grateful veterans who benefitted from our charity.
Thank you to our Chair Councillor John Healy who has been my sounding board for difficult decisions, Andy and Diane Martin who are the backbone of the Drop In and the rest of the team of Trustees past and present who have helped to make HELP 4 HOMELESS VETERANS charity the success it has become.
Finally, as always THANK YOU to everyone who has supported the charity by fund raising during the past 12 months. Without your help we would not be in such a strong position to continue helping the ever-growing number of vulnerable veterans seeking assistance from our charity.
Whatever the future holds, the charity remains in a strong financial position to meet its obligations for at least another full operating period.
Steven Bentham-Bates BA Hons
Chief Executive Officer
Help 4 Homeless Veterans
Charity no 1148155 30th April 2023