CEO CHRISTMAS 2020 MESSAGE

CEO CHRISTMAS 2020 MESSAGE

CHRISTMAS 2020 MESSAGE FROM THE CEO OF HELP 4 HOMELESS VETERANS
Well where do you start with 2020? Unprecedented certainly, challenging definitely, rewarding without doubt and better for a number of veterans who received our assistance since last Christmas.
We have managed to offer support and advice to 93 veterans since Christmas 2019. This has been delivered by paying Rents, bonds, provision of essential goods such as a new bed, cookers, fridges TVs pots and pans.
Despite all the restrictions that the pandemic has thrown at us, we have continued to operate non-stop and remain proud of our rapid reaction times to responses for help requests, regularly surprising people how quickly we get back to them.
We have helped veterans as far afield as Jersey, Haverfordwest, Scottish Border and all points in between including quite a few around Yorkshire. The majority are former soldiers, a few RAF and RN and 1 RM. Some help has been given not just to individual veterans but also to partners and children too.
We have just like so many charities struggled to fund raise but we have been lucky to attract a few decent grants to enable us to continue operations without financial worry maintaining our reserves. We have also benefited from the generous support from various supporters thank you.
Our exceptional work over the past few years has been recognized by a variety of Group and Individual awards, but this year we received the ultimate accolade any charity can earn. Her Majesty The Queen rewards the very best charities with her Queens Award for Voluntary Service. We were one of only two charities in South Yorkshire presented with this prestigious award this year something we are all justifiably proud of receiving.
As I write this with one week left until Christmas Day we are today currently working with 4 veterans providing assistance and I have no doubt in the next week there will be more, we may even reach 100 by then.
Finally, looking forward to next year I predict even greater rewards as our work ethic is stronger than ever and we are already planning to introduce the FARM THERAPY PROJECT linking up with an old RAF colleague Jamie Quinn to get Veterans out in the fresh air doing something different and helping with their mental health wellbeing.
The other initiative we are getting ready to introduce is a drop-in centre/shop in Barnsley town centre.
Of course our core work helping homeless veterans will continue as always, sadly the numbers continue to rise each year, but we will always try our level best to help when asked by individual veterans in need.
2020 has been a difficult year but I am confident that 2021 will be better and HELP 4 HOMELESS VETERANS charity and our tiny team of excellent volunteers will rise to the future challenges to keep us right up there with the best military charities providing help to our fellow Veterans in their hour of need.
Steve Bentham-Bates