CEO’S REPORT FOR OPERATING

HELP 4 HOMELESS VETERANS

Charity number 1148155

CEO Steve Bentham-Bates BA Hons

c/o BCVS 23 Queens Rd Barnsley S71 1AN

Ceohelp4homelessveterans@gmail.com

07305 260798

30th April 2024

CEO’S REPORT FOR OPERATING PERIOD 1ST MAY 2023 TO 30TH APRIL 2024

This period has been for the charity, one of its most challenging since I took control in 2015. We have made several decisions regrouping, taking the charity back to basics to ensure that we can continue to provide the coal-face assistance to vulnerable homeless veterans when they need it our Founder set out to do when he created H4HV back in 2010.

Like many other organizations, we have faced higher costs necessitating some difficult decisions by the Trustees, thus enabling us to continue providing our core support to homeless veterans, that of paying initial rents and bonds and helping them set up homes.

Last year we made the realistic decision to withdraw from covering all of England and Wales to the 4 Yorkshire Counties and North and Northeast Lincolnshire, essentially the Yorkshire & The Humber regions.

That has proved to be a sound decision enabling us to focus our limited resources. This wasn’t purely a financial call, with the introduction of OP FORTITUDE last July and the growth of similar regional charities to ours in various other areas, it was and remains the correct change of policy.

We introduced our DROP-IN support centre in Barnsley 2 years ago, but it never really gained the support from local veterans, the footfall didn’t justify the expense of keeping it open, so we closed that in February this year releasing £10k + a year to be spent on homeless veterans.

Likewise, the two vehicles: a display van and a minibus have not paid their way, so again we have sold them to top up our cash reserves to be used for our core work supporting vulnerable veterans

Due to a 50% increase in rent and utility bills for the storage lock-up we recently took the decision to cancel that agreement, releasing sufficient monthly funds to cover another veterans rent bill, again our core work. Instead of storing items ready for issue we now buy and have delivered if necessary items such as fridges cookers etc to the veterans new homes.

The average cost of supporting each veteran we assist has risen. Two recent examples, a former RA soldier we paid out over £1400, and another ex-infantry soldier over £906 in rents. Compared to a couple of years ago when it usually cost around £600 to help one veteran you can appreciate the additional funding stress we face.

Notwithstanding all of the above, the good news is that during this 12-month period, 56 veterans have benefited from our rapid support. The oldest was a 73-year-old former Green Howard Northern Ireland veteran.

In addition, we have steered 6 veterans towards Op Fortitude due to their circumstances needing greater support i.e. supported housing help.

Moving forward:

I have agreed with the trustees to work until June 2025 my 70th birthday to complete financial year starting 1st May 2024.

Last week after 14 years of selfless voluntary service our Founder Tom Wood MBE retired due to serious health issues.

We also received the MOD Employer Recognition Scheme Bronze Award.

We have sufficient reserves to enable us to plan ahead for at least 12 months, a strong position for a charity of our size. Our unrestricted funds are healthy because of the support you the public give.

So at this point I wish to thank everyone who has fundraised for us this year in a variety of ways, including some of our own trustees and volunteers abseiling 150 feet in the dark at Magna Centre.

Also, once again THE VETERANS FOUNDATION has provided help that we would like to thank them for. This includes another 2 years of funding towards the FARM THERAPY PROJECT we work on with my old RAF Regt colleague Jamie Quinn.

Despite the serious health conditions requiring regular hospital visits/treatments of our Founder, he continued to provide ongoing rapid reactions to requests for our charitable assistance.

But this leaves a massive gap in our team and I will be seeking a couple of volunteers to join us.

Sadly, one of our key volunteers: Mrs Diane Martin, passed away in January, and it is with Diane in mind that I dedicate the work of Help 4 Homeless Veterans charity to you the reader this year.

Steve Bentham-Bates

Founder Tom Wood MBE

THE QUEENS AWARD FOR VOLUNTARY SERVICE 2020

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