CHRISTMAS MESSAGE FROM THE CEO HELP 4 HOMELESS VETERANS
2019 has been as busy as any year for us since the charity formed in 2012 with upwards of a hundred requests for assistance being acted upon. I think that despite our small size and limited bank balance the amount of good we do pound for pound because of our low overheads compared to any other military veterans support groups would be difficult to top and everyone here is very proud of that fact.
The number of times veterans we have assisted say to us “I can’t believe how quickly you reacted to my situation – thank you” no longer surprises us but that is only possible because of YOUR support. Here is a recent example from a veteran in the west midlands we assisted in October:
I recently had a really bad time with my PTSD and as a consequence found myself with no where to live. Finding somewhere was so difficult because you can’t register anywhere as you don’t have an address and when you do find somewhere the money needed initially is not something I was able to get. I filled in the form on the Help 4 Homeless veterans website explaining my situation and within 10 minutes I had a response from Steve…… A couple of days later I emailed back and explained I had found somewhere but that it was going to cost a months rent in advance. Within 10 minutes I received a call to say it had been paid and I was good to go…… I simply don’t know enough words to express how it’s helped me or what a weight has been lifted off me. Steve, the rest of the guys and the charity are an absolute god send.
We have received donations from a wide variety of individuals and groups all of which we are truly grateful for. I must mention the Veterans Foundation who have become our biggest supporter with their latest grant of £10,000 in November. Also a big thank you to the Army Benevolent Fund who following their grant in 2017 repeated their generous support by awarding us £15,000 recently. Thanks too again to my old RAF mate John Burgess aka Mr Kipling in Barnsley who once again gave us a van load of mince pies enough for Tom Wood to share around other worthy groups helping the sick and vulnerable after delivering to our own veterans in the houses we rent out.
Without all of this financial support our charity even though all of our staff are unpaid volunteers (except myself) would not be able to continue its valuable work. So please continue helping us to help our fellow veterans by visiting our just giving page at www.help4homelessveterans.org
2019 looks set to finish the same as it started for the charity. The work continues constantly with two requests for help last week alone.
We just hope and pray that someone in the New Government spends far more cash than before in providing more homes not just for veterans but all homeless people.
We are the fifth richest country in the world yet we have thousands of homeless people with no home to call their own. There but for the grace of God go anyone of us, so hassle your new MPs, send them this message That it is so wrong! I have already been in touch with my new Conservative MP, he will be sick of my name by this time next year!
HELP 4 HOMELESS VETERANS will be doing our bit to help again next year with or without political assistance but for now have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy Healthy New Year from Myself, Tom Wood Founder without whom none of this would be possible, his wife Jean whose efforts for the vulnerable veterans deserve a Sainthood!, John Healy Chair who works hard too, our Trustees and particularly the volunteers past and present who have given their time freely helping fellow veterans by fundraising and preparing homes for those we help. God Bless.
On the subject of Grants, we need to put straight a news report from October that stated that the Sheffield City Region Mayor had granted us £90k from the Million pound MOD grant to support homeless veterans around the Country. That was not the case. We were offered £50k but specifically to employ a business development person for a 12 month contract. This goes against our ethos of keeping our running costs low and therefore we declined that deal.
NEW PATRON our Founder Tom Wood is after many years of front line service to homeless veterans standing back slightly but will remain as an advisor and the trustees were delighted when he accepted their offer of becoming our new Patron in March 2019.
We were visited by two VIPs on 4th November 2019. It was pleasure to host Vice Lord Lieutenant John Holt DL and Deputy Lord Lieutenant Janet Wheatley MBE DL to look at the work our charity carries out here in South Yorkshire.