MERRY CHRISTMAS 2021

To everyone who has supported our work here at HELP 4 HOMELESS VETERANS Charity no 1148155 this year during which we have helped 95 veterans so far since 1st January, may I thank you and wish you and those you care for a very Merry Christmas and a happy healthy New Year. Despite the difficulties faced with the ongoing pandemic restricting activities we have managed to remain in a good position to allow us to meet virtually all requests for assistance we have received, much of those funds have come from many good people prepared to put themselves out to raise cash to help those less fortunate than themselves.  So thankyou once again and Seasons Greetings to all.

FUN ON THE FARM FOR VETERANS

HELP 4 HOMELESS VETERANS in conjunction with Jamie Quinn of Hall Farm Messingham supported by a grant from The VETERANS FOUNDATION has started arranging day visits to the farm for fun and therapy.  It is well known being with animals has a calming effect on most people so Jamie a former RAF Gunner who served in the RAF Regiment alongside our CEO Steve Bentham-Bates on 16 Sqn RAF Regt in West Germany and the Falklands got together and came up with this idea.

If you would like to have a free day out meet other veterans and enjoy being in the fresh air working with animals then email the CEO at the following

ceohelp4homelessveterans@gmail.com

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

FUND RAISING HAIR RAISING STYLE!

Samantha our star volunteer from the South Coast did an amazing Wing Walk to raise funds for us a while ago.  Inspired to do something please get in touch.

CHARITY APPOINTS A NEW AMBASSADOR

HELP 4 HOMELESS VETERANS CHARITY APPOINTS A NEW AMBASSADOR –

AMBER GUYMER-HOSKIN FORMER ARMY MEDIC

 

We are delighted to announce that Amber has very kindly offered to become an Ambassador for our charity from today 14th July 2020.

 

Amber has not only walked the walk but now talks the talk about Homelessness. She speaks from experience and since she turned to us in 2017 she has been our unofficial ambassador telling her story of how she coped with her homelessness whilst caring for her son Brandon to various media outlets to spread the message.

 

She has spoken to Andy Kershaw at BBC Radio Sheffield; The Huffington Post for The Sun and gave permission for us to tell her journey with us on our latest Charity Flyers. She also supported us on our stands at Armed Forces Day whilst living in South Yorkshire.  Amber is about to be filmed for a documentary about Veterans and PTSD and how homelessness affected her.

 

Hers is a compelling tale of how she has turned her life around and I am sharing a few of her own words below:

 

 I was on my last legs at the time and just felt exhausted and that I had nowhere else to turn. It was a simple google search which led me to Help 4 Homeless Veterans and it was a huge relief when they said they’d be able to help me.

 

They quickly managed to organise a one-bedroom bungalow for the both of us. We felt safe with a roof over our heads and it helped to have some order in our lives.  Help 4 Homeless Veterans is based in Yorkshire and they had access to social housing, which they sublet to veterans at cost. They offer assistance to veterans all over the country and acted really quickly. It was a huge relief for me. I finally felt safe and stable for the first time in a long time. It was far away from home, which is Suffolk, but I wasn’t bothered as I had a home.

 

Finally, I felt able to get my life back on track.  It took me a year to properly adjust to things when I had the house and to know what I really wanted. At the time I couldn’t work as I had childcare commitments, so I had a lot of time to try a figure things out in my head.

At times I did struggle and kept on thinking that we’d be out on the streets again. It took me a year to get over this and having the house definitely helped me with my transition. Like most veterans, I’m not sure if I will very properly transition but this was a huge stepping stone to becoming a ‘civilian’.

I moved into my own house in Suffolk last year and have just launched a business running boot camps while I complete my fitness diploma returning the bungalow to the charity.

 

Amber’s story is a genuine success for her and Brandon and also for our charity.  This is why we exist, to assist vulnerable veterans when they are at their lowest point, giving them a hand-up, not a hand-out.  Those that take advantage of a second chance, will, just like our new Ambassador rebuild their lives.

Welcome Aboard Madam Ambassador!

CHARITY RECEIVES THE ULTIMATE ACCOLADE – THE QUEENS AWARD FOR VOLUNTARY SERVICE

It was announced on 2nd June 2020 that Help 4 Homeless Veterans Charity was one of only two in South Yorkshire to be given this prestigious award this year.

This is the MBE equivalent for charities, no higher award is available.

This represents the amazing work carried out over a number of years of volunteers past and present enabling the charity staff to support almost 600 veterans facing homelessness to date.

CORONA VIRUS AFFECTING OUR CHARITY OPERATIONS

Be aware that due to the lockdown many landlords and B and Bs are not operating right now which stops us being able to assist many veterans by booking B & B.  The Government has told all local authorities they must help all homeless people during the current crisis so your first stop for assistance right now must be the local council homeless department.

Notwithstanding this fact, we are already helping twice as many veterans as normal so contact us and we will see how best to advise and assist you.

UPDATE REGARDING THE OFFER OF A GRANT TO HELP 4 HOMELESS VETERANS CHARITY BY SHEFFIELD CITY REGION MAYOR DAN JARVIS MADE LAST YEAR

Following our initial delight last year at being told the charity would receive £50k of the MODs grant of £91k to SCR from Mayor ex-Army Officer Dan Jarvis to help homeless veterans around South Yorkshire as reported widely around the region:
http://www.publicsectorexecutive.com/…/mayor-to-support-hom…#

Subsequently, after discussions, we could not agree to accept the terms of the offer which would have meant us spending the whole £50k offered on one person’s wage for one year to employ a business development officer to tell us how to expand our charity.

This doesn’t sit comfortably with our ethos of low overheads ensuring most of the money donated to us is spent on the veterans, not large salaries and others. overheads.
Our charity is more than capable of managing its own growth and we believe the money in question would have done far more good being spent by helping homeless veterans directly.

We even countered their idea with one of allowing us to use the money to buy an old house for us to refurbish to create a South Yorkshire hostel-type unit we could manage that would be sustainable long term benefiting even more veterans.

We here at the charity are disappointed that we could not come to an agreement with the SCR office on the best use of that grant, but we continue to help veterans needing our specialist help without any of the MOD money that was distributed for that purpose due to the constraints on how to spend it that has caused this conflict for us.

We need to inform the public our charity did not accept any of the £91k. Otherwise, it could affect our chances of securing future financial support from elsewhere when those considering helping us carry out their due diligence and see it reported we got that money, when in fact we couldn’t accept it with the strings attached as it goes against the ethos of our charity of low overheads and spending money raised on helping the homeless veterans themselves.

Since being formed in Barnsley in 2012 the charity has helped around 500 homeless veterans, including partners and some children. We raise our own funds and don’t just talk the talk, we do what it says on our tin ie: Help Homeless Veterans not just in Barnsley and Doncaster, but throughout South Yorkshire and the rest of England and Wales rapidly effectively without fuss.

We genuinely hope that the 4 South Yorkshire Councils through their SY Covenant Group who will share out the whole £91k make good use of it and actually provide additional help to vulnerable veterans who approach them for assistance as charities like ours are already carrying a significant burden of providing help for the veterans who quite often run into difficulties when approaching local authorities having to deal with homeless people from all areas of society, not just veterans of HM Forces.
Thank you as always to those people and groups who support our charity enabling us to react quickly to requests for help.

CHRISTMAS OPENING HOURS

THE CHARITY WILL BE OFFLINE FROM LATER TODAY 23RD DECEMBER UNTIL 30TH DECEMBER.  IF YOU NEED ADVICE DURING THIS PERIOD CONTACT THE VETERANS GATEWAY WHICH HAS 24/7 STAFFING.

THEIR PHONE NUMBER IS             0808 802 12 12

 

OTHER SOURCES OF ADVICE ARE AS FOLLOWS

BUT NOTE THEY WILL HAVE RESTRICTED OPENING TIMES DURING THE CHRISTMAS PERIOD

 

Veterans Aid,  Offer Practical Help 0800 012 6867
STOLL 020 7385 2110
Haig Housing   020 8685 5777
Riverside 0345 111 0000.
YOUR LOCAL COUNCIL HOMELESSNESS TEAM

BFBS BIG SALUTE GRANT £2750 ON 19TH JANUARY 2018

BIG SALUTE GRANTS AWARDED TO 13 CHARITIES A wide range of charities that offer help and support to service personnel, veterans and their families have received BFBS Big Salute grants. Alabare, Association of Royal Naval Officers (ARNO), Blesma The Limbless Veterans, Bridge4Heroes, Combat Stress, Felix Fund, Glen Art, Help 4 Homeless Veterans, Learning Through Horses, The Matthew Project, Turn to Starboard, Unload and Veterans Aid have all received grants. The progress of these projects will all be featured on the Forces Network www.forces.net via its digital, radio and TV platforms. These latest grants have been funded by the 2016-2017 Big Salute campaign, thanks to generous donations and sponsored events undertaken by personnel and military communities from across the forces world. And this year, the Big Salute fundraising pot had additional support from the Services Sound and Vision Corporation’s (SSVC) Board of Trustees. Nicky Ness, Director of Forces Broadcasting and Entertainment for SSVC, said: “We are delighted that we will be able to support so many brilliant charitable projects this year. “A huge thank you goes out to all of our supporters who organise annual events as well as the many individuals who have taken time out from their busy service lives to raise funds for the Big Salute.”   For more information and ideas about raising money for the Big Salute go online to www.bigsalute.com