Charity’s Christmas campaign combats Veterans loneliness and isolation

Armed Forces charity Help for Heroes has launched a highly emotive campaign that urges the public to ensure veterans are not forgotten this Christmas.

More than 80,000 veterans1 in Great Britain could spend the holiday season lonely and isolated, so Help for Heroes is asking people to send messages of hope, support and thanks to let them know they are not alone.

The heartwarming short film features a forgotten toy solider ornament, which has been left off the Christmas tree. A hand, adorned with a Help for Heroes wristband, can be seen picking it up and placing it back in its rightful place on the tree, demonstrating how the Charity’s work ensures veterans are not forgotten and can find a place and purpose in society again with Help for Heroes support.

One third of veterans supported by Help for Heroes, and who have a long-term health condition, often or always feel lonely2. These feelings of isolation are magnified at Christmas, as many veterans have specific mental and physical health challenges related to their service.

At a time when there’s pressure to be having fun and be cheery, veterans may find themselves cut off from society, friends and even family, having lost the secure support structure they had in the army.

In December 2022, Help for Heroes saw a 77 per cent increase3 in requests for support compared with the same period in 2021, meaning the Charity’s services are needed now more than ever as it has continued to see demand rise over the past year as well.

It provides veterans with life-changing support and a sense of community, where they no longer feel isolated or alone.

There are still many veterans who need help, and some will not receive, cards or gifts, sit down to a Christmas dinner with loved ones, or may simply feel forgotten by the society they gave so much to protect.

Help for Heroes is looking to change this with the new campaign that looks to deliver messages of hope and support this Christmas to those who need them most.

Beth Miles, Director of Marketing at Help for Heroes, said:

“We are incredibly proud to have created this impactful short Christmas film to lead our campaign this year. It is very personal to who we are as a charity and delivers an incredibly powerful message to support our veterans this holiday season.

“Our new Christmas ornament characters represent veterans from the Army, Navy, and RAF. We hope they resonate with the public as well as our veteran community and we look forward to seeing them again in future campaigns.”

Help for Heroes champions the Armed Forces community and helps them live well after service. The charity helps them, and their families, to recover and get on with their lives. It has already supported more than 30,000 people and will not stop until every veteran gets the support they deserve.

The Charity supports veterans, and their families, from any branch of the UK military – regulars or reserves – irrespective of length or place of service, and locally embedded civilians (and their families) who worked alongside our Armed Forces.

The Help for Heroes’ Christmas film may be viewed here, while messages of support may be sent here.

1In December 2022 Help for Heroes received 255 requests for support, compared with 144 in December 2021 

2 Help For Heroes Veterans and Family Survey (2022) participants (n=835)

3 Four per cent of veterans in Great Britain described themselves as always feeling lonely according to an online survey carried out by YouGov Plc between 20 and 22 July 2022. Total sample size 455 adults. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults who previously served in the military (aged 18+). This represents 83,000 from a population of 2.03m veterans in Great Britain. 

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