Victory Services Club Chairman, Rear Admiral Mike Kimmons CB, has launched an appeal and shared the following message:
“I write this letter to you at an extraordinary time in our history as around the globe we are all facing the enormous impact of the Coronavirus. All of my colleagues on the Board of Trustees and the staff of the Victory Services Club sincerely hope that you and your family members are well and safe, and are coping with the many challenges which have changed the way we live and work. The Club is currently accommodating a number of former Service personnel who are working in the National Health Service and in UK Government departments.
“Your Club has existed since 1907 and we have continued daily operations throughout two world wars and a terrorist attack in the 1970s. My colleagues and the staff are exceptionally keen that, once the Coronavirus threat has been mitigated, the Club remains open for yet another 100 years, so that we can continue to provide a wonderful home-from-home for you all and, importantly, that we can continue to deliver our charitable objectives. As part of this in the past year the Club has provided 160 free respite breaks to wounded, injured and sick servicemen and their families. We also support many military charities by providing meeting rooms and venues for them at extremely reasonable rates, as well as hosting countless military reunions and dinners from the sea, land and air environments.
With many of these events now having been postponed until later in the year, and room occupancy levels very low, our income over the next few months will be considerably below that anticipated. Nevertheless, we need to be able to sustain the Club for the long term. Although the UK Government has outlined support, including for the hospitality sector (of which we are a part), securing any relief funding will take some time to achieve and it is still uncertain as to what this means. Above all, we need to secure the support and commitment of our loyal staff, many of whom are extremely worried about their futures. While the Trustees and the Club’s Senior Management Team are determined to retain their employment through the current emergency, the financial challenges now faced by the Club will weaken its ability to be as supportive as it would wish. Accordingly, I am writing to see if you would be prepared to make a donation to the Club to assist us in retaining as many of our staff as possible.
“Our membership currently stands at 65,400. If each of you would be prepared to make a donation to the Club of £30 pounds, this would be a huge help over a challenging period of time enabling us to sustain our ability to look after our staff, and also our contribution to military morale and welfare. If you are able to make a donation then you can do so by going onto our website and making a payment through our Just Giving page (www.justgiving.com/victorysa). For those who are UK taxpayers it would be very helpful if you would be happy to tick the Gift Aid box, by which we can reclaim the tax on that donation. Otherwise, please do a send a cheque to the Club. Your support for the staff of the Victory Services Club would be much appreciated.
“We wish you all well during this difficult time, and we look forward to seeing you under better circumstances.”